PARLIAMENTARIANS DEMAND ACTION ON GLOBAL LGBT RIGHTS
14 APRIL 2016
An influential group of parliamentarians has today urged the UK Government to do more to tackle human rights abuses perpetrated against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people across the world.
The report published by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global LGBT Rights, which is supported by more than 100 MPs and Peers across the political parties, calls for greater strategic co-ordination across government, more practical support and funding for LGBT groups on the ground and better protection for LGBT people fleeing persecution. The group also calls for a clearly accountable figure to be appointed in Whitehall with responsibility for co-ordinating and implementing a cross-government strategy.
The report states that 75 countries criminalise same-sex activity between consenting adults, accounting for 2.9 billion people or 40 per cent of the world’s population. The punishment for these offences can be severe, with penalties ranging from lashings, life imprisonment and, in eight countries, death. Over 400 million people live under laws which punish same-sex sexual activity with the death penalty.
‘LGBT people continue to face widespread criminalisation, discrimination and violence across the world. The UK Government can play a vital role in tackling these abuses but it must commit itself to better coordinated action and careful consideration should be given to how our influence and resources are best utilised. The needs and views of LGBT activists and communities at the frontline in countries like Uganda, Jamaica and Nigeria must be at the heart of our efforts.
The majority of countries that criminalise same-sex activity do so on the basis of legislation inherited from Britain during its colonial past. The UK has a responsibility to do more to promote equality and human rights for LGBT people globally. The APPG’s authoritative report offers the Government a roadmap as to how it can best approach these complex but critical issues.
We particularly welcome the group’s demand for better treatment for LGBT people fleeing persecution who continue to face discrimination, disbelief and detention in the UK asylum system. Given the persecution LGBT people suffer around the world, these cases are frequently matters of life and death.’
Last week, the Foreign Affairs Select Committee reported a clear perception that the human rights work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been deprioritised and criticised the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, and his decision to refuse to fly the Rainbow Flag during Pride events globally. The APPG also calls for that decision to be reversed.
Notes to Editor
- The UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) is the only national charity dedicated to supporting, and advocating for the rights of, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) asylum seekers and refugees. Founded in 1993, UKLGIG provides support to in excess of 1,500 LGBTI people every year.
- For more information, please contact Paul Dillane on 07764871363 / 020 7922 7812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.