UKLGIG REACTION TO FOREIGN & COMMONWEALTH OFFICE ANNUAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY REPORT
21 APRIL 2016
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) today launched the annual Human Rights and Democracy Report which outlines its work in promoting human rights around the world including in respect of LGBT people. The report acknowledges:
‘The authorities of many countries actively persecute LGB&T people … Faced with this unacceptable discrimination, which often has violent consequences, the FCO places great importance on working to challenge violence and discrimination against LGB&T people wherever it exists.’
“We welcome the efforts the Foreign Office have made to promote LGBT rights around the world during the past year. However, in recent weeks the UK Government have received much criticism for the perceived deprioritisation of human rights and a lack of a coherent strategy on tackling abuses perpetrated against LGBT people.
78 countries continue to criminalise homosexuality and the majority 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 critical question is what action should be taken?
The report published last week by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global LGBT Rights, a cross-party group of parliamentarians, offers the UK Government an authoritative roadmap as to how it can best work to support LGBT activists and communities around the world in their struggle for equality.
At UKLGIG, we support on a daily basis LGBT refugees who have experienced the terrible consequences of criminalisation and persecution in countries including Nigeria, Uganda and Jamaica. The UK can play a vital role in tackling these abuses and we encourage the Government to increase its efforts so it can achieve even more in the year to come.”
Last week, an influential group of parliamentarians urged the UK Government to do more to tackle human rights abuses perpetrated against LGBT people across the world. The report published by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global LGBT Rights 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.
Earlier this month, 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 a human rights charity dedicated to supporting, and advocating for the rights of, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) asylum seekers and refugees. Founded in 1993, UKLGIG provides support to in excess of 1,500 LGBT people every year.
- For more information, please contact Paul Dillane on 07764871363 / 020 7922 7812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.