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tagged with: 19th human rights council / united nations human rights council / irina bacci / sexual orientation and gender identity /
anti-discrimination based on sogi
Irina Bacci's panel "Violence
and Discrimination based on
Sexual Orientation and
Gender Identity" at the 19th
Human Rights Council
in WORLD, 07/03/2012
Irina Bacci is the NGOs representative panellist at the
19th Human Rights Council panel discussion on
Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity
held in Geneva today, 7 March 2012
Geneva, 7 March 2012
Watch Irina Bacci's statement (go to 39'50) and concluding remarks (02:08:40).
Madame President of the Human Rights Council,
Madame High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Ladies and Gentlemen Embassadors,
Distinguished panelists,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honor to address myself to this Council as a human rights activist, civil society representative on
this panel to share our struggles for human rights of persons whose expression, identity or behavior do not
conform with the dominant norms, ie, lesbians , gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, transvestites and intersex, that
throughout my speech shall call LGBTI.
I appreciate the invitation of the government of South Africa, who promoted the resolution 17/19 in 2011 and
the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights UN to share my experiences and especially to
express my solidarity with all people whose human rights are violated by their sexual orientation and gender
identity to the north and south of the equator, but especially LGBTI communities of the South countries.
ILGA - International Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex, in its most recent
annual report on laws and regulations that restrict the fundamental rights of LGBTI people still reports that in
76 countries there are laws that criminalize consented sex between adults of the same sex. These are
mostly criminal laws inherited from the colonial period that violate the fundamental rights of free expression
of personality and privacy protection, and states as well; the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health
stated that criminalization has effects on access to services prevention and treatment, particularly with regard
to HIV / AIDS, because it feeds the social perception that these people are "abnormal" or criminal "(HRC
14/20, page 8)
However, even in countries that have recently been made legal reforms and where there are policies to
protect the human rights of LGBTI people, as is the case of Brazil, violations persist and violence motivated
by stigma and discrimination that often results in death or irreversible damage was not eradicated. It means
recognizing that although the legal reforms are necessary and urgent still face the challenge of promoting
cultural change in all societies.
The culmination of a life trajectory subject to discrimination and exclusion makes LGBT people worldwide,
mainly in countries of the south, have a status of second-class citizenship and discrimination that causes a
silent and cruel damage. LGBTI people, especially trans are often expelled from their homes in
adolescence, have lower levels of education by a high dropout rate, difficult access to the labor market,
precarious occupations, living in subhuman conditions and are marginalized in community spaces in which
they live. It is also important to remember that even in Europe follow existing restrictive laws in relation to
transsexuality, as is the case of compulsory sterilization for people to have access to surgery for
re-adjustment. Another situation of violation to be mentioned are the surgeries performed in very young
children to "gender adjustment" of intersex people.
However LGBTI people, experience discrimination and violations that can not be characterized as public
offenses, because they give especially in private spaces and social life. Studies conducted by the Latin-
American Sexuality and Human Rights LGBTI pride parades in the country report that discrimination is higher
ILGA: Irina Bacci's panel "Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual ... http://ilga.org/ilga/en/article/nr0epgz1Df
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in families, communities and educational spaces. Violations are also common in health services and the
labor market.
This context of continuing discrimination and violations means that one hand is crucial to continue investing in
the transformation of our everyday culture, in public spaces but also private, in order to completely eliminate
the deleterious effects of the dominant heterosexual norm on LGBTI people. That said, there is no culture or
customs to justify a life marked by discrimination, rape, exclusion and violence.
The report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights UN listed a series of violations, discrimination and
violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity that I would highlight, as is the case of the murders
and extrajudicial executions, cruel and inhuman treatment, and torture that in many countries, victims are
particularly transgender people.
In my country, a survey conducted by the Human Rights Secretariat of the Presidency shows that in 2011
there were 261 homicides of LGBTI people. Among those people who lost their lives: 24.5% were
transvestites or transsexuals, lesbians were 29% and 40.5% of gay men. There are indicators, however, that
the number of murders has increased; according to a survey of the Gay Group of Bahia, hate crimes on the
grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity have increased 113% from 2010 to 2011.
We also know that Brazil is the country with the highest number of murders of transvestites and transsexuals
in the world and most of these murders are characterized by refinements of cruelty. The situation in the
GRULAC region is also worrying, since evidence shows that in El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Haiti,
Honduras and the English-speaking Caribbean, the number of murders of transgender people has grown
critically in recent years.
Besides this, as we saw in the Brazilian data, lesbian, gay and bisexual people has also been victims of
systematic killings and other violations. In Brazil, according to the GGB - Gay Group of Bahia, 27 lesbian and
bisexual women were murdered in 2011, in other Latin American countries these figures are also high. ILGA
to Latin America, monitored 13 murders of lesbians in the region in the years 2010 to 2011.
These manifestations of stigma and exclusion often reach levels of extreme brutality. The young Samuel
Brinton (American) and Gustavo Campos (Brazil) lived family situations of extreme violence because of their
sexual orientation. Samuel Briton was tortured by his father who is a missionary of the Baptist Church to stop
being gay. Gustavo Campos was beaten and subjected to a hanging attempt, perpetrated by his older
brother who is Evangelical pastor. In Ecuador, Paola Ziritt, a 28 year old lesbian, was forcibly sent by her
mother to a "clinic that cure homosexuals" where she suffered torture and cruel and inhuman treatment,
including sexual abuse. Quite possibly if there were no networks to mobilize complaints of violations of
LGBTI people, we would not have any knowledge of these tragedies.
All these situations I have described are common worldwide, but the worst is that silenced by shame and
fear as in the case of rape and other violence that lesbians are routinely subjected, as in South Africa, El
Salvador and Kyrgysztan where violence against Lesbians also have been systematic, as illustrated by the
crime committed against lesbian Millicent Gaika - attacked, strangled, raped and tortured for five hours by a
man claiming to be "a healing" of lesbianism. This violence is subjective in the eyes of cultures and its
invisibility in the world do not feed the various official data collected by governments.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 states that all human beings are born free and equal in
dignity and rights. The text also established the principle that all people have the right to life, liberty and
personal security. In my understanding but also of vigilance committees and courts of human rights,
violations experienced by LGBTI people hurt the principles of the Universal Declaration, as well as several
subsequent conventions. And its important to highlight that the Declaration was ratified by all UN member
In my region, countries like Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Brazil and the Federal District of Mexico, whether
by legislative action or decision of superior courts, established rules of civil union or marriage to same sex
couples. In several countries such as Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, laws or administrative rules were
approved concerning civil identity and medical procedures for readjusting the sexual identity of transsexual
Advances in Brazil stand out from 2004, with the creation of the Brazil Without Homophobia, the holding of
two national conferences on LGBT rights and the construction of the National Plan to promote LGBT
Citizenship. In 2010, President Lula instituted the National Day Against Homophobia as an official date, and
created a LGBT coordination within the structure of the Human Rights Secretariat of the Presidency, as well
as the LGBT National Council, of which I am president. In addition, the Ministry of Health also adopted
specific national guidelines aimed at LGBT population. Education is where the greatest difficulties stand. A
experience performed by the Ministry of Education in partnership with civil society organizations, the School
without homophobia Project, encountered many barriers to its continuity, especially from the dogmatic
religious sectors.
Legal reforms and public policies are positive, and must be valued. However as indicated by high rates of
violence and discrimination they do not automatically eliminate violence, discrimination, stigma to which
LGBTI people are still submitted. It is also essential naming and deconstructing the factors that produce
such violations. In Brazil's case, there are undoubtedly many factors that explain the persistence and
intensification of social and institutional violence affecting LGBTI people. However one of them is
undoubtedly a strong and growing movement of religious dogmatic speeches that incite hatred and violence
against us, including the media. The data obtained from the hotline set by SEDH report that 44% of
complaints relate to LGBTI people are associated to psychological encouragement promoted by religious
ILGA: Irina Bacci's panel "Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual ... http://ilga.org/ilga/en/article/nr0epgz1Df
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On the other hand, in my view, closer relations between local struggles, national and international
mechanisms of protection of human rights are fundamental to ensure that one day we can be proud to live in
a world where, in fact, all people have the right to have rights. The Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in a
speech in New York on December 10, 2010, called for the abolition of laws that criminalize relationships
between adults of the same sex, citing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, " That is why this
day, this very special day means so much to me. Human Rights Day, which commemorates the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. It is not called the partial declaration of human rights. It is sometimes the
declaration of rights humans. It is the Universal Declaration, guaranteeing all human beings their basic human
rights, without exception. "

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