Hivos International

Sexual Rights and Diversity

On 26 January 2017, Lebanese LGBT activists celebrated a significant victory. For the fourth time in the past eight years, a Lebanese judge ruled that homosexuality was not illegal, applying a liberal interpretation of the Lebanese penal code. The abolition of the legal article in question, no. 534, which criminalizes sexual acts contradictory to the ‘laws of nature’, has long been the aim of Hivos’ partner Helem, a local LGBT rights grassroots organization.

How often can you say you’ve attended a ‘historic event’? Not too often, but I think the consultation of - here’s a mouthful -  the Independent Expert on Protection against Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (UN IE SOGI) qualifies as one. This is the first time ever that an official has been mandated within the UN system to work on these issues.

 

Latin America is suffering from an epidemic. It seems very contagious, but it does not affect the entire population equally. Neither water nor air borne - it is basically unpredictable. We are talking about violence against women, a widespread problem that is not new, but only very recently becoming visible.