Keeping the Focus On T (Transgender) In Our LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) International Work

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2011 National LGBT Conference
8 August 2011

Conference welcomes the fact that in Geneva on 17 June 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution on human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The resolution, presented by South Africa along with Brazil and 39 additional co-sponsors from all regions of the world, was passed by a vote of 23 in favour, 19 against, and 3 abstentions. This was a groundbreaking achievement and is a very significant step forward towards international consensus on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people’s rights. Its relevance for the developing global trans movement cannot be underestimated. It will also have an impact in Europe, where trans people are still affected by significant human rights breaches on a daily basis.

This resolution establishes as a principle that no one should face stigmatisation, violence or abuse on any ground, and that in dealing with sensitive issues, the Council must be guided by the principles of universality and non-discrimination. This followed the statement at the 2008 United Nations General Assembly, which reaffirmed the non-discrimination principle of international law, that human rights apply equally to each human being.

In a relatively short space of time, there have been great strides in combating trans discrimination. However, there is still a long way to go to eradicate transphobia, and to ensure equality and parity in law for trans people.

Conference notes that in international work, as with all our work, we must guard against saying we are addressing LGBT equality, then focussing only on sexual orientation issues. Conference notes that there is more developed documentation of LGB global issues. Conference welcome the work of groups such as Transgender Europe, to map the experiences of trans people. One example is the ILGA-Europe/Transgender Europe map and index on gender identity. These show that some European countries with high scores on sexual orientation equality are lagging behind on their performance on gender identity equality.

Conference therefore instructs the national LGBT committee to:

1.Strengthen partnership working with ILGA (the international lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and intersex association), keeping a clear focus on trans issues;

2.Continue its work with international, regional and local LGBTI human rights activists, especially trans lobbying groups, to raise awareness of violations of trans people’s rights and measures to promote trans equality;

3.Continue to work with the National Executive Council and its international committee to develop and promote solidarity action in support of trans rights, especially in contacts with trade unions in countries where trans rights are under attack.

Conference urges regional LGBT groups to make sure that international work they are involved with addresses both trans and LGB equality.