How the International Community is Fighting Against LGBTQ+ Oppression
by Judy Bokao
The LGBTQ+ community continues to face oppression worldwide, despite the many attempts to grant them fundamental human rights, such as freedom of expression. Being a member of the queer community in many countries means living with discrimination since you cannot dress the way you want or love the person you choose.
The LGBTQ+ community faces many kinds of oppression, ranging from bullying, name-calling, being fired or denied a job, and lack of access to quality healthcare. People from the queer community are also subject to unequal treatment in work places, police stations, and schools, which can be quite damaging to a person’s mental standing. The oppression faced by the members of the LGBTQ+ community can also be life-threatening in situations where they are bullied or beaten up on the streets, or worse — killed.
Below are ways through which the international community helps deal with the oppression of the LGBTQ+ community in America and the world at large.
LGBTQ+ Activists and Advocates
To help overcome oppression, activists have taken up the task of fighting for the rights of the queer community. They have also embarked on forcing the government to change the laws that discriminate against the queer community. The introduction of Pride Month and the International Day against Homophobia are steps formed to forge alliances internationally and promote pride by embracing sexual identity throughout the world. The LGBTQ+ advocates’ efforts are paying off as many countries are now recognizing homophobic crimes as a type of hate crime and the legalization of same-sex marriage in countries such as the U.S., Canada, Malta, South Africa, and Ireland.
Amnesty International fights against the oppression of the LGBTQ+ community around the world by advising the government and other world leaders on ways to improve the laws and protect the rights of people — regardless of their sexual or gender identity.
For instance, after a global amnesty campaign, Taiwan became the first country in all of Asia to recognize same-sex marriage after the highest court ruled against banning same-sex marriage, terming it unconstitutional. Amnesty has also contributed to the introduction of new laws that allow people to have their gender legally recognized by the government in countries such as Greece, Denmark, and Norway.
An increase in violent acts against members of the queer community worldwide has prompted the U.N. to call for countries to end violence and oppression of LGBTQ+ people. According to the U.N., every person has a right to live, free from violence, stigma, and discrimination.
International human rights law encourages respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for everyone, irrespective of their sexual orientation. For instance, in 2010, on Human Rights Day, the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave a speech in New York and said that people should stand up for the rights of everyone, especially those who are incarcerated because of their sexual orientation. The following year, Mr. Ban identified homophobic bullying as a form of violence that endangers the human rights of LGBTQ+ individuals. Thus, he encouraged the United Nations member countries to protect their people from oppression based on their sexual and gender identity.
The U.N. calls member countries to:
- Abolish laws that ban homosexuality
- Enact anti-discrimination laws
- Come up with age for consensual sexual conduct
- Investigate all killings or serious offenses against sexual or gender identity
- Provide asylum to LGBTQ+ people fleeing places where their freedom is threatened.
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch investigates and reports on violent acts and abuses happening all over the world. In fighting against the oppression of the LGBTQ+ community, the organization documents a series of oppression suffered by members of the queer community. It also partners with other international organizations — such as the U.N. — to lobby for policy, structural, and political support for LGBTQ+ issues.
The international community involved in the fight against the oppression of the LGBTQ+ community has significantly helped in reducing the oppression of the queer community. This is because they aim to fight and promote their rights.
About the Author:
Judy Bokao is 20 years old and was born in Ethiopia but relocated to Nairobi two years ago. She is passionate about everyone having equal rights and is also big on conservation and speaking up for our planet. Judy loves reading and photography and is just a free-spirited young lady trying to grow into a woman her mom can be proud of.