Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Human Rights Commission in South Asia for the rights of Sexual minorities

Mrs Jayarathnam posing for a photo with Rose, our first Television Transgender anchor, Rose. She hosts a television show called "Ippadiku Rose" translated as "yours truly Rose"

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Center for Counselling hosted a planning meeting on South Asia Human Rights Commission for the sexual minority groups in these countries.

Brief Notes by Praveen Basaviah about this meeting until we get the official report from Manohar in Bangalore.

LGBTQ is for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer.

Planning Meeting:

Should a South Asian LGBTQ Human Rights Commission(HRC) be created?  If so, why and how?

January 5, 2008

Location: Center for Counselling

1)   Do we need it?

2)   Who should represent on it?

3)   What should be structure, activities?

4)   Follow up discussion?


Original meeting where this idea came up was in Nepal.

There are meetings being held in Delhi, Bangalore this week, too.

One arivani (transgender -TG) says that HRC is needed because straight folks filing complaints to police are listened to and treated fine, but LGBTQ folks aren’t listened to and are mistreated by police.  With the increase in advocacy work out there and sensitization work among police re: TGs, TGs have a bit more confidence/ability to stand up for their rights when police are mistreating them/ignoring them.

Padma: A central body is needed because LGBTQ rights work is, in her observations, taken up adhoc by different orgs or individuals, so it’s sporadic and unorganized.  A central body like an HRC, in a major way, can DOCUMENT human rights violations and serve as a source for such information for others (receptacle of documentation; library of sorts…)

There is a specific way in which a human rights violation report needs to be written.   The movement (and hrc) builds up credibility over time with documented proof.

HRC will balance out the large degree to which lgbtq is primarily associated with hiv/aids. 

The HRC can mobilize resources to work towards RIGHTS.

NGOs are tired and bogged down and need a push/inspiration for specifically RIGHTS work.

A long term goal for the hrc should be thinking about how to fund things like publicity/lawyers/etc and provide resources to the defense of LGBTQ people when something happens to them that violates their rights.

Hrc could also serve as a body that helps properly funnel funds to different orgs/people/cases from different sources that have money but don’t know where or how to give it.

The hrc is regionally/nationally focused; it’s not really for the local/city, state issues.

Proposal to not use “LGBTQ…” in the name of the hrc.  Use something more general

This hrc is specifically for sexual minorities (people), not the general issues of gender and sexuality.

There is a need for hrc because other orgs, like iglhrc, don’t do much documentation. Plus, issues and incidents that are local to India aren’t well understood and given justice when written about or discussed.  A regional/subcontinental body would better understand.

Next steps:

Can Manohar send us minutes from initial Nepal meeting?

The four India committee members haven’t yet decided what the process will be to choose which two people will represent India at the next multi-national planning meeting in Nepal.

Minutes from today’s mtg will be sent out.

Question regarding hrc structure/activities will happen at next meeting and will be an ongoing process.


Thank you Praveen for the notes.

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