UN HRC 26: Statement on Extreme Poverty and Violence against Women

UN HRC

Canadian HIV/Aids Network 

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, and the Special Rapporeur on Violence against Women 

Delivered by Ani Zonneveld

Video of the statement runs from 2:24:00. Text is below.

Mr President

This statement is also made on behalf of Micro Rainbow, an organisation that aims to address the issue of poverty of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people across the world.

We would like to congratulate the Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights for highlighting the need to tackle gender and multiple forms of discrimination in order to achieve equality and sustainable poverty reduction.

We also strongly support her recommendation to the government of Mozambique to revise its Constitution and the Penal Code in order to prohibit all forms of discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and develop effective mechanisms to provide access to justice and remedies in cases of violation of the rights of LGBTI people.

We would like to emphasize that LGBTI people are vulnerable to poverty situations in many parts of the world because of the multiple forms of discrimination they face, including on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or intersex status.

Such forms of discrimination take place in the access to education, health, work, public services and social programmes, among others, and such populations are deeply affected by disproportionate income distribution and socioeconomic inequalities.

Moreover, LGBTI people have fewer opportunities for employment and are obstructed from overcoming poverty and improving their enjoyment of rights.

We also call on States to take immediate steps to ensure that LGBTI people are included in their poverty reduction strategies. States should also increase their access to formal education, quality health services, equal employment opportunities, decent treatment at work, full social benefits and guarantee other means for LGBTI people to step out of poverty.

Finally, we call on the new Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Mr. Philip Alston, to ensure that LGBTI people are systematically included in its future reports and country missions.

Mr. President,

We would like to thank the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women for asserting in her report that violence against women intersects with other factors, such as sexual orientation and gender identity.

We echo her concern that in India, women in same-sex relationships and transgender women face violence and exclusion. We thank her for her recommendations to the government of India to amend the criminal law in order to expand the scope of protection to include lesbian, transgender and intersex women, and to repeal section 377 of the penal code which criminalizes consensual same-sex behavior.

Thank you Mr President.