‘Government must support LGBTQIA+ human rights’

By Our Reporter
Representative image // Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Today, on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), the spotlight falls on the ongoing struggle for LGBTQIA+ rights worldwide. While many nations have made strides in LGBTQIA+ equality, recent years have seen a concerning rollback in rights, coinciding with a broader global regression in democracy.

Dr Alex Edney-Browne, Policy and Government Relations Lead at Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), emphasised the urgency of prioritising LGBTQIA+ rights on the international stage. “Assuming progress on LGBTQIA+ rights is steady is dangerous,” Dr Edney-Browne stated, citing the rise of anti-rights movements and discriminatory legislation in several countries.

ACFID, in its submission to the Australian Government’s LGBTQIA+ Human Rights Engagement Strategy, called for increased funding to support human rights defenders and organizations championing LGBTQIA+ rights. Despite rising threats to LGBTQIA+ rights globally, the Federal Budget released this week showed no increases to the Inclusion and Equality Fund.

Furthermore, ACFID urged the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to prioritize LGBTQIA+ support in all its programs and designs by 2025, extending to partner-led initiatives by 2027.

The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia serves as a reminder of the violence and discrimination faced by LGBTQIA+ communities worldwide. May 17, chosen to commemorate the WHO’s declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1990, stands as a symbol of advocacy and action for LGBTQIA+ rights.

At WorldPride in Sydney in 2023, Minister Wong announced the creation of the Inclusion and Equality Fund and committed to a dedicated LGBTQIA+ Human Rights Engagement Strategy, currently in development and set for release later this year.

In recent years, discriminatory legislation in countries like Uganda, Ghana, and Iraq has targeted LGBTQIA+ individuals, leading to arrests, evictions, and violence. HRAPF, a Ugandan NGO, documented numerous cases of persecution under Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, highlighting the urgent need for international support and solidarity in the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights.

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