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The Sustainable Development Goals are on a mission to “leave no one behind.” But that will not be possible without the inclusion of one of the most historically marginalized and abused communities – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people.
That’s why since 1990, OutRight Action International has been advocating for the rights and protection of LGBTIQ people around the world, from grassroots civil society to the United Nations.
“Everywhere in the world, LGBTIQ people continue to be denied human rights. OutRight wants to change that,” says Neela Ghoshal, OutRight’s Senior Director of Law, Policy and Research. And over the last 30 years, they have facilitated many victories – huge and incremental – for LGBTIQ people.
Founded in 1990 by Julie Dorf, OutRight – which was then called the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) – was initially focused primarily on Russia. They advocated for ending the psychiatric hospitalization of LGBTIQ people, access to HIV prevention and treatment and the decriminalization of same-sex relations, which was achieved three years later.
But the geographic focus on Russia didn’t last long. In 1993, they won the first sexual orientation asylum case in the U.S. for a Brazilian man, after presenting documentation showing that more than 1,200 LGBT people had been murdered in Brazil over a decade. And they persuaded the U.S. State Department to include the persecution of LGBT people in its annual country reports on human rights.
Two years later, they were a “very active participant,” says Ghoshal, in the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, where they ensured that sexual rights were included in official discussions. Ghoshal says it was a “definitive moment in the defining of a global LGBT movement.”
Read the full article about OutRight International by Joanne Lu at Global Washington.