International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia
Statement of the Spokesman
International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (May 17, 2012)
On May 17 we will celebrate the 7th International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. On this occasion we wish to reaffirm the importance of fighting against violations of human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity and the commitment of France in this struggle.
France deplores that in too many countries, lesbians, gays, bi-sexual (the) s, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) still continue to be victims of harassment, torture, arbitrary arrests, even murder, with impunity. In almost half of the world, homosexuality is punishable by law, sometimes by death.
This situation is not acceptable. All people should enjoy the same protection, without discrimination in respect of human rights as recognized in international documents.
It is our responsibility as well to all States or international organizations, to support the promotion of human rights and the fight for the acceptance of human diversity and the universality of human rights
see also the official website of the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs on Human Rights.
France’s actions in favor of LGBT rights
In Nepal also, France supports LGBT rights both per se and within its regular actions in favor of Human Rights. The Embassy engages regularly with LGBT representatives, has participated in a number of LGBT functions
In more general terms :
The fight against violations of human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity is a priority of France’s policy on human rights.
The 17th May is an opportunity to recall that France is fully mobilized in the fight against stigma and serious violations of human rights suffered by lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people everywhere in the world as evidenced by several of our initiatives.
In December 2008, jointly with the Netherlands, France presented to the UN General Assembly the text of the Declaration on human rights and sexual orientation and gender identity. 68 States are now signatories. We continue to urge all States that have not done so to sign the text, which reaffirms the equal rights for all.
This commitment has continued with the organization of World Congress on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, which took place in Paris in 2009 as part of the Day "IDAHO" May 17.
On this occasion, France announced the creation of a fund to support an international, innovative framework to engage and unite the multiplicity of actors involved in the fight against homophobia and transphobia (public and private). The Fund intends to strengthen support to local initiatives in countries where these subjects are considered too sensitive to be discussed openly in public space, which significantly limits the means of action of civil society on this issue. It is, therefore, a real tool for advocacy with public opinion, a vectors of changes in the medium and long term. A first international call for projects for the decriminalization of homosexuality and freedom of expression in 2011 led to the establishment of three cooperation projects in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.
The first results of these actions supported and implemented through the Fund LGBTI are conducting interviews and documentary audiovisual tools, awareness campaigns on sexual orientation and gender identity. This call for projects has also funded the organization of a film festival LGBTI taken by national and foreign press, to support the creation of partnerships with other local organizations, to promote exchanges on the topic with representatives local authorities (religious leaders, prison staff, etc..) and to identify and support legal cases of violence, deportation or asylum. In addition, the fight for the decriminalization of homosexuality is a priority.
Today, homosexuality is penalized in nearly 80 states, including 7 which provide for the death penalty. This matter is the subject of our efforts, in coordination with our European partners, in countries that still criminalize homosexuality, and we are particularly attentive to the changing situation in the states that tend to tighten their laws to subject.
We also ensure that LGBT people, and human rights activists committed by their sides, freely exercise their rights, especially freedom of expression and association.
A within the European Union, France has participated in developing a "toolbox" adopted by the EU in June 2010, to guide the action of Member States on these issues. This document aims to make available personnel of Union institutions, the capitals of EU Member States, as well as delegations, representations and embassies of the EU, a set of operational tools to use in contacts with third countries and international organizations and civil society to promote and protect the human rights of LGBT people within the Union’s external action.
France also helped organize a side event on the sidelines of the UNGA December 18, 2011 in New York on the theme of violence against young people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity ( "Bullying") and continues to support NGOs applying for consultative status with ECOSOC.
France continues to actively promote this issue in the UN fora. She worked on the statement of the Joint Declaration on the end of violence and violations of human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity of March 22, 2011 and resolution 17/19 on sexual orientation and gender identity to the Council of Human Rights in June 2011. The success of this initiative demonstrates the constant advance of this issue within the UN and among states.
In accordance with resolution 17/19, the High Commissioner for Human Rights has issued a report on laws and practices that discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity which is the first report on the about the United Nations.
France also supported the holding of a panel on historical sexual orientation and gender identity during the 19th session of the Council of Human Rights in March 2012. On this occasion, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon gave unequivocal support to the panel "historic" and he relied on the study published by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human deploring the seriousness of the violations of human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
France wishes also to acknowledge the efforts of determined defenders of human rights and NGOs, whose participation is essential in our struggle together.
Thus, Ambassador for Human Rights, François Zimeray, held a meeting this morning in the presence of guest (s) Maghreb advocates for LGBT people and French associations. This was an opportunity to discuss the realities and prospects of fighting for the rights of persons in the context of the Arab Spring and affirming the support of France to al-Damj, Tunisian Association for Justice and equality and the first formal association working among others for the promotion and defense of LGBT rights and all associations involved in the promotion and protection of these rights.