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Tens of thousands of workers trapped in highly abusive conditions

Lebanon’s restrictive and exploitative kafala (sponsorship) system traps tens of thousands of migrant domestic workers in highly abusive conditions amounting, at worst, to modern slavery. The law fails to protect the workers, and the establishment…
Protestors holding banners calling for the abolishment of Lebanon's controversial kafala sponsorship system.
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As the Catholic Church continues to make more inclusive comments about LGBTQ+ rights, the Church's leadership in Ghana supports a violent and repressive draft law targeting LGBTQ+ people.

Pope Francis has repeatedly made news this fall, calling for a Catholic Church that is more welcoming toward LGBTQ+ people. In October, a newly released documentary on the Pope’s life aired earlier comments in support of same-sex civil…
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As of early November, this year is the deadliest on record for transgender people in the United States, with at least 45 people killed. But their deaths are only the tip of the iceberg. Many other transgender people are subjected to violence…
Participants in the National Trans Visibility March in downtown Orlando, Florida on October 9, 2021. © 2021 Sipa USA via AP
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By reforming its own system, Egypt can influence positive changes in other countries in the region and lead the way for clear and accessible legal gender recognition mechanisms.

August 26 should have been a day of celebration for Ezz Eldin, a 26-year-old transgender man, but it ended in tragedy. He bled to death after he was prematurely discharged following a gender-affirmation surgery in an underground clinic…
The transgender pride flag.
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A parent’s desire to protect their child from harm is a universally shared emotion. Whether you are raising your children in the suburbs of Perth or in the Gaza Strip, every parent has that instinct embedded deep in their bones. Working as a…
Students call for urgent climate action during the school strike for climate in Perth, Australia.
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The ostensible assault on LGBT+ rights in Hungary, Poland and Russia has a very big target—anyone who signs up to universal norms.

Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, used the visit by the pope to Budapest last month to advance his populist agenda. He said he had been encouraged by his meeting with Frances to advance ‘family values’. Indeed, Orbán claimed to have…
An activist holding the EU flag during a protest in Warsaw against “LGBT ideology free zones”. ©2021 Attila Husejnow / SOPA Images/Sipa USA
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Lee Bo-reum found school almost intolerable. As a young woman, she was outed to her peers as a lesbian, and was ostracized and bullied by her classmates for her sexual orientation. As the mistreatment persisted, she eventually became depressed and…
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During Pride month in June, LGBT rights once again became a flashpoint in Europe, where the rights of LGBT people have become a wedge issue, deployed for political effect. This simmering conflict is coming to a head between Hungary and Poland and the…
Demonstrators wrapped in LGBT and European Union flags are seen on August 30, 2020 in Warsaw, Poland. © 2020 Aleksander Kalka/NurPhoto via AP
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Russia, Nigeria, Uganda and Hungary have all passed odious laws in recent years that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Ghana’s proposed legislation takes bad parts from all of these and adds some.

Sometimes the human capacity for cruelty takes my breath away. A recently proposed bill on “sexual rights” and “family values” in Ghana is a case study in extreme cruelty. Ghanaian MPs are considering legislation that is so onerous it beggars…
A young lesbian woman at an LGBT community center in Accra, Ghana.
News

Digital Targeting of LGBT People by Middle East/North Africa Governments

Sarah Hegazy, an Egyptian queer feminist, raised a rainbow flag at a concert in Cairo. Rania Amdouni, a Tunisian queer activist, protested deteriorating economic conditions and police brutality in Tunis. Mohamad al-Bokari, a Yemeni blogger in Saudi…
Sarah Hegazy, Egyptian LGBTQ activist, photographed by a friend who wished to remain anonymous, at a Mashrou’ Leila concert in Cairo in 2017 © 2020 anonymous.
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With the conclusion this summer of both UEFA Euro 2020 and CONMEBOL Copa America, qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup, to be held in Qatar during November-December 2022, are set to resume next month. To a greater extent than previous tournaments…
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When I met a former independent Lebanese parliament member, she asked me, “How can we mobilize the LGBT vote in Lebanon?” She wanted to understand why the Lebanese “LGBT community” had not voted as a block in the 2018 parliamentary elections to oppose…
LGBT activists in Beirut, Lebanon shout slogans and hold up a rainbow flag as they march to demand equal rights in a country gripped by economic and financial crisis, June 27, 2020.
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An Interview with Pau González of Hombres Trans Panamá

I. Introduction On April 1, 2020, the government of Panama introduced a gender-based lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This meant that women and men were only allowed to do essential shopping on alternate days. The country’s Health…
Pau González. © Alexandra Gil
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In just the past six months, more than 110 bills have been introduced in state legislatures attempting to roll back transgender rights, most of them targeting transgender youth. At the same time, legislative efforts to actively protect the…
Protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on Oct. 8, 2019. 
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On the campaign trail and during his first three months in office, President Biden promised a US return to a multilateral foreign policy that supports human rights. That is an important vision for the Middle East, a region often destabilized…
President Joe Biden speaks about foreign policy, at the State Department in Washington, February 4, 2021. 
News
  As some state lawmakers search for new battles in the culture war, they have introduced bills to exclude transgender children from playing sports with their classmates. Lawmakers in North Dakota should reject these cynical attempts – and…
Protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on Oct. 8, 2019. 
News

Forcing Parental Involvement in Abortion Violates Rights

A law in the US state of Illinois that forces people under 18 to involve an adult family member in their abortion decision is failing some of the state’s young people and violating their human rights. In a new joint report with the American Civil…
An illustration of scales imposed over a woman's torso
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The state of Georgia and the city of Atlanta have always had global sports ambitions. From the time the country’s first NCAA D1 football stadium was built there in 1913, to the 1996 Summer Olympics and three Super Bowls, Atlanta has sought to be an…
Transgender and non-binary individuals and their allies stroll through Atlanta’s Midtown district during Pride’s Transgender Rights March on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019.
News
It’s impossible to evaluate what the year 2020 looked like from the perspective of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s rights without recognizing how Covid-19 put a spanner in the works and made for an especially tumultuous year, including…
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