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Government Offers Compensation for Unwanted Surgeries

The Dutch government has apologized to transgender people for previously mandating surgeries, including sterilization, as a prerequisite for legal gender recognition. During a Cabinet meeting this week, government officials also announced plans to…
The Dutch flag flies at the parliament in The Hague, Netherlands, March 16, 2017.
News

Rights Perspectives on Laws Assigning Gender

People whose identities do not fit into a rigid female/male gender binary have, in many countries, been on a years-long quest to obtain official documents that reflect their identities by using a non-binary “X” marker in lieu of the typical “F” or “M…
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Rights Perspectives on Laws Assigning Gender

Dana Zzymm, an intersex and nonbinary US citizen, has been on a years-long quest to obtain a passport that reflects their identity by using a non-binary “X” marker in lieu of the typical “F” or “M.” They sued to compel the US State…
201911US_lgbt_rights
News

Move Raises Questions of When Gender Markers Are Necessary

The Dutch government will no longer include gender markers on national identification documents (IDs) in the next five years, a move that balances the potential harms – such as harassment, discrimination, and violence – that requiring people to…
The Dutch flag flies at the parliament in The Hague, Netherlands, March 16, 2017.
News
  In January, a colleague of mine at Human Rights Watch predicted that 2018 would be the “year of the courts” for LGBT people’s rights. Seven months into the year, courts around the world have indeed come down with important rulings that…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
News

Ruling Hailed as Major Victory by Intersex and Transgender Activists

A Dutch court has found that the exclusive option of ‘male’ or ‘female’ on official documents -  including birth certificates - is too restrictive and should be revised, a ruling being praised by intersex and transgender activists. …
Dutch court: A 'green light' is needed for a gender neutral option in official documents.
News

Maladministration in Nigerian’s July 2016 Execution

The official Ombudsman of Indonesia has accused both the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Supreme Court of “maladministration” in denying a Nigerian citizen, executed for drug trafficking in July 2016, his legal rights. …
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News

Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

We welcome the first report of the Independent Expert on SOGI-related violence and discrimination. We recognize that some States opposed creation of the mandate, but are encouraged that it was reaffirmed by the General Assembly with support from all UN…
Delegates arrive for the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2017.
News

Two Men Injured in Latest Attack

A gay couple was walking home in a provincial town, holding hands. They encountered a group of youths who started shouting homophobic slurs, then beat up the two men. One man was hit with a bolt cutter in the face and lost four teeth. Both received blows…
A rainbow over a typical Dutch shopping street in Amsterdam.
News
Michel Togué, a lawyer in the African country of Cameroon, has received death threats for defending lesbians and gays. This one, like the others, came anonymously  “We know that your wife is now shopping in the mall. We know your children are…
Boris Dittrich presents Alice Nkom and Michel Togue with prestigious Dutch Geuzenpenning Award, March 13, 2017.
News

Encourages Widespread Extortion, Violence

(Banjul) – Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2013 (SSMPA) has made a bad situation much worse for Nigeria’s beleaguered lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The law has…
A gay man in Bariga, a neighborhood in Lagos, Nigeria, who said he hides his identity from his friends and family.
Report
Summary Basically, because of this law [SSMPA] the police treat people in any way that they please. They torture, force people to confess, and when they hear about a gathering of men, they just head over to make arrests. …
News

As activists push for change in the notoriously homophobic region, Aruba takes a big step in the right direction.

A decade ago, I was confronted with a massive display of homophobia. At the time I was a member of the Dutch parliament visiting the island of Aruba, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. I was with members of parliament from the…
News

The eyes of the world are on Australia as politicians consider whether to support marriage equality

Next week, a marriage equality bill is likely to be introduced in the Australian Parliament. It will no doubt produce the same kind of intense discussions and soul searching as in the 18 other countries that have passed these laws.   …
Peter Lemke, Frank Wittebrood, Ton Jansen, Louis Rogmans, Helene Faasen, Anne-Marie Thus, Dolf Pasker and Geert Kasteel cut the cake after their wedding ceremony in the town hall of Amsterdam on April 1, 2001.
News
Nigeria’s lively civil society is not known for consensus. So it is striking that every organization, interviewed by Human Rights Watch seems to agree on this: Outgoing president Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act into law in…
News
For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people the law is a paradox. The law can operate as an instrument of repression and control, but also as a tool for resistance and liberation. We find fragments of our collective histories in court records…
News
”The state should stay out of my underwear. Why should I let my healthy body be operated upon, only because the law requires me to do so?” This was one of the responses to Human Rights Watch when we researched human rights violations of transgender people…