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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…
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Netherlands Court Cites India, Nepal Cases

A Netherlands district court cited supreme court judgments from India and Nepal when it ruled the Dutch legislature should provide a way for citizens to legally identify as neither male nor female if they prefer. The Supreme…
Bhumika Shrestha, a transgender woman in Nepal, holds her citizenship certificate, which listed her as male in 2011. Nepal legally recognized a third gender category beginning in 2007, but it took Shrestha and other activists and transgender citizens unti
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Members of Nepal’s LGBT community were once openly derided as “social pollutants,” but now enjoy social and political rights—including legal recognition of a third gender—that put the country leagues ahead of much of the rest of the world. The past decade…
Marchers in the 2013 Gai Jatra LGBTI pride parade fill the streets of Kathmandu.
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Court Ruling Opens the Way to Marriage Equality

Taiwan’s constitutional court this week paved the way for marriage equality in the country by striking down the legal definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman.” The landmark decision declared this limited…
Supporters hug each other during a rally after Taiwan's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, the first such ruling in Asia, in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2017.
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Third Gender Column on Job Application Form Makes a Difference

More than 600 transgender people applied for civil service jobs in Nepal last year, according to a government report released last week. LGBT rights activists hail the announcement as practical progress toward implementing Nepal’s identity-based legal…
A reveller gets ready to take part in a LGBT pride parade to mark Gaijatra Festival, also known as the festival of cows, in Kathmandu, Nepal August 30, 2015.
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The arrival of a transgender activist from Nepal in Taiwan last Saturday for the 2015 International Lesbian and Gay Association’s Asia conference may seem unremarkable. But it was in fact quite special: The activist, Bhumika Shrestha, is the first Nepali…
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When Nepal's president signed the country’s new constitution on September 20, some minority groups raised black flags in protest; #NotMyConstitution trended on social media. The national charter was imbued with aspirations of inclusion that have long been…
Marchers in the 2013 Gai Jatra LGBTI pride parade fill the streets of Kathmandu.
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Monica Shahi made history today as Nepal’s first citizen to carry a passport that allows its bearer to select a gender other than male or female. This acknowledgement of her gender identity follows years of activism that pushed the legal system to…
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Urgent Action Needed to Uphold Rights, Support HIV Prevention Work

(New York) – The government of Nepal should allow lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) groups to operate freely and end arbitrary arrests of LGBT people, Human Rights Watch said. The government should investigate threats and attacks against LGBT…
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Minister Khadga Bahadur Biswokarma Ministry of Women, Children & Social Welfare Facsimile: +977-1-4241728; +977-1-4241516 Dear Minister, Human Rights Watch is gravely concerned by anti-gay rhetoric and violence targeting people because of their…
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Kidnapping Contradicts Promise ‘Not to Punish Homosexuals’

(New York) - The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, which is now part of the Nepalese government, must stop anti-gay violence by its cadres and renounce anti-gay rhetoric, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to lawmakers today. In the most recent known…
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New Arrests of Transgender People, HIV Workers

(New York) - New arrests of metis (an indigenous term for transgender people) and HIV/AIDS outreach workers in Kathmandu show that a persistent pattern of police violence and abuse has not abated, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has…
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Transgender People Routinely Subjected to Physical and Sexual Abuse

(New York) - A string of police attacks on transgender people reflects the vulnerability of Nepalis in a climate of violence where civil liberties remain restricted, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Nepalese authorities. “Police in Kathmandu…
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The Hon. Kamal Thapa Minister of Home Affairs Ministry of Home Affairs, Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal Cc: Ministry of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs Singha Durbar Kathmandu Nepal Dear Minister: Human Rights Watch is gravely concerned by a…
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Pattern of Police Abuse Highlights Broader Threat to Civil Society

(Geneva) -- Police in Kathmandu attacked a group of transgender people on Wednesday, underscoring the vulnerability of all Nepalese to police abuse since King Gyanendra seized direct power in February and suspended most civil liberties, Human Rights…
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(Geneva) — With a membership that includes governments responsible for crimes against humanity, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights meeting in Geneva next week must take dramatic steps to restore its sinking credibility, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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(New York) -- The Nepalese government should respond to a threatened judicial ban on an organization that defends lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s rights by affirming the freedoms of association and expression, Human Rights Watch said today…
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Letter to the Minister of Home Affairs

The Hon. Purna Bahadur Khadka Minister of Home Affairs Ministry of Home Affairs, Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal Dear Minister: We are writing to express grave concern over the Nepalese Supreme Court’s proposed ban on activities, including advocacy,…