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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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News

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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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

Covid-19 Pandemic Should Not Be Used to Silence Dissent

On June 26, police in Manila arrested at least 20 people at an LGBT Pride event protesting an anti-terrorism bill that threatens rule of law in the Philippines. The police did not explain why they were arresting the protesters, only telling them…
Police arrest protesters during a Pride march in Manila, Philippines, June 26, 2020.
News

Becomes Third European Country to Ban the Practice

Albania’s Order of Psychologists has announced that it will prohibit members from offering “conversion therapy,” or pseudo-therapeutic attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The decision effectively bans…
Participants ride bikes during the Gay Pride Parade in Tirana, Albania, May 13, 2017.
News

LGBT People Ordered to Dance and Kiss on Video

The spread of COVID-19 has given Philippines law enforcement broad discretion to enforce public health measures. When discrimination is added to the mix, that unfettered power can be particularly demeaning and dehumanizing for…
Screenshots of videos showing humiliation of LGBT people amid coronavirus curfew in Pandacaqui, Pampanga province, Philippines, April 5, 2020.
News

‘Drug War’ Killings Continue; Attacks on Activists, Journalists Rise

(New York) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration heightened its repression in 2018, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. The government’s murderous “war on drugs” expanded to cities outside Manila.…
Activists hold a candle light vigil for victims of the extra judicial killings in the drug war of the government in front of a church in Manila on September 16, 2016
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

Lawmakers Should Recognize Equal Marriage Rights for LGBT Couples

The Philippine Supreme Court heard a long-awaited argument on Tuesday that could open the door to same-sex marriage in the overwhelmingly Catholic country. The case, which was filed by a gay lawyer named Jesus Falcis in 2015…
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News

Ordinance Should Prod Passage of National Anti-Discrimination Legislation

The Philippine city of Mandaluyong has approved an ordinance to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination, the latest in a slew of local laws passed across the country. …
Supporters wave rainbow flags while marching during a LGBT Pride parade in metro Manila, Philippines June 25, 2016.
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

Emergency Housing for LGBT Youth in Tirana, Albania

The psychologist at the LGBT youth shelter waited for me in a small side street in the city center of Tirana, Albania’s capital. “No one knows our exact address, we want to avoid arson and havoc,” she told me. She knocked on a…
LGBT Program Advocacy Director Boris Dittrich (2nd from Left) with the psychologist and the social workers from an LGBT youth shelter, STREHA, in Tirana, Albania.
News

University’s LGBT Student Group Provides Support System

  Patrick’s knees were shaking as he marched with his university in the Pride Parade in the Philippine capital, Manila. “It’s a big step for me,” he said. “To accept my sexuality and to come out of the closet.”…
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Summary [Senator and boxing legend] Manny Pacquiao says we’re not human. They should just let us be. – Edgar T., an 18-year-old gay high school student in Manila, February 2017 Schools should be…
News

Discrimination and Lack of Support Undermine Right to Education

(Manila, June 22, 2017) – Students across the Philippines experience bullying and discrimination in school because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. While Philippine law…
A girl covers anti-LGBT messages in rainbow handprints during a Pride rally in Manila on June 27, 2015.
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.