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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…
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India’s parliament passed a bill to protect transgender rights last week, but the new law is inadequate on several fronts. Trans activists and allied human rights groups have critiqued the various trans rights bills since the first one…
Participants hold placards during a protest demanding an end to what they say is discrimination and violence against the transgender community, in Bengaluru, India October 21, 2016.
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More than two centuries ago Mary Wollstonecraft laid the foundations for feminist thought with a simple premise: lack of equal opportunity diminished individual self-worth and hobbled social progress. In A Vindication of the Rights of…
Indian members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community celebrate the Supreme Court decision to strike down a colonial-era ban on gay sex, in Kolkata on September 6, 2018.
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In a historic ruling, India’s Supreme Court struck down parts of a colonial-era law that criminalised homosexuality. Jayshree Bajoria spoke to Arif Jafar, an LGBT activist who was arrested under section 377 and spent 47 days in prison…
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  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.
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After everything that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people experienced in 2017 — from roundups and torture in Chechnya to antigay witch hunts in Egypt and Indonesia, closure of queer-friendly health facilities in…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
News

For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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In the hit Indian film Kal Ho Na Ho, a housekeeper finds her charge and his male buddy horsing around and — assuming that they are in a relationship — faints with shock. Despite several serious gay-themed movies made in India, mainstream cinema tends to…
Gay rights activists hold placards as they shout slogans during a protest against a verdict by the Supreme Court in New Delhi December 15, 2013.
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Nearly one year after the Supreme Court's landmark decision on transgender people in India, the country still faces problems enforcing the ruling. DW spoke with Jayshree Bajoria about the state of these rights reforms. In April 2014, India's highest court…
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A 26-year-old mobile technician and taxi driver from Aleppo was kept for 23 days in an ice cream factory-turned-detention center, where he was physically and verbally abused. He’d been picked up at a checkpoint by the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front and…
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My last visit to the House of Lords was in 2006. At the time I was still a member of the Dutch parliament and I was invited to be on a panel about Afghanistan. What I remember most of that brief visit to the House of Lords was not the discussion about war…
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The candidates may disagree on some human rights issues, but the next president will face challenges that transcend partisan lines. How might tomorrow's presidential election affect U.S. policy on human rights? The common wisdom is that unlike their sharp…
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Last week, the European court of human rights ruled unanimously that there was no obligation on states to recognise same-sex marriage. At least, not yet. Because hidden within the ruling are two significant findings that make it almost certain that one…
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Sexual Rights and Indian Democracy

Under right-wing and left-wing governments alike, India has prided itself on its status as the world’s largest democracy. Civic freedoms, an independent judiciary, and basic political rights for citizens are part of that promise. But in India and far too…
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Bangalore human rights organizations, including the People’s Union for Civil Liberties-Karnataka (PUCL-K), have extensively documented police harassment and abuse of hijras. In Bangalore, as elsewhere in India, hijras are often unable to obtain identity…
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When talking about Iranian asylum seekers, activists should be careful not to play the Home Office's game Anyone who has spent, as I have, long hours over two years listening to Iranian tales of torture would know just how the controversy over Mehdi…