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Arrests Focus Spotlight on Anti-Free Speech Laws

The arrests of three demonstrators in Singapore who were protesting the plight of transgender students highlights the extent of free speech restrictions in the city-state. Authorities arrested the trio on January 26 as they picketed outside…
201801wr_singapore_human_rights A woman wrapped in the rainbow flag is seen at the Pink Dot rally, Singapore's annual gay pride rally, at a park in Singapore July 1, 2017.
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Delhi Child Rights Commission Recommends an End to Risky Surgeries

The child rights agency for India’s capital city this week recommended a ban on medically unnecessary “normalizing” surgeries on children born with intersex variations. This follows the southern state of Tamil Nadu banning such operations in 2019…
The Intersex flag
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Government Increasingly Targeting Rights Groups

(New York) – Amnesty International India announced that it is halting its work in the country after the Indian government froze its bank accounts in an act of reprisal for the organization’s human rights work. Fifteen international human rights…
Amnesty International India headquarters in Bangalore, India.
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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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Keeping a Law on the Books Just to Demonize a Minority is Clearly Wrong

  On March 30, 2020, the Singapore High Court has dismissed three cases seeking to strike down a colonial-era law that makes consensual gay sex a crime. With a highly technical reading of the law, High Court Justice…
Participants at the annual Pink Dot Singapore event, in Singapore on June 28 2014.
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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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New Government Committee Should Include Intersex Perspectives

India’s Tamil Nadu state government has issued an executive order banning medically unnecessary surgeries on children born with intersex variations. “Intersex,” sometimes called “differences of sex development” in medical literature, refers to…
The Intersex flag
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Ensure Law Follows Landmark Supreme Court Ruling

(New York) – A proposed law to protect the rights of transgender people in India falls short of the country’s human rights obligations, Human Rights Watch said. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, introduced in parliament on…
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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Provide Roadmaps for Reform Ahead of Elections

(New York) – Candidates and political parties contesting India’s parliamentary elections, slated for April and May 2019, should commit to strengthening human rights protections, Human Rights Watch said today in an open letter. Human Rights Watch…
Government officers distribute postal ballot papers to a election presiding officer ahead of the country's general elections in Gauhati, India, Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
News
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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Authorities Repress Critical Voices, Independent Media

(New York) – Singapore used broad laws in 2018 to intensify already severe restrictions on free speech and assembly, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. The government appears poised to introduce legislation on “deliberate…
Jolovan Wham participates in a silent protest with eight other activists on an MRT train in Singapore, June 3, 2017
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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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Supreme Court Ruling a Momentous Victory for LGBT People

As a young reporter back in 1991, when I interviewed a senior government official on India’s response to the HIV crisis, I recall him ranting about men who have sex with men for their “perverted” and “criminal” behavior, blaming it all…
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India’s landmark Supreme Court decision that criminalizing consensual same-sex conduct is unconstitutional is a major victory for human rights and the LGBT people’s rights to privacy and non-discrimination in the world’s second most populous…
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Upholds Rights to Privacy, Non-discrimination for LGBT People

(London)—India’s landmark Supreme Court decision that criminalizing consensual same-sex conduct is unconstitutional is a major victory for human rights and the LGBT people’s rights to privacy and non-discrimination in the…
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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.