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Police, Judicial Officers Should End Arbitrary Arrests, Torture of LGBT People

(Colombo) – Sri Lankan authorities have subjected at least seven people to forced physical examinations since 2017 in an attempt to provide proof of homosexual conduct, Human Rights Watch and EQUAL GROUND said today. The exams, which include forced…
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Editor's Note: On September 6, in a unanimous verdict, the Supreme Court decriminalised same-sex relations, through the repeal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Chief justice Misra described Section 377 as “irrational, indefensible and manifestly…
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Summary Every day I fear for my safety living in this country because of my sexual orientation. I am alive but if anyone ever find out and wanted to find out, they can kill me …I am an easy target for anything. —Peter, Dominica,…
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Repeal Colonial-Era Laws

(Bridgetown, Barbados, March 21, 2018) – Discriminatory laws in Eastern Caribbean countries make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people targets for discrimination, violence and abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
Jason (pseudonym), a 40-year-old gay man from Barbados.
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In November 2015, I sat in a small circle of plastic chairs outside a rustic hotel in Sri Lanka’s coastal town of Ambalangoda. Against a backdrop of fruit trees and waves lapping the shore I listened to horrific stories from six gay, bisexual, and…
Sashini, a transgender woman in Colombo, has formally petitioned the National Human Rights Commission to urge the government to recognize her as female by issuing her official documents that reflect her livedgender. © 2016 Samantha
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Geneva Resolution Should Be Implemented Promptly and Transparently

(New York) – Sri Lanka’s government should ensure greater transparency and progress in meeting its undertakings to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch said in its 2017 World Report. The president and other senior officials have…
Women conduct a silent protest to commemorate the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances in Colombo, August 30, 2016.
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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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Summary All five fingers are not the same…. People should be respected for who they are. —Thehan, 43-year-old gay man, Colombo, November 2015 In Sri Lanka, there are two frames: man and woman. Society thinks that if you’re born as a man,…
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Transgender people and others who don’t conform to social expectations about gender face discrimination and abuse in Sri Lanka, including arbitrary detention, mistreatment, and discrimination accessing employment, housing, and health care. These abuses…
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Abolish Anti-LGBTI Laws, Establish Gender Recognition Policy

(New York) – Transgender people and others who do not conform to social expectations about gender face discrimination and abuse in Sri Lanka, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 63-page report, “‘All Five Fingers Are Not the Same…
Sashini, a transgender woman in Colombo, has formally petitioned the National Human Rights Commission to urge the government to recognize her as female by issuing her official documents that reflect her livedgender. © 2016 Samantha
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Thanks to a new healthcare law voted in by Norway’s Parliament yesterday, the country’s transgender people will be able to self-declare their appropriate legal gender. In the past, they needed to undergo compulsory psychiatric evaluations, diagnoses, and…
A general view inside the Norwegian parliament in Oslo August 1, 2011.
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2013 brought many grim setbacks, yet there were still some important signs of progress

With the slaughter of civilians in Syria still horribly unrestrained, it is easy to be discouraged about human rights. There is, of course, every reason for outrage about Syria, and about the international community's narrow focus on peace talks, unlikely…
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Government Should Prosecute Violence, Prohibit Discrimination

(New York) - The killing of Ebru Soykan, a prominent transgender human rights activist, on March 10, 2009, shows a continuing climate of violence based on gender identity that authorities should urgently take steps to combat, Human Rights Watch said today…
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Human Rights Watch Highlights Abuses in Pakistan, Kenya, China, Somalia

The established democracies are accepting flawed and unfair elections for political expediency, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2008. By allowing autocrats to pose as democrats, without demanding they uphold the civil and…