Friday, June 14, 2024
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More needed to protect LGBTI community: Sharma

The Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission says more effort needs to be put in place by key stakeholders to promote equality, fairness and respect for the LGBTI community.

Joining the LGBTIQ groups and individuals across the globe in commemorating the 2024 International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), Commission Chair, Pravesh Sharma said the State, community leaders, faith-based organizations, civil society organizations, media and individuals need to prevent and combat abuse and discrimination.

“Respect and love should begin at home, in this spirit, we urge family members to be more accepting and caring towards their loved ones who belong to the LGBTI community.”

Sharma said as we mark IDAHOBIT, the Commission reiterates its call to the Fiji Police to speed up the investigation into the death of a member of the LGBTI community in Lautoka last month.

“Justice must be delivered to her.”

He said although the Constitution safeguards on discrimination based on, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, stipulated under Section 26 (3) (a), members of the LGBTI community continue to be disproportionately impacted because of the deepening economic and social inequalities.

“The LGBTIQ persons are already victims of homophobic violence, hate crimes, sexual
exploitation and discrimination at home, when seeking gainful employment, accessing
housing and healthcare.”

“The LGBTIQ persons, both the young and the elderly, face family rejection, domestic
violence which is not only physical but also psychological, and bullying in their own
homes, schools, workplaces and on social media platforms which lead to depression
making them more vulnerable.”

“The LGBTIQ sex workers are also at the risk of facing abuse and unfair treatment by
their clients and are subjected to human rights violation when in conflict with law.”

“These vulnerabilities are further intensified with them facing discrimination and
violations based on disability, ethnicity, age and social status, which are intersectional
in nature.”

The theme for this year’s celebration is “No one left behind: equality, freedom, and
justice for all” which is significant for the LGBTIQ persons particularly in the context of
the systematic discrimination, abuse and violence based on sexual orientation, gender
identity and expression. The theme also reflects the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development and its Sustainable Development goals: “Leave no one behind”

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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