Urgency Required: Gay and Lesbian Rights are Human Rights

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This book was conceived in response to the 2008 celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Despite this Declaration, which was adopted in 1948, sexual minorities around the world are routinely subjected to flagrant human rights violations (particularly by governments) that range from subtle discrimination to imprisonment, torture, the death penalty and murder.  There are still countries where gays and lesbians are not considered human and human rights are not, therefore, considered applicable. Read the full introduction.

The book Urgency Required focuses on urgent issues of gay and lesbian liberation, taking a historical perspective and reflecting worldwide geographic diversity.  Employing the term ‘LGBT-persons’, the acronym used for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, it explores concepts and strategies for taking steps towards decriminalization and equal rights and treatment regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

In 2009 homophobia appears to be the last accepted prejudice, where racism is rejected, anti-Semitism is condemned, and the oppression of women has lost its legitimacy.

From subtle discrimination to imprisonment, torture, the death penalty and murder: human rights violations against sexual minorities are carried out on a daily basis around the world, not least by governments, in breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, promulgated since 1948.  In some eighty countries, gays and lesbians are still regarded as criminals, sometimes awaiting life imprisonment or the death penalty. Not even recognized as human beings, they can be denied rights covered by the whole range of human rights legislation.

Urgency Required focuses on urgent issues of gay and lesbian liberation, taking a historical perspective and reflecting worldwide geographic diversity.
Employing the term ‘LGBT-persons’, the acronym used for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, it explores concepts and strategies for taking steps towards decriminalization and equal rights and treatment regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. One such strategy is the innovative use of the internet to connect the LGBT community in Africa.

In Urgency Required attention is paid to the Yogyakarta Principles (2006), a framework of internationally recognised human rights, as an important guide
for moving towards decriminalization and equal treatment. Other strategies developed by gay and lesbian organisations from all continents of the globe
are presented as well. In addition, this book reveals that the LGBT movement is expanding and gaining visibility all over the world, even, against all odds, in Africa and Eastern Europe. Colourful autobiographical accounts by LGBT activists add a personal urgency to the book’s moving and persuasive contents.

You can download the whole publication and separate chapters on this website. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Netherlands License. Which means that they encourage you to copy, distribute and transmit the work when attributed to for non-commercial purposes.

For more details see the the Creative Commons website.

You can also order a copy of the book (soft cover copy). This will cost 15 euros excluding postage. If you are interested in odering a book, please go to the webshop (click "bestellen" under the book).  For more information, please send an email at info@hivos.nl.

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