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For the development of this database, Kaleidoscope Trust commissioned a Consultant to ascertain CEDAW Committee’s approach towards the human rights of LBTI persons in State parties from the Commonwealth.

To achieve this, the Consultant reviewed Concluding Observations, List of Issues (LoI), civil society submissions and state reports of 54 states of the Commonwealth, region-wise: Asia (8), Pacific (11), Americas (13), Africa (19) and Europe (3). The scope of this study covers 2010-onwards. The analysis captured LBTI-inclusive or rights-affirming observations and questions in LoI to State parties by the Committee, as well as other observations that may be applied to LBTI constituencies. A number of key issues, such as access to justice, right to health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, HIV/AIDS and abortion, conflation of sex work and trafficking, and gender-based violence were also noted as significant observations to State parties by the Committee in this analysis. The Consultant also obtained written submissions from civil society activists from Mauritius, Singapore, and Barbados on their experience engaging with CEDAW on SOGIESC-related issues.

To analyse the CEDAW Committee’s approach towards LBTI rights, we drew up a gradient, categorising countries according to the CEDAW Committee’s SOGIESC-focused observations towards each country. The gradient distinguishes states into the following groups:

  • NO INFORMATION Countries that have not attended/participated in a session after 2010.
  • NONE: No recognition of LBTI rights Countries where CEDAW Committee’s approach has been to provide rights-affirming recommendations that do not contain SOGIESC elements or mention LBTI constituencies.
  • SOME: Rights affirming reading for LBTI people Countries where CEDAW Committee’s approach has been to provide LBTI rights-affirming recommendations that contain SOGIESC elements. This recognition may be basic or developed but works to include both negative (removal of discrimination and barriers to access) as well as positive rights such as health, justice and gender-based violence. This may include either one or more of the LBTI constituencies or may refer to them as a cluster of disadvantaged people. Intersex people may or may not be mentioned.
  • COMPLETE: Complete endorsement of LBTI rights Countries where CEDAW Committee’s approach has been to provide a complex and refined recognition of LBTI constituencies or SOGIESC elements. These may include a completely separate section for LBTI people, all LBTI constituencies are mentioned; contains context-based positive rights (economic, social, civil and political, along with bodily autonomy) and recommendations include mechanisms to actualise these rights.

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