Patterns of systematic violence and discrimination directed at Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons because of their real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics (SOGIESC) are widely documented. These abuses include killings, physical attacks, torture, sexual assault, arbitrary detention and imprisonment, and discrimination in a variety of fields, including on the labour market and in health care services.
Collecting information and documenting evidence of human rights violations against LGBTI persons is important to give credibility to advocacy and policy-oriented work. However, it is neither sufficient nor easy. Firstly, data collection and reporting – if and when possible – must be translated into action for change at a number of levels (national, regional, international) and in a number of areas (legislation, policies, societal attitudes and behaviours) where multiple challenges still exist. Secondly, analysis and possible solutions are not simple or mono-dimensional. Indeed, human rights violations based on real or perceived SOGIESC features are often compounded by discrimination on other grounds such as sex, gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, indigeneity, language, age, religion, belief, political or other opinion, disability, health (including HIV status), economic or social status, migration status, family status, or being a human rights defender. Therefore, it is often crucial to take an intersectional approach to SOGIESC advocacy, taking into consideration and addressing that discrimination often occurs due to the combination of multiple grounds of identity.
In this light, and bearing in mind that it is important to acknowledge the context-specific nature of each country, the MOOC provides an overview of human rights standards, mechanisms and practices for the protection of LGBTI persons around the world.
Module 1 focuses on international definitions and legal frameworks concerning LGBTI persons and their rights and related monitoring mechanisms. Theoretical aspects are accompanied by examples of concrete challenges and practices in order to generally frame and give context to the international discourse.
Module 2 is dedicated to specific contexts and challenges in the areas of societal attitudes, equality and non-discrimination, laws and policies (including decriminalisation), specific rights and freedoms. Analysis and examples from different regions provide an overview of the many situations faced by LGBTI persons worldwide.
Module 3 deals with the monitoring in practice of LGBTI rights in terms of specific actions, strategies and practices: reporting, strategic litigation, advocacy strategies, and synergies (between international and regional systems; among governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental actors).