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Global LGBT rights

Published Monday, October 23, 2017

A debate on ‘Global LGBT rights’ has been scheduled for Thursday 26 October 2017 in the Main Chamber. The debate has been nominated by the Backbench Business Committee after a representation from Nick Herbert and Crispin Blunt.

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Human rights of many LGBT people across the globe are being abused, for instance in Egypt, Azerbaijan and Chechnya. Arrests, imprisonment and mistreatment are common examples, and discrimination is even more widespread.

LGBT rights are not fully protected in all the British Overseas Territories. Homosexual acts in private between consenting adults were decriminalised under the United Kingdom's Caribbean Territories (Criminal Law) Order 2000. This illustrates that in exceptional circumstances the UK is prepared to impose social reform on the Overseas Territories. However, this has not ended all discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the Territories, in particular Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

In 2010 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office published guidance to UK missions on promoting the human rights of LGBT people in their host country, under the FCO Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights programme. The Government also produces annually a Human Rights Report which includes as one of its themes LGBT rights. The latest report states:

The UK is committed to protecting and promoting the rights of LGB&T people and to supporting the legal, cultural and social change required to make equality a reality for LGB&T people the world over.

[…] We continue to urge all countries to decriminalise consensual same-sex relations and put in place legislation that protects LGB&T people from discrimination - including in the workplace and in the provision of goods and services.

Through our Embassies and High Commissions we monitor and raise human rights concerns around the world. LGB&T equality remains a sensitive subject for many countries and much of this diplomatic lobbying is carried out behind closed doors and is not reported on.

Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0196

Authors: Timothy Robinson; Arabella Lang

Topics: Africa, Asia, Europe, Human rights, Middle East

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