LGBTQI Refugees on this 70th Year of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations.

It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Preamble

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, therefore, The General Assembly, Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

ARTICLE 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. READ THE REST.... Download PDF

Melanie Nathan, African Human Rights Coalition: Today I ask that we visit these articles I have written, linked below, about LGBTQI refugees in Africa seeking their freedom to be who they are, freedom to express their natural born sexuality and gender identity, without criminality and judgment. Have they been treated with the same dignity that every human being deserves? We fail them - all of us - wherever we are - whoever we are - even with our conscience and spirit of so called brotherhood, we are clearly not doing enough.

Here are the Articles:

WHERE IS THE DIGNITY?

For LGBTI People Kakuma Camp is a Desperate Nightmare

"The conditions are unsanitary, dangerous and attacks as well as the threat of attack by local Turkana people and Sudanese refugees is a constant, as homosexuality continues to be seen as an abomination and a curse on the Camp. The police are ineffective and just like in their home countries, LGBTI people experience extortion and abuse at the hands of police.

The LGBTI community feels let down by UNHCR. Unfortunately UNHCR faces many challenges including the lack of funds, an uphill battle against the homophobia of the host country and heterosexual refugees, and because of their dependency on Governments such as the United States, cannot guarantee resettlement to everyone.

Indeed since the Trump administration took over and reduced its refugee numbers, hindered some travel with Executive Orders and in general created an adverse atmosphere for LGBTQI people, things seem to have worsened.

The wait is excruciating – as one lesbian refugee who made it to Oakland, California told me: “I lost my soul in Kakuma.” READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Death in UNHCR Kakuma Camp and Conditions Impacting LGBTI Refugees
Refugees are supposed to be protected by UNHCR and the host country. While Kakuma ought to be a safe haven, a variety of venomous spiders, snakes, and scorpions, which together with deadly outbreaks of malaria and cholera/ typhoid have posed grave challenges to the refugees, the host Turkana community and personnel working for the various humanitarian agencies operating in the region. For LGBTI refugees added to the stress engendered by the harsh environment is the anxiety caused by the heterosexual refugee population, who despise their presence, as well as the cruel and harsh treatment of gays by the local Turkana authorities. At this time many refugees in Kenya are expressing frustration with slow progress and poor communications between refugees and UNHCR. LGBTQI refugees are complaining that it is taking 6 months and sometimes longer between appointments, which are often cancelled and postponed for many more months ahead, with little to no explanation. We continue to receive reports of poor protection for the security of LGBT refugees in the camp, who are subject to the threats of homophobia at the hands of fellow refugees and authorities alike. In the case of LGBTQI people, extreme stress further exacerbates health related issues. READ MORE

UNHCR Chief’s Call for Solidarity with Displaced LGBTI and Refugees is Not enough

Posted on May 20, 2018 by Melanie Nathan

Filippo Grandi stresses the need to support those forced to flee because of their sexual orientation and gender identity | However, the UNHCR office in Uganda has refused to help L:GBTI Refugees! The Chief of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, called for solidarity with LGBTI people who are forced to flee … More

Transgender in Kakuma: We are dying help us!

Posted on March 31, 2018 by Melanie Nathan

“We in a miserable situation dying, having nothing to eat and no where to sleep. We are dying help us dear madam.” I am Melanie Nathan and I direct The African Human Rights Coalition. This is what I have to report on this transgender day of visibility: I have been in direct contact with each of … More

Transgender Refugees under UNHCR Protection Attacked at Kenyan Camp, One in Coma

Posted on March 30, 2018 by Melanie Nathan

“This kind of life has had many people dead inside, alive only on the outside.” A lesbian refugee who was resettled in the U.S.A. earlier in the year. A group of Transgender people from Uganda’s LGBTI refugee community in Kakuma Camp, Kenya, have been reliving the horror that they thought they had escaped when leaving … More

Ugandan LGBTI Refugees Under UNHCR to Walk Out with Nowhere to Go

Posted on September 15, 2017 by Melanie Nathan

There is a large group of Ugandan LGBTI refugees who are in Kakuma Camp, in Kenya. These refugees have been fleeing Uganda’s anti-homosexuality climate, which was heightened by the passage of the now defunct Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014, otherwise known as “The Kill the Gays Bill. ” Some have been there for several years in … More

© 2015 African Human Rights Coalition

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