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LGBTIQ+

  • IASbaba
  • May 27, 2022
  • 0
Indian Polity & Constitution
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In News: International Labour Organisation (ILO) released a document “Inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) persons in the world of work”

Recommendations

  • Report recommended member countries, employers’ organisations and representatives of workers to launch social protection programmes to remove barriers that LGBTIQ+ persons face in society
  • The ILO document said discrimination has an economic cost not just to LGBTIQ+ persons and their families but also to enterprises and national economies.
  • The ILO added that around the world, LGBTIQ+ persons face harassment, violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics.
  • It said a national policy and labour law review will allow governments to assess their country’s work policy environment for LGBTIQ+ persons – This will allow the identification of concrete steps for improving the legal and policy environment, ending discrimination and exclusions, and complying with international instruments
  • The ILO said consultation with LGBTIQ+ communities and social dialogue with employers’ and workers’ organisations are key – This will allow the identification of barriers faced by LGBTIQ+ persons when entering the labour market and accessing government schemes
  • Studies have shown that diversity in the workplace, including LGBTIQ+ persons, is better for business.
  • It signals a creative environment that creates the right conditions for economic growth

Challenges Faced by LGBTIQ+ Community

  • Family: The problem of sexual orientation and gender identity leads to fighting and family disruption.
  • Lack of communication and misunderstanding between parents and their LGBTQ children increases family conflict.
  • Discrimination at Work Place: LGBTQ suffers from the socio-economic inequalities in large part due to discrimination in the workplace.
  • Health Issues: Criminalisation of homosexuality leads to discrimination and results in LGBTQ people getting poor or inadequate access to services within the health system.
  • Drug Abuse: They gradually develop low self-esteem and low self-confidence and become isolated from friends and family.
  • These people mostly get addicted to drugs and alcohol

Status of LGBTIQ+ Rights in India

  • National Legal Services Authority Vs. Union of India (2014): The SC observed that “recognition of transgenders as a third gender is not a social or medical issue, but a human rights issue”.
  • Navtej Singh Johar vs. Union Of India (2018): The SC decriminalised homosexuality by striking off parts of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which were held violative of Fundamental Rights of LGBTQ Community.
  • The SC held that Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees equality before law and this applies to all classes of citizens therby restoring ‘inclusiveness’ of LGBTQ Community.
  • Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019:
  • The Parliament has enacted the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, to prohibit discrimination against Transgender persons
  • Same Sex Marraiges: In Shafin Jahan v. Asokan K.M. and others (2018) case, the SC observed that choice of a partner is a person’s fundamental right and it can be a same-sex partner.
  • However, in February, 2021, the Central Government opposed same-sex marriage in Delhi High Court stating that a marriage in India can be recognised only if it is between a “biological man” and a “biological woman” capable of producing children.

Way Forward

It is time to recognize the rights of LGBTIQ+ community through anti-discrimination law that empowers them to build productive lives and relationships irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation and place the onus to change on state and society and not the individual.

Source: The Hindu

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