viernes, 16 de marzo de 2012

Alta Comisionada presenta informe innovador sobre la violencia y discriminación por razones de orientación sexual

La Alta Comisionada de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, Navi Pillay, hoy presentó un innovador informe sobre la violencia y discriminación por razones de orientación sexual al Panel sobre la eliminación de la violencia y discriminación contra individuos por razones de su orientación sexual o identidad de género, en la sesión No. 19 del Consejo de Derechos Humanos. Lea el informe de la Alta Comisionada Lea la declaración de la Alta Comisionada al presentar su informe Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to the Panel on ending violence and discrimination against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity at the Human Rights Council 19th Session Geneva, 7 March 2012 Excellencies, Distinguished representatives, Dear colleagues, I am pleased to present my study on discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. In doing so, I am conscious of the divergent view both within and outside the Council on the rights of individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity. However, I am certain that none among you will be willing to tolerate serious, systematic violations of human rights against them. The Secretary-General says he didn’t grow up talking about these issues. The same may be true for a number of us here today. Like the Secretary-General, we are in the process of educating ourselves. But it is time to acknowledge that, while we have been talking of other things, terrible violence and discrimination has been perpetrated against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. This Council stood up for the rights of all when, last June, States from all regions joined together to adopt resolution 17/19 expressing “grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.” By the same resolution, the Council requested me to prepare a study “to document discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, in all regions of the world”, and to examine “how international human rights law can be used to end violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” That study, prepared by my Office, is before you today. The study starts by recalling the principles of universality, equality and non-discrimination, and setting out the applicable international standards and the obligations of States under international human rights law. It then describes some forms of violence including killings, rape, torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, as well as provisions for asylum for those fleeing persecution on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. The study considers discriminatory laws particularly with regard to three areas: laws criminalizing same-sex sexual relations between consenting adults, application of the death penalty, and arbitrary arrest and detention. It goes on to describe some discriminatory practices in areas such as employment; health care and education as well as restrictions on freedom of expression, association and assembly; discriminatory practices in the family and community; and the denial of recognition of relationships and related access to State and other benefits. The study also refers to some of the emerging responses recorded at a national level, and offers some conclusions and recommendations. With regard to its method, the study draws on almost two decades worth of jurisprudence and documented material gathered by United Nations human rights treaty bodies and special rapporteurs. It also integrates findings of regional organizations and data from some national authorities and NGOs. What emerges from all of the material we gathered is a pattern—a clear pattern of targeted violence and discrimination directed at people because they are, or are perceived to be LGBT. It is a pattern too-long overlooked by many States, and one that this Council has a duty to address. Let me touch now, briefly, on the three main areas of focus of our study, starting with violence. The first point to note is that violence against LGBT persons takes place in all regions. Commonly-reported incidents include: targeted killings, violent assaults, and acts of torture, including sexual violence. Official statistics are scarce. Many States lack systems for recording and reporting hate crimes against LGBT people. Others may have systems in place but police officers lack the appropriate training to deal with victims and recognize and properly record the motive for these attacks. We also know that in many cases the victims are reluctant to come forward to report incidents because of lack of trust in law enforcement. But wherever we have figures, they consistently show startlingly high levels of violence and brutality. This is corroborated by reports of many hundreds of individual incidents brought to the attention of special procedures. We have reports of gay men attacked by assailants shouting homophobic insults, left for dead in the street. Lesbians subjected to gang rape, sometimes characterized as so-called “corrective rape”. Transgender persons sexually assaulted and stoned to death, their bodies so disfigured as to be rendered virtually unrecognizable. And we have information on abuse carried out in police and prison cells – including cases of a lesbian couple beaten by police officers and sexually assaulted, and a transgender woman, placed in an all-male prison and raped more than 100 times, sometimes with the complicity of prison officials. When such incidents are targeted, when they are part of a systematic pattern of violence, as they are in this context, then they constitute a grave human rights challenge to which this Council has a responsibility to respond. In accordance with resolution 17/19, we also, in our study, address discriminatory laws. An immediate area of concern is laws that criminalize individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. At least 76 countries retain laws that either explicitly criminalize same-sex relations between consenting adults, or contain vague prohibitions that are applied in a discriminatory way to prosecute LGBT people. These laws are an anachronism, in many cases a relic of colonial rule. As the Human Rights Committee has confirmed repeatedly, they breach international human rights law, violating rights to privacy and to freedom from discrimination. They also cause enormous, unnecessary suffering, reinforce stigma, fuel violence, and undermine efforts to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS. The study also documents a range of discriminatory practices that affect the ability of individuals to enjoy their human rights in their everyday lives. In the workplace, for example, where employers may fire or refuse to hire or promote someone simply because they are gay or lesbian, and where employee benefits may be subject to discriminatory limitations. In schools, where children as young as eight or nine are subjected to homophobic harassment, intimidation and physical attack. Many of these bullied children become isolated, depressed and drop out of school; some end up committing suicide. And in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, where discriminatory attitudes are also present and where transgender and intersex people are especially poorly served. States often make it difficult for transgender persons to obtain official papers that reflect their preferred gender – without which, many are forced to live on the margins of society, excluded from employment, healthcare, education and other basic rights. Even within some families, discrimination runs rife: adolescent children thrown out of home, disowned by their own parents, forced out of school or into psychiatric centres. Girls forced into marriage or pregnancy in an attempt to “cover up” their sexual orientation or, conversely, young women forced to relinquish their children when their sexuality becomes known. Even reports of so-called “honour killings” of gay sons and lesbian daughters. And when human rights defenders speak out, they too face discriminatory restrictions. NGOs working on LGBT issues have had their offices raided, their licences revoked or refused, requests to hold public meetings and marches rejected. I know some will resist what we are saying. They may argue that homosexuality and expressions of transgender identity conflict with local cultural or traditional values, or with religious teachings, or that they run counter to public opinion. We should not dismiss these concerns but listen carefully, focus on the violations, and try to make headway in spite of the difficulties. As always, people are entitled to their opinion. They are free to disapprove of same-sex relationships, for example. They have an absolute right to believe – and to follow in their own lives – whatever religious teachings they choose. But that is as far as it goes. The balance between tradition and culture, on the one hand, and universal human rights, on the other, must be struck in favour of rights. That much is clear from the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, which states, and I quote: “While the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.” No personal opinion, no religious belief, no matter how deeply held or widely shared, can ever justify depriving another human being of his or her basic rights. And that is what we are discussing here: depriving certain individuals of their human rights – taking away their right to life and security of person, their rights to privacy, to freedom from arbitrary detention, torture and discrimination, to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. The study before you includes practical recommendations aimed at bringing national laws and practice into line with international standards, while also tackling discriminatory attitudes at the roots. I will restrict myself here to highlighting three proposals for action. One is to improve State responses to homophobic and transphobic violence. Wherever such violence takes place, it should be recorded and reported by trained law enforcement officials. All such incidents warrant thorough investigation and action to prosecute and punish those responsible. Second, States should change discriminatory laws that treat people as criminals on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In their place, we need new laws that provide adequate legal protection to people at risk of homophobic or transphobic discrimination. Third, we should recognize that underlying all of this violence and discrimination is prejudice. We know from experience that you don’t eliminate prejudice by changing the law alone; you must change people’s hearts and minds as well. Like millions of other South Africans of my generation, I grew up with prejudice around me. I know that it takes time, patience and persuasion to tackle it. But in the end, my life has taught me that ignorance and bigotry are no match for the power of education. Over time, as people start to talk with one another, they will overcome their discomfort. As they start to focus on facts not fear, prejudice will start to ebb away. States can speed up the process with effective public information campaigns that challenge homophobia and negative stereotypes. It is not easy but we have done it before. The story of the United Nations is a story of progress in the fight against discrimination. It is a story that is incomplete, as we continue to work to make good on the promise enshrined in our Universal Declaration: a world where “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Today we all have an opportunity to begin together a new chapter dedicated to ending violence and discrimination against all people, irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity. It is an historic moment for this Council and for the United Nations. Thank you. ENDS The report can be accessed at: For more information or for media requests please contact Charles Radcliffe (+1 917 325 1292 / or spokesperson Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 / ) or press officer Ravina Shamdasani (+ 41 22 917 9310 /

dia de la mujer - 2012

Día Mundial del Refugiado - 20 de junio

Palabras del Secretario General Ban Ki-moon

«Nadie quiere convertirse en refugiado. Nadie debe tener que soportar esta humillante, penosa y terrible tragedia. Sin embargo, millones lo hacen. Incluso un refugiado forzado a huir, un refugiado forzado a regresar al peligro, ya es demasiado.»

Este año marca el sexagésimo aniversario de la Convención de 1951. Es también de 60 años desde que el ACNUR, la agencia de refugiados de Naciones Unidas, se estableció. En ese momento, el trabajo de ayudar al mundo, convirtiéndose en protagonista refugiados y otras personas desplazadas por la fuerza no ha disminuido ni se vuelven más fáciles.

Entonces, como ahora, la principal causa del desplazamiento es la guerra. Los prolongados conflictos o la inestabilidad en lugares como Somalia, Irak o Afganistán, y la crisis se desarrolla en el norte de África y el Medio Oriente, se encuentran entre los colaboradores de la actual población mundial de casi 44 millones de personas desplazadas por la fuerza.

Sin embargo, hoy en día, convirtiéndose en protagonista del mundo, las razones de los desplazamientos son más diversos. Mientras que tradicionalmente el ACNUR ser llamados a apoyar a las personas escapar de conflictos o persecuciones, la gente está cada vez más huyen de sus hogares a causa de la pobreza extrema, la degradación ambiental, cambio climático y la creciente interrelación y compleja entre estos factores y el conflicto.

La carga de ayudar al mundo, convirtiéndose en protagonista personas desplazadas por la fuerza es claramente desigual. Los países pobres anfitrión a muchas más personas desplazadas de los más ricos. Mientras que el sentimiento anti-refugiados se oye más fuerte en los países industrializados, el desarrollo de las naciones de acogida del 80 por ciento de todo el mundo, los refugiados convirtiéndose en protagonista. Esta situación exige una solución equitativa.

Nadie quiere convertirse en un refugiado. Nadie debería tener que soportar esta terrible experiencia humillante y penoso. Sin embargo, millones lo hacen. Incluso una de refugiados obligados a huir, un refugiado obligado a regresar al peligro ya es demasiado. En este año, convirtiéndose en protagonista del mundo Día de los Refugiados, pido a la gente en todas partes para tener un recuerdo para los millones de niños, mujeres y hombres que han sido expulsados de sus hogares, que están en riesgo de sus vidas, y que, en la mayoría de los casos, quieren nada más que para volver a casa o empezar de nuevo. Nunca debemos perder de vista nuestra humanidad compartida.

Durante años, muchos países y regiones han celebrado un día nacional -incluso semanas- del refugiado. Uno de los más conocidos fue el Día del Refugiado Africano, que se celebra el 20 de junio en varios países.

Como una expresión de solidaridad con África, continente que alberga a la mayoría de los refugiados del mundo, la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas, adoptó la resolución 55/76 el 4 de diciembre de 2000. En esta resolución, la Asamblea General tomó nota de que en el año 2001 se cumpliría el cincuentenario de la Convención sobre el Estatuto de los Refugiados de 1951 , y de que la Organización de la Unidad Africana (OUA) había convenido en que la celebración de un día internacional de los refugiados podría coincidir con la del Día de los Refugiados en África, que se observa el 20 de junio. Por consiguiente, decidió que, a partir del año 2001, el día 20 de junio sea el Día Mundial de los Refugiados.

Este año, en su 60º aniversario, la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR) celebrará el Día Mundial de los Refugiados con una programación de diversos eventos en distintas zonas del mundo y el lanzamiento de una campaña internacional de toma de conciencia. Asimismo, se realizará el despliegue de la campaña multimedia «One» y durante los siguientes seis meses se promoverá la toma de conciencia sobre los desplazados a la fuerza y apátridas a través de historias personales impactantes. La campaña lleva el mensaje de «Un refugiado sin esperanza, es demasiado». Cada día, millones de refugiados se enfrentan a asesinatos, violaciones y el terror. Creemos que incluso 1, es demasiado.

marzo 12, 2012 El preso que estudie podría ser liberado 20 meses antes de terminar la condena

Los ministros Julio Alak y Alberto Sileoni anunciaron la aplicación del “sistema de incentivo” que beneficiará a los internos de los penales federales de todo el país. El Congreso Nacional votó la modificación de la Ley de Ejecución de la Pena Privativa el año pasado. Dos ministros del Gobierno llevaron las “buenas noticias” a presos de los penales federales. Para ser beneficiario de ese incentivo, sólo deberán demostrar denuedo al estudio, y su condena dictada por un tribunal de Justicia será reducida hasta casi 2 años. Ocurre que a partir de este año comenzará a aplicarse un sistema de incentivos que reduce hasta 20 meses las penas de los presos gracias a la puesta en marcha de los incentivos educativos incorporados a la Ley de Ejecución de la Pena Privativa de la Libertad. El ministro de Justicia, Julio Alak, y el de Educación, Alberto Sileoni, fueron los encargados de los anuncios durante el acto de apertura del ciclo lectivo 2012 en la Unidad Penitenciaria Nº1 de Ezeiza y que involucra a todas las unidades penales del Servicio Penitenciario Federal. El 27 de julio de 2011, el Congreso votó modificaciones a la Ley de Ejecución de la Pena Privativa de la Libertad poniendo en el artículo 140 de la 26.695 los “estímulos educativos” que benefician a los internos condenados por delitos. La escala para los “presos estudiantes” a) Un (1) mes por ciclo lectivo anual b) Dos (2) meses por curso de formación profesional anual o equivalente c) Dos (2) meses por estudios primarios d) Tres (3) meses por estudios secundarios e) Tres (3) meses por estudios de nivel terciario f) Cuatro (4) meses por estudios universitarios g) Dos (2) meses por cursos de posgrado Estos plazos serán acumulativos hasta un máximo de veinte (20) meses, aclara la norma. “Es una medida inédita en la historia argentina que busca incentivar a las personas privadas de su libertad a capacitarse para lograr una reinserción social plena”, afirmó Alak. Y defendió la aplicación del artículo 140 señalando que “está probado que la formación de los condenados reduce significativamente los niveles de reincidencia en el delito”. En la ley sancionada el pasado año ahora también se contempla que, si un penal no garantiza el acceso a la educación de los presos, estos podrán recurrir a la Justicia y que el Estado se haga cargo a través de un tercero