In focus

Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity

Gay couple.

In many coun­tries, people whose sexual orientation or gender identity does not conform to the standards of the majority of society face legal discrimination and social exclusion. In 78 coun­tries and territories same-sex relationships between adults are a criminal offence; in five coun­tries the death penalty may even be imposed. Homosexuality is an offence even in some of Germany's partner coun­tries for de­vel­op­ment – despite the fact that most of these coun­tries have ratified both the In­ter­national Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the In­ter­national Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The BMZ strategy paper "Human Rights in German De­vel­op­ment Policy" aims to realise the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. The paper advocates supporting social minorities primarily through policy dialogue and by promoting civil society groups, with a focus on the fields of health and human rights protection. It is also envisages that all experts employed in de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion will be further sensitised to the concerns of sexual minorities.

In 2010 the German gov­ern­ment provided financial support for more than 60 measures to reduce discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. This support is delivered chiefly through the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. In many health projects of official de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion, male homosexuals are also directly targeted.

German de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion is also engaged in the field of HIV and sexual minorities. To find out more about the objectives and the approach pursued, please read the BMZ brochure "Sexual minorities and HIV".

En­gage­ment in Germany

In Germany, the BMZ works to promote the rights of the LGBTI com­mu­ni­ty through various events and expert debates. At the German Academy for In­ter­national Co­op­er­a­tion, the GIZ's training centre for in­ter­national capacity de­vel­op­ment, the topic is covered in the course on "Human rights and gender".

In February the directors Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright were awarded the Cinema fairbindet prize for films on de­vel­op­ment issues, for their film "Call me Kuchu". This film is a documentary on the lives of gay and lesbian activists in Uganda.

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