36 out of 52 Commonwealth countries criminalise homosexuality
Please support our Commonwealth human rights work
Huge thanks for your support for the LGBT+ and other human rights work of the Peter Tatchell Foundation. Some of you are current regular donors. Some of you have donated in the past. To all of you, our immense gratitude. Your financial support keeps us going.
I am writing to ask you – whether you have previously donated or not – to consider making a regular donation, or increasing your existing regular donation, to help fund our exciting, game-changing Commonwealth campaign. A regular donation is best, as it gives us a sustained, secure income.
Our new campaign will focus on publicising and challenging anti-LGBT+ and other human rights violations in the 52-member states of the Commonwealth.
This is urgent, as we have a significant opportunity for progress at the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which takes place in the UK in April 2018.
Moreover, I will be meeting the Commonwealth Secretary General, Patricia Scotland, next month to propose new initiatives for human rights in the Commonwealth.
Let me update you on the PTF’s work on the Commonwealth:
Half of 72 countries that criminalise homosexuality are members of the Commonwealth and are acting in violation of the human rights principles of the Commonwealth Charter.
Thanks to you and other supporters, we are working hard to ensure that LGBT+ human rights feature on the agenda of the upcoming CHOGM 2018. LGBT+ rights have never before been discussed in the previous six decades of Commonwealth summits. We are striving to ensure that next year breaks the silence.
The PTF is proposing that all Commonwealth countries commit to four simple goals:
- Decriminalise same-sex relations
- Prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
- Enforce laws against threats and violence, to protect LGBT+ people from hate crimes
- Consult and dialogue with their LGBT+ organisations
If we could get these four measures agreed, it could pave the way for eventual dramatic improvements in the legal status and lives of LGBT+ people. Our aim is to empower LGBT+ communities in Commonwealth countries and raise the profile of their freedom struggles.
In addition, we will also be raising at CHOGM other human rights abuses by member states, including detention without trial, torture, executions, media censorship, election rigging and the suppression of free speech and the right to protest and strike.
After next April’s CHOGM, we plan to take the case for LGBT+ rights direct to a dozen or more Commonwealth countries where same-sex relations are still illegal and where anti-LGBT+ discrimination and hate crime are rife, in order to challenge anti-LGBT+ attitudes and policies – politically, religiously and culturally.
Despite some considerable personal risk, I am planning to go to these countries and work in partnership with local LGBT+ and other human rights organisations to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues and the need for equality and inclusion. This initiative is a massive undertaking that will span at least three years and require substantial funding for in-country work and for the appointment of a full-time PTF Campaign and Press Officer to plan and coordinate the work involved.
Please consider making a new or expanded donation to help fund the PTF’s Commonwealth project:
For those of you who already donate and those who will donate, our profuse gratitude. You are helping make a real difference.
Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation