Statement of LGBTI organizations to the UN

Baxış sayı:

Today, on 21st October, CESCR – International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights held its 65th Pre-Sessional working group meeting. Three Azerbaijani LGBTI organizations – Nafas LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance, Minority Azerbaijan, and AZAD LGBT Collective made a statement. The statement was delivered by a member of Nafas LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance Javid Nabiyev.

We share the statement:

Dear Committee Members,

I’m Cavid Nabiyev from Azerbaijan and I am living in Germany as a refugee. I am speaking today on behalf of Nafas LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance, Minority Azerbaijan, and AZAD LGBT Collective.

LGBTI people in Azerbaijan face discrimination and violence every day. As we described in our report providing particular evidence, the main problems are: 

– The lack of anti-discrimination legal frameworks explicitly protecting LGBTI people; 

– The lack of quick, transparent and accessible procedure for legal gender recognition, as well as the practice of unconsented and unnecessarily surgeries towards intersex children;

– And discrimination against LGBTI people in education and employment, including harassment and bullying, as well as pathologization of homosexuality in the military.

Yes, the government has failed and still continues to fail to protect us, its LGBTI citizens, by not taking into account our voice, ignoring our needs, and excluding us from social, economic and development policies. Since 2015, according to ILGA-Europe, Azerbaijan has been listed as the most dangerous country in Europe with the worst scoring on laws, policies, and practices that affect the LGBTI community.

Yes, the government failed to eliminate SOGIESC-based discrimination in access to health care, employment, and education. The state might say that the legal framework entirely prohibits discrimination against everyone. Our answer will be – general wording does not reflect the reality when it is open for interpretation. 

6 months ago, the shocking suicide of a 14-year-old girl has brought to light the stigma surrounding LGBTI bullying. Elina Hajiyeva threw herself out of a third-floor window in one of the schools in the capital. Instead of calling an ambulance, Elina has been brought to the director’s office where they tried to make a half-conscious Elina admit to suicidal tendencies and place the blame on family difficulties rather than bullying issues at the school, and they recorded it. Nearly two hours after the initial attempt, an ambulance was finally called. But it was too late. Unfortunately, Elina is not with us anymore! And just last week, including Sevinj Abbasova, the director of the school, everyone could get away with that murder by the court decision. 

In the Annex to State party report, it has been mentioned that the State Committee for Family, Women, and Children regularly carries out various awareness-raising activities including, developing the culture of tolerance in society. However, a few months ago the deputy chair of the very same committee poses with the statement, quote: “They want to impose same-sex marriages as a family model. The family model has collapsed in the West. In fact, instead of addressing these problems, the West aims to transmit it to other societies. Our main purpose must be to protect our national values. We will change the vector of state’s family policy.”

Dear Committee Members,

Our report to your Committee includes the same questions that we addressed to 5 ministries in January of this year, where only one of them responded and others did not feel responsible to answer. And the Committee is our last hope to get answers to the rest of these questions from the state. 

We want to know,

Whether the State party plans to adopt the anti-bullying policy against harassment in schools, paying particular attention to LGBTI learners?

We want to know,

When the state will finally address the problems caused by the surgeries performed on intersex infants and children?

What steps have been put in place to eliminate discrimination against LGBTI people in employment and healthcare system? 

We want to know,
When the state plans to repeal the “18B” diagnosis from the Classification of Diseases List of the Military Cervices that affect gay individuals and, consequently, their rights to work?

All these issues have been raised during the High-Level Political Platform and also during the UPR process where state received 8 SOGI related specific recommendations. 

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