London, 16 December 2014
On 2 December 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a preliminary ruling in the joined cases A, B, C v Staatssecretaris van Veiligheid en Justitie, providing guidance on the application of Article 4 of Directive 2004/83 in claims for asylum based on the sexual orientation of the applicants. The Court stated that Article 4 of the Directive, which sets out the conditions for the assessment of facts relating to an asylum claim, must be interpreted in compliance with the applicants’ rights to respect for human dignity and respect for family and private life (Articles 1 and 7 respectively of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union). Accordingly, the Court ruled, Article 4 precluded methods of assessment which are based only on stereotyped notions associated with homosexuals or include detailed questioning related to the sexual practices of the individual. The Court’s decision is to be welcomed, although the Equal Rights Trust is disappointed that the Court did not preclude all reliance on stereotypes in the assessment of asylum applications based on sexual orientation.
London, 12 December 2014
The Equal Rights Trust has today written to Prime Minister of Uganda, Ruhakana Rugunda, urging him and his government not to introduce the Bill on the Prohibition of Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices to the Parliament of Uganda. The Equal Rights Trust’s letter analyses the Bill against Uganda’s international legal obligations and concludes that, if enacted, the Bill would constitute a clear and significant breach of the rights to freedom of expression and non-discrimination. The Bill would also increase and perpetuate the discrimination and gross inequality suffered by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons in Uganda today.
On Wednesday 10 December, Human Rights Day, the Equal Rights Trust launched Economic and Social Rights in the Courtroom: A Litigator's Guide to Using Equality and Non-Discrimination Strategies to Advance Economic and Social Rights, at Matrix Chambers in London with Sir Bob Hepple QC.
On Wednesday 10 December 2014, Human Rights Day, the Equal Rights Trust will launch Economic and Social Rights in the Courtroom: A Litigator's Guide to Using Equality and Non-Discrimination Strategies to Advance Economic and Social Rights, at Matrix Chambers in London.
On 7 November 2014, the Court of Appeal of Malaysia in Khamis and Ors v State Government of Negeri Sembilan and Ors held that a law prohibiting Muslim men from cross-dressing was unconstitutional and therefore void. The Equal Rights Trust, noting the importance of the case, prepared a legal brief for the Appellants’ counsel outlining the right to be free from discrimination on grounds of gender identity.
On 4 November 2014, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) issued joint General Recommendation No. 31/General Comment No. 18 on harmful practices. This marks the first time that two expert United Nations committees have joined forces to set out a common interpretation of the obligations on states to end harmful practices. The Joint Recommendation/Comment comes as CEDAW marks its 35th anniversary and CRC its 25th.
On 5 November 2014, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women issued General Recommendation No. 32 on the gender-related dimensions of refugee status, asylum, nationality and statelessness of women. The Recommendation highlights the significant impact of gender discrimination on women and girls, recognising that it can create a cycle of statelessness and lead women to flee their own countries to seek asylum.
On Wednesday 10 December 2014, Human Rights Day, the Equal Rights Trust will launch Economic and Social Rights in the Courtroom: A Litigators’ Guide to Using Equality and Non-Discrimination Strategies to Advance Economic and Social Rights, at Matrix Chambers in London.
London, 3 November 2014
The Equal Rights Review (the ERR) is the bi-annual peer-reviewed journal on equality produced by the Equal Rights Trust. Launched in 2008, the journal is a resource for those seeking to combat discrimination or promote equality, be they academics, activists, practising lawyers, civil society organisations or others. The Equal Rights Trust invites original unpublished articles for the next and other future volumes of the ERR.