On 10 December - international Human Rights Day - The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) invites new endorsements of the Declaration of Principles on Equality, a set of key principles drafted and signed by 128 leading experts and launched by ERT in October 2008. With this renewed appeal, ERT responds to the initiative of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights to declare discrimination as the theme of Human Rights Day 2009.

The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) has submitted a legal brief to Ugandan President Yowere Museveni outlining how adoption of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill currently being debated would breach both Uganda’s Constitution and its international treaty obligations. 

ERT’s submission calls on President Museveni and Ugandan parliamentarians to reject the Bill in its entirety, and to review the constitutionality of section 145 of the Ugandan Penal Code, which is currently used to prosecute homosexual conduct. 

On the occasion of Human Rights Day 2009 – which the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recently declared would focus on non-discrimination – the Equal Rights Trust (ERT) will issue a series of specific appeals to nine governments and parliaments to act on discrimination.

In advance of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting this weekend, the Equal Rights Trust (ERT) has called on the Heads of Government to condemn an Anti-Homosexuality Bill recently introduced in the Parliament of Uganda and to take urgent action to repeal existing homophobic laws across the Commonwealth.

Yesterday, US President Barack Obama signed new legislation which extends federal hate crime law to cover crimes motivated by actual or perceived gender, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act – named in recognition of two victims murdered on the basis of their sexual orientation – was first introduced to Congress in 2001. It was finally approved by 68 votes to 29 by the US Senate as an amendment to the 2010 Defense Authorization Act on 22 October 2009.

London, 19 October 2009 Today, the Equal Rights Trust (ERT) has called on members of the National Assembly of Mali to ensure that the draft Persons and Family Code is not regressively amended in response to concerns about the extension of equal rights for women.

On 30 September 2009, The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) submitted an expert opinion on the proposed amendments to the State Pensions Act to Latvia’s Saeima (Parliament).  The amendments in question are a response to the European Court of Human Rights judgment in the case of Andrejeva v. Latvia (application no. 55707/00, judgment of 18 February 2009).

The Equal Rights Trust is pleased to announce the publication of Religion and Healthcare in the European Union: Policy Issues and Trends, a policy research report commissioned by the Network of European Foundations, in the framework of its ‘Religion and Democracy in Europe’ initiative. The report presents an analytical discussion of health policy issues on which religion has an impact.

The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) has called on the Parliament of Sudan to repeal Article 152 of the 1991 Criminal Act because it breaches the country’s human rights obligations.