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Joint Submission to the Universal Periodic Review on the Situation of LGBTI People in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Joint submission to the OHCHR under 4th cycle of UPR regarding the discrimination faced by Trans, Gender Diverse and Intersex Communities in Pakistan.

  • Published
  • 14 July 2023
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GATE and APTN, in association with Queer Chitai (QC), International Trans Fund (ITF) and APCOM sent a joint submission to the OHCHR, under the fourth cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), regarding the discrimination faced by Trans, Gender Diverse and Intersex Communities in Pakistan.

Discrimination faced by TGDI communities on the basis of SOGIESC (actual or perceived), included:

  • 511 instances were noted in documented cases of human rights abuses.
  • Fear of discrimination was reported 724 times as the main reason not to file a complaint.
  • 68% of trans people say they are fearful of and actively avoid going to a police station.
  • No comprehensive anti-discrimination law that protects LGBTQI+ people in Pakistan. A notable exception is the Transgender Persons Act (TPA) in 2018, although neither specifies what constitutes discrimination nor provides penalties or remedies in case of a violation.

The joint submission also included concerns about the unprecedented rise in the violence committed against LGBTI people in Pakistan, including physical violence (up to 33%), sexual violence (up to 36%) and murder cases (20 transgender people),  as well as increased gang activity towards transgender women, particularly those who earn a living through sex work and performance.

Other concerns addressed in the joint submission included, but are not limited to:

  • Familial Abuse
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Cyber abuse
  • Police Abuse
  • Abuse in prisons

To stop this endless discrimination and violence, several recommendations were provided to the Working Group at the UN Human Rights Council and member states to recommend to the State of Pakistan, among them, for example:

  • Amend Articles 25-27 of the Constitution to formally recognize SOGIESC as protected grounds on the basis of which discrimination is prohibited
  • Ensure that LGBTI people, especially minors, facing abuse have free, equal and non-discriminate access to shelter homes
  • Conduct periodic sensitization of investigation officers, prosecutors and judiciary on SOGIESC
  • Train prison authorities on needs of transgender persons and obligate them to develop policies and strategies to ensure the maximum protection and privacy of transgender detainees
  • Repeal all punitive and discriminatory laws that criminalize any or all aspects of consensual sexual relationships between adult persons of any sex or gender.
  • Uphold the right to legal recognition of self-perceived gender identity for all persons, including minors, asylum seekers and refugees residing in the country.
  • Ensure easy, equal and non-discriminate access to gender affirming healthcare for all persons
  • Safeguard the right of LGBTI people to freely and without fear partake in cultural life, in the form of companionship, family or community, by legally recognizing and according an equal status to single-parent households, civil unions and partnerships
  • Ensure that human rights defenders and organizations advocating for the rights of LGBTI people have equal protections of the law and a dignified and censorship-free work environment.