Two reports released by international human rights defenders has put the spotlight on global GLBTI rights.
The Amnesty International Report 2010 and the ILGA 2010 State-Sponsored Homophobia report paint a worsening situation in Africa, and improvements in parts of Asia and the Americas..
Both reports singled out Uganda for its notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill which aims to criminalise the so-called “promotion” of homosexuality and impose the death penalty in some cases.
Nigeria, which has a similar law before Parliament, was criticised, as was Burundi for criminalising same-sex relations.
In Senegal and Cameroon, men faced arbitrary arrest, detention, torture and unfair trials when suspected of being gay. In Malawi, two men were sentenced to 14 years in prison for “indecent practices between males”.
However Rwanda’s Minister of Justice has ruled out the criminalisation of homosexuality there.
In the Middle East, concern remains for the lives of gay men in Iraq. Twenty-five men suspected of being gay have been murdered by militia groups or relatives already this year.
Amnesty International singled out Iran for using the death penalty, without explicitly mentioning gay men.
In Europe, Amnesty noted conservative members of the EU Parliament continued to block passage of a regional directive covering discrimination outside of employment on a range of grounds including sexuality.
Both reports praised a decision by the Delhi High Court in India, which struck down an anti-sodomy law.
Indonesia was criticised for a law in the autonomous region of Aceh which punishes homosexuality with 100 lashes.
China was praised for a Hong Kong law recognising same-sex spouses as victims of domestic violence.
In the Americas, Jamaica was criticised for mob violence against GLBTs while Guyana and Belize were singled out as the only countries on the South American mainland to criminalise gay sex.
ILGA praised Argentina’s move to legalise gay marriage and resolutions by the Organisation of American States supporting GLBT rights.
ILGA co-secretary general Renato Sabbadini said it was important to praise countries who were moving forward.
“Naming and shaming homophobic countries is essential but it is also important to recognise countries where progress is being made,” Sabbadini said.
Amnesty International’s interim secretary general, Claudio Cordone, said more countries needed to ratify international justice agreements for progress to be made.