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.
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, it’s not all bad news from Africa, with Rwanda’s Minister of Justice ruling 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 this year.
Amnesty 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 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.
Mongolian authorities failed to investigate or punish attacks against GLBT people.
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 also praised Argentina’s move to legalise same-sex 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’s interim secretary general, Claudio Cordone, said more countries needed to ratify international justice agreements for progress to be made.
“The need for effective global justice is a key lesson from the past year. Justice provides fairness and truth to those who suffer violations, deters human rights abuses, and ultimately delivers a more stable and secure world,” he said.