CSW58: Statement for General Discussion on behalf of the Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus

COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN 58TH SESSION, 20 MARCH, 2014, NEW YORK 
 
Statement for General Discussion on behalf of the Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus 
 
Delivered by: Kenita Placide, United and Strong, Saint Lucia 

  
Watch a video recording of Kenita delivering the statement on YouTube »
  
Distinguished delegates and friends, 
 
Globally, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people and others with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities face brutal physical and psychological violence. We are subjected to harassment, assault and discrimination in the global North and South alike. These violations are often perpetrated in the name of “religion” and “the state”, with the intention of political gain, or to distract from state responsibility to deal with corruption, misuse of resources and poverty. 
 
“Development” under these conditions means that people’s rights to decent work, access to health care, education, and housing are compromised. Realities and fears of violence and discrimination have direct impact on people’s ability to live safely, earn a living, have roofs over their heads and to be healthy. When people are persecuted because of their real or perceived sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, they will be forced to recede, go underground, forfeit privacy and personal and family safety, even as they resist, organize and fight for justice at great personal risk in the North and South alike. 

The criminalization of adult consensual sexual activity and our communities, along with efforts by political and religious authorities to manipulate and stoke fears about sexual orientation and gender identity, only makes matters worse. Whether at the national level or at the CSW, decision makers must stop using these issues and our lives for their geopolitical gain. 
 
Around the world gender non-conforming people face abuses: young people are forced out of and bullied in schools; people lose or don’t get jobs; they are kicked out of homes or not taken in; lesbians are denied health services; and transgender people are denied access to  many services for having identification that is judged as “wrong”. What do the terms “sustainable development”, “universal human rights”, ”social justice” and “equality” mean under these circumstances? How can inequalities be addressed, so really ‘no-one is left behind’, ever? In the Post 2015 process we call for better data collection and analysis, so no communities are made invisible, excluded or overlooked. 
 
Within the CSW and other global negotiations, delegations must stop manipulating discussions about sexual orientation, gender identity and bodily autonomy. Any new development paradigm must address experiences of all people. States must show real political will to ensure development is just, sustainable and universal. People will face poverty and be targets for brutal oppression, violence and discrimination until you do. 
 
Thank you. 
 
This statement was delivered on behalf of the Lesbian, Bi and Transgender Caucus at CSW58 and the following 76 organizations:
 
Action Canada for Population and Development, Canada 
AIDS Accountability International, South Africa 
AIDS Action Foundation, St. Lucia 
AIDS Legal Network, South Africa 
AKAHATA AC, Latin America and Caribbean 
All Out, USA 
American Jewish World Service, USA 
Amnesty International 
ARC International, Canada/Switzerland 
Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, USA 
ATHENA Network, Global 
AWID, Spain / USA 
Balance, Mexico 
Bi-Alliance Victoria, Australia 
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Canada 
Caribbean Drug and Alcohol Research Institute, LAC 
CatchAFyah Caribbean Feminist network, Caribbean 
Center for Women's Global Leadership, USA 
Coalition of African Lesbians, Africa 
COC Netherlands, The Netherlands 
Common Language, China 
Council for Global Equality, USA 
CREA, India 
Diverse Voices and Action for Equality, Fiji, Pacific 
DomChap, Dominica 
Drodrolagi Movement, Fiji  
ECPI-Euroregional Center for Public Initiatives, Romania/Eastern Europe 
Elles, Cameroon 
Espacio de Mujeres Lesbianas Salvadoreñas por la Diversidad - ESMULES, El Salvador 
European Forum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Christian Groups, The Netherlands 
FemLINKPACIFIC, Fiji, Pacific 
FIJI WOMEN'S RIGHTS MOVEMENT, FIJI 
FOKUS - Forum for Women and Development, Norway 
French Family Planning Movement, France 
Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK), Kenya 
Global Faith and Justice Project, USA 
Global Justice Institute, USA 
Haus of Khameleon, Fiji 
Hivos, The Netherlands 
Human Rights Law Centre, Australia / Oceania 
ILGA Latin America & Caribbean 
ILGA, International Lesbian and Gay Association 
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission 
International Women's Health Coalition 
Ipas, Global 
Iranti-Org, South Africa 
LGBT Denmark, Denmark 
LGBT organisation "Labrys", Kyrgyzstan 
Metropolitan Community Churches, USA 
MiRiDom, Dominica / Caribbean 
National alliance of grassroot activist in Kenya/bunge la mwananchi, Kenya 
Oceania Pride, Fiji Pacific Islands 
Pacific Islands Safety & Prevention Project Inc.(The PROJECT), New Zealand 
Pacific Sexual Diversity Network, Tonga/Pacific 
Rainbow Rights Project, Philippines/Southeast Asia 
Reproductive Health Matters, UK/Europe 
Research Institute Without Walls, USA 
RESURJ - Feminist Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Justice, international 
Seta, Finland 
Sexuality and Policy Watch, Brazil and Global 
Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), Guyana 
Space Allies/Allies Law Office, Japan 
The Norwegian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender organisation (LLH), Norway/Europe 
Tonga Leitis Association, Tonga 
Transgender Victoria, Australia 
United and Strong, Saint Lucia 
United Belize Advocacy Movement, Belize 
Urgent Action Fund-Africa 
Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby, Australia/Oceania 
Voice for Change, Jiwaka Province - Papua New Guinea 
WISH 2.0, Belgium 
Women and Media Collective, Sri Lanka 
Women International for a Common Future, Germany 
Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR), Global 
Women's Studies Program, The City College of New York, USA 
Women'S Way Foundation, Suriname/Caribbean