Positive and inclusive change takes place every day around the world through effective and inclusive parliamentary action. As an MP, you can make real change to the quality of life, dignity, respect and rights of your LGBTI constituents and compatriots. You can support, form or lead coalitions to effect real change – sometimes quite rapid change – to protect and ensure human rights and inclusion for LGBTI people. As such, the Handbook sets out practical advice as to how you, as an MP, can:
- Make use of the global and regional human rights frameworks that oblige your government to ensure the human rights and inclusion of LGBTI people.
- Find the entry points that will enable you to act, in whatever your national context, to promote LGBTI rights and inclusion; use your multiple roles – legislative, representative and oversight – to protect LGBTI human rights and inclusion and hold your government to account on its obligations to do so.
- Work with communities and allies across political divides to frame laws, shape legal and policy frameworks and lead political campaigns for the human rights of your LGBTI constituents.
- Apply lessons learned from successful actions taken by your fellow MPs across the globe to help you to step up and speak out effectively in your own country.
This Handbook substantially rewrites and updates a first edition produced by UNDP and PGA in 2017. Contributors include experts on parliamentary procedure, governance, health and inclusion, and of course many parliamentarians themselves. Its content demonstrates the unique power and authority of parliament and parliamentarians – especially when working in close alliance with LGBTI civil society organizations (CSOs) – to promote inclusion and respect for the rights of LGBTI people.
Organised on a modular basis, it is not necessary to read it all, but structured in a manner that enables MPs to read part(s) most relevant.
Part I: Overview introduces the current situation of LGBTI people around the world and explains why it is important that MPs take urgent action to protect their human rights.
Part II: LGBTI Rights are Human Rights provides a knowledge base on the global and regional legal and rights frameworks most relevant to LGBTI people, and their key recommendations relevant to LGBTI human rights; it explains how you can work with United Nations treaty bodies and other international and regional instruments and resources to protect and defend LGBTI human rights.
Part III: Effective Action identifies key entry points, based on global rights frameworks, for action to protect LGBTI human rights, and the most important lessons learned from progressive actions taken by MPs and parliaments around the world, including many examples of successful strategies towards reform.
Part IV: Further Guidance provides sensitive and practical guidance on speaking about LGBTI people and their rights, including how to adapt to specific local contexts and conditions, along with practical advocacy tools and model questions to ask of government, parliament, other decision-makers and policy makers, for use in your oversight role as an MP.
This Handbook is co-published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA). UNDP November, 2022 / PGA February, (2022).