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Introduction to the Handbook and a call for action


As mounting research and data reflects, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people all over the world continue to experience violations of their human rights and exclusion. What LGBTI people want, and are entitled to, is dignity to live their lives free of stigma, violence and discrimination and to be able to reach their full potential and contribute to their families, communities and countries. Parliamentarians have a vital role to play in making this a reality.

Advancing the Human Rights and Inclusion of LGBTI People: A Handbook for Parliamentarians has been jointly produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA). This Handbook sets out relevant human rights frameworks and highlights the role of parliamentarians in implementing Agenda 2030, to ensure no one, including LGBTI people, is left behind. It offers practical tips, tools and resources designed to support parliamentarians to undertake legislative, representational and oversight activities that advance the rights and inclusion of LGBTI people.

A wide range of diverse examples are presented, each reflecting concrete efforts undertaken by parliamentarians in every region of the world in support of the human rights and inclusion of LGBTI people. These examples provide valuable insights and lessons learned. They vary in approach and style, as the context and strategies employed are context driven. Some of the examples may be relevant in a wide range of countries, while others may have a more limited applicability.

Not all strategies used would be appropriate for every parliamentarian to try. However, the examples are provided to stimulate ideas and inspire parliamentarians to frame their own actions within their local environment and seek out the most strategic partners for making real progress. Many of the examples reflect the mutual benefits of parliamentary engagement with LGBTI organizations, as well as with broad-based civil society coalitions.

If a critical mass of parliamentarians commit to taking concrete actions to advance the rights and inclusion of LGBTI people, the impact would be profound and can drive legal, policy and social norm changes in every corner of the globe, genuinely ensuring that no one is left behind.