May 17 is the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). It is a day in which countries around the world seek to raise awareness about the discrimination, violence and harassment experienced by members of LGBTIQ+ communities.
This year’s IDAHOBIT is particularly significant as 17 May 2020 marks 30 years since the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.
Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow said this year’s IDAHOBIT is an opportunity to recognise the progress made in protecting and promoting the rights of LGBTIQ+ people in Australia in recent years, while acknowledging the work still to be done.
The Commission in currently finalising a report on how best to protect the human rights of people born with variations in sex characteristics in the context of medical interventions.
“On IDAHOBIT we can rightly celebrate the progress achieved for LGBTIQ+ communities in Australia over the last few years - but we must never forget that there is still so much more to do, or the toll the fight to achieve that progress has taken on some in the LGBTIQ+ community,” Commissioner Santow said.
“LGBTIQ+ people experience, on average, poorer mental health outcomes due to their experiences of discrimination.
“During COVID-19 we must continue to champion inclusion for LGBTIQ+ people in Australia, and to keep our values of fairness and kindness alive during what is a difficult time for everyone.”
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recently released ‘COVID-19 and the Human Rights of LGBTIQ+ People’, which documents an increase in homophobic and transphobic rhetoric, and incidents around the world of authorities using COVID-19 emergency measures to restrict LGBTIQ+ people's rights.
IDAHOBIT was created in 2004 to draw attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by people with diverse sexualities and genders.
You can find out more about IDAHOBIT at https://www.idahobit.org.au/