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19 Jun 2015

LGBT groups in Singapore consulted for human rights report

The Straits Times reports that LGBT groups were asked about discrimination ahead of a human rights report to be submitted next year

It looks like the welfare of LGBT groups in Singapore may feature on the nation's international human rights report after it transpired that the government consulted them for the first time.

In January, civil society groups including Pink Dot and Sayoni were questioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with an eye to compiling the report that will be submitted to the United Nations next year.

"In preparation for Singapore's 2nd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) before the United Nations Human Rights Council in January 2016, MFA conducted outreach to interested civil society organisations to get their feedback, including LGBT groups," the ministry said.

Paerin CHoa, Pink Dot spokesperson, told the Straits Times that this is the first time they had been consulted and that it "is a very significant development as it has given the LGBT community in Singapore an opportunity to be heard in the international community."

LGBT groups are also planning to submit their own reports for the review. The groups said they are planning to bring up issues such as the Penal Code's Section 377A, which criminalises sex between men - a rule recently upheld by the Supreme Court - workplace discrimination against the LGBT community and censorship of the media.

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 ILGA Asia - Fridae partner for LGBT rights in Asia IGLHRC - Fridae Partner for LGBT rights in Asia