2015: Addressing vulnerabilities of LGBT persons

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons have historically faced and continue to face discrimination and violence around the world. When deprived of their liberty, they find themselves in a particular situation of vulnerability and are at risk of serious human rights violations.

“The Special Rapporteur has received information according to which members of sexual minorities in detention have been subjected to considerable violence, especially sexual assault and rape, by fellow inmates and, at times, by prison guards.”

UN Special rapporteur on Torture, report to the Human Rights Council, 3 July 2001, A/56/156.

The second Jean-Jacques Gautier NPM Symposium was held in Geneva on 3-4 June 2015 and focused on the situation of LGBT persons deprived of their liberty. During two days, some 15 National Preventive Mechanisms from all regions of the world and other monitoring bodies and experts discussed and exchanged experiences.

The objective was for participants to develop a better understanding of the situations of vulnerability faced by LGBT persons in detention and for NPMs to adapt strategies and working methods to address these issues.

What makes LGBT persons especially vulnerable in detention and what can be done to better protect them from violence and abuse? Symposium participants Victor Madrigal, Maria Santos, Zhan Chiam, Leila Lohman and Boubou Diouf Tall discuss different aspects of this issue, based on their own experiences.

The situation of transgender detainees in Pernambuco (Brazil) and the value added of having a transgender person within the monitoring team. Video-recording of Maria Clara De Sena, member of Local Preventive Mechanism of Pernambuco.


1-page summary: Addressing vulnerabilities of LGBT persons in detention

Photos from the Symposium