The State Department’s latest country human rights reports, released April 19, confirm the lack of respect that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face in many areas of the world. However, the reports also point to a range of serious human rights abuses directed at LGBT populations in every region.
The Obama Administration has made a commendable effort to catalog instances and trends of LGBT abuse worldwide. We were pleased that Secretary Kerry specifically lauded the Department’s expanded coverage of LGBT rights in a speech marking the release of this year’s reports.
Visit the 2012 Human Rights report page to read a summary of the reports and download a compendium of all sexual orientation and gender identity references.
By comparison download a summary of the 2011 report references to human rights abuses based on sexual orientation or gender identity in approximately 190 countries.
By law, the U.S. Congress requires the State Department to report annually on human rights conditions in all countries (except the United States). In 1993, the instructions on reporting were modified to require all U.S. embassies to include information on patterns of abuse directed at specific minority groups including those based on ethnicity, religion, trade union activity, sexual orientation or other factors. Embassies were also instructed to report on incitement to violence directed against these groups, whether instigated by the government or by other elements of society.