Fiji?s NGO Coalition on Human Rights has called for the respect for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Fijians on the occasion of May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
The Day is the commemoration of the World Health Organisation?s May 17, 1990 decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases.
Articles 1 and 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights state all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, and that everyone is entitled to the enjoyment of human rights without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
?LGBTI rights are human rights and all human rights are universal, interdependent, indivisible and interrelated. Sexual orientation?and gender identity?are integral to every person?s dignity and humanity and must not be the basis for stigma, violence or discrimination in any form,? said Shamima Ali, Chair of the NGO Coalition.
?Recent homophobic statements made by the State in the media on Fiji?s draft constitutional consultations do not augur well for Fiji if it aspires to equality and non-discrimination in a secular state,? she added.
?A lot remains to be done to promote a culture of equality, respect, inclusiveness and diversity encompassing all Fijians and we stand in solidarity with LGBTI groups here and around the world as they combat homophobia and transphobia wherever it is found,? said Ali.