Pick of the Week: Launch of Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The Commonwealth: Struggles for Decriminalisation and Change

This event marks the launch of Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The Commonwealth: Struggles for Decriminalisation and Change, edited by Corinne Lennox and Matthew Waites.

While human rights in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity are at last reaching the heart of global debates, 78 states worldwide continue to criminalise same-sex sexual behaviour. Due to the legal legacies of the British Empire, 42 of these – more than half – are in the Commonwealth of Nations. In recent years many Commonwealth states have seen the emergence of new sexual nationalisms, leading to increased enforcement of colonial sodomy laws against men, new criminalisations of sex between women and discrimination against transgender people.

Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The Commonwealth: Struggles for Decriminalisation and Change challenges these developments and offers the most internationally extensive analysis to date of the global struggle for decriminalisation of same-sex sexual behaviour and relationships.

Co-edited by Corinne Lennox (lecturer in human rights at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and associate director of the Human Rights Consortium, School of Advanced Study, University of London) and Matthew Waites (senior lecturer in sociology at the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow), the book provides the first quantitative analysis of legal change related to sexual orientation and gender identity across all of the Commonwealth’s 54 Member States.

The volume includes 13 peer-reviewed chapters by academics and activists presenting analyses of struggles for decriminalisation and change in 16 national contexts covering all regions of the Commonwealth, including the UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Uganda, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Bahamas. It also offers a unique comparative analysis across the Commonwealth focusing on learning lessons from states in the global South where decriminalisation of same-sex behaviour has been achieved.

To register for this event, please click here.

Date and Time: 05 July 2013, 17:30 – 19:30

Speakers: Dr Corinne Lennox, Dr Matthew Waites, Conway Blake, Philip Dayle, Adrian Jjuuko

Venue: The Chancellor’s Hall (Senate House, first floor)


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