Access To Justice CEDAW Joint Submission

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“I was ordered to turn over my daughters within 48 hours, on warning of arrest. As a lawyer and a judge…I was convinced that this would only be temporary and that before the year was up they would be back with me, and we’d be together forever. Nine years have passed since that day, whole lifetimes when it comes to raising children…We were violated, even though the constitution sets forth that as people we are equal in dignity and rights and as citizens we enjoy civil liberties and bear burdens. It is not justified that in the 21st Century, on account of their sexual orientation and gender identity, people cannot access rights, benefits and legal privileges on account of how we live our sexuality and whom we love.” -- Judge Karen Atala (Chile)

Introduction

Thirty-five organizations from around the world jointly submit this memo to the Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to encourage the Committee to include explicit reference to the barriers women face in access to justice because of their sexual orientation or gender identity in its forthcoming General Recommendation on this topic.

Lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LBT) people face obstacles in accessing justice because as women, they are subject to the same barriers as all other women, and as people persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, they are subject to additional barriers that multiply the effects of discrimination.

LBT people face multiple obstacles to accessing justice.

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