Walk the path of human rights

Shobha Shukla - CNS
A report from the UN Special Rapporteur calls upon nation states to decriminalise consensual same-sex conduct, repeal discriminatory laws relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, repeal laws criminalising sex work, and provide human rights education for health professionals. Criminalisation is not only a breach of a State's duty to prevent discrimination, it also creates an atmosphere where affected people are disempowered, unable to achieve full realisation of their human rights. According to a recent UNDP report, India has 30.5 million men who have sex with men (MSM), and over a million Hijra and transgender people. The national HIV prevalence in MSM is estimated at 7.41%, with 24% testing positive in the state of Goa and 18.8% in Mumbai. While MSM in India are at high risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV, only about 4% are able to access appropriate services. The situation is more serious for transgender populations. Here, HIV prevalence can be as high as 42% in Mumbai, and 49% in Delhi. This has been attributed to low levels of awareness, unsafe sexual practices, inadequate services and social marginalisation. Read more