Seeking endorsement: A Call to Action for global LGBTI rights from the Dignity Initiative

This Call to Action is a follow-up to an open letter sent to Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs last year, with the endorsement of 85 civil society organizations. That letter set out a series of 10 recommended actions Canada should take to support and defend the human rights of LGBTI people globally, and was spurred in part by the wave of new homophobic laws and/or violence then manifesting in numerous countries, such as Uganda, Nigeria, Russia and Jamaica, among others. It was supported by LGBTI community groups, HIV organizations, unions, students, women's groups, faith groups, public health associations and many others.

Since then, much work has been done to refine and enhance those ideas. Building on that earlier letter to the Canadian government, the recommendations in the attached Call to Action have been developed with additional input from human rights activists across Canada and abroad, including Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. The Call to Action has also been informed by extensive research into the foreign policy initiatives of other countries that are supportive of human rights for LGBTI people and discussions with those familiar with Canada’s current foreign policy activities on this front.

We are hoping to continue building the solid support for global LGBTI rights from Canadian civil society organizations, and with that support, engage the Canadian government in implementing the recommendations set out in the attached Call to Action. Therefore, we are circulating it far and wide and inviting endorsement from your organization or others that might be interested. Please note: we are not collecting signatures of individuals, only civil society groups.

We would very much welcome your sign-on, and invite you to share it with other organizations and contacts who you think might be interested in endorsing as well. You can add your organization's endorsement to the Call for Action by clicking the following link. Please do so before September 5th.

The Call to Action will be released publicly later in September, including non-partisan outreach to all major federal political parties. We hope that you will sign on to strengthen our collective voice on the important role that Canada can play in supporting human rights for LGBTI people around the world.

For more info about the Dignity Initiative, please visit www.dignityinitiative.ca and visit us on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/DignityLGBTI. You can also follow us on Twitter at @InfoDignity (and the Legal Network at @AIDSLAW).

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