323 organizations from 89 Countries appeal to WHO: Add back LGBT Health item

323 health and human rights non-governmental organizations from 89 countries appeal to the World Health Organization’s WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan, to continue her negotiations to prevent the removal of an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) health item from the WHO executive board meeting in May 2014.

Efforts to remove the item are lead by Egypt from the EMRO (East Mediterranean Regional Office) and Nigeria from AFRO (African Regional Office). 59 organizations from AFRO and 8 from EMRO (5 of which are from Lebanon) have signed the letter.

On March 12, 2014, the following letter was sent:

Dear Madam Director General:

We, the undersigned civil society organizations from all regions of the world, respectfully write to you today to show our support for the complicated work you have undertaken of finding consensus on how to discuss issues related to access to health for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. We are dismayed that the topic has become so contentious and difficult to discuss, but we write to encourage you to persevere and bring these very important and appropriate health concerns to the work of the World Health Organization.

We represent a variety of health, HIV, human rights, and LGBT organizations which all work in some manner on the real impact of discrimination against individuals based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. This discrimination is rampant in all of our societies, despite differences of culture, economics, politics, or legal status of homosexuality. Such discrimination directly impacts the health outcomes of these communities. Whenever any group of people—no mater how marginalized—experience disparate health outcomes, that is of legitimate interest to the WHO and deserves to be studied and understood fully. We appreciate that you have personally taken the time to ensure that the Executive Board of the WHO will address these issues appropriately.

As you know, reports from every region of the world show that LGBT citizens lack equal access to health care, and experience real discrimination based on exposing their sexual orientation, sexuality, gender identity, gender expression, or bodily diversity in health care settings. Such discrimination takes many different forms including outright denial of services, harassment, embarrassment, violence and arrest, as well as internalized stigma and shame. Such experiences lead directly and indirectly to bad health outcomes, such as higher incidents of depression, drug and alcohol use, lack of HIV prevention and treatment, and even suicide. Cancer-related health disparities for lesbian women have been indicated in a variety of studies, and transgender individuals receive particularly poor or no appropriate health services specific to their needs.

We write today to encourage continued dialogue and discussion of these important health matters, and to make sure that the item does not get permanently postponed or deleted from the agenda of the Executive Board. We further urge the Secretariat of WHO to engage in further study and research on the health outcomes for LGBT communities in all parts of the world, since a disproportionate amount of existing data comes from Global North countries. It is imperative that the WHO encourage thoughtful and unbiased study in all regions of the world.

This is an important moment in the evolution of global health to address the particular health challenges of LGBT populations.  This is indeed a critical next step for WHO to help improve the vital and universal access to health for LGBT people.

Should there be anything we can do to support this effort, please let us know.

With respect and hope for a healthier world,

WHO World Health Organization Dr. Hasan Abdessamad

The following organizations have signed the letter:

WHO Western Pacific Region Australia Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations
Australian Transgender Support Association of Queensland
Bisexual Alliance Victoria
Brisbane LGBTIQ Action Group
Changeling Aspects
FTM Shed
Gay & Lesbian Welfare Association
Positive Life NSW
Queensland AIDS Council
The National LGBTI Health Alliance
Transgender Victoria
Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby Inc
Western Australian AIDS Council’s Freedom Centre
China Ark of Love
Beijing Gender Health Education Institute
Chengdu Tongle Health Counseling Service Center
China Alliance of People Live With HIV/AIDS (CAP+)
China LGBT/HIV Youth Network (U&I Club)
Fiji Amithi Fiji Project
Japan Space Allies
Malaysia myPLUS
PT Foundation
Mongolia Youth For Health
New Zealand ITANZ
OUTLineNZ Inc.
Rainbow Youth
Philipinnes Family Planning Organization of the Philippines
Gender and Development Advocates (GANDA) Filipinas
Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR)
Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) Pilipinas Inc.
Waray-Waray Youth Advocates (WARAYA)
Singapore FTM Asia
Pink Crane Project
Project X
The G Spot
Tonga Pacific Sexual Diversity Network
Tonga Leitis’ Association
Vietnam Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives
WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region Lebanon Helem
Lebanese Medical Association for Sexual Health LebMASH
Oui Pour la Vie
Proud Lebanon
The Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality AFE
Morocco ALCS
Association Marocaine des droits de l’Homme
Sudan Bedayaa
WHO European Region Armenia PINK Armenia
Belgium European AIDS Treatment Group
International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) Europe
Transgender Info Point
Czech Czech AIDS Help Society
Estonia ECOM – Eurasian Coalition on Male Health
Finland Drodrolagi Movement
France AIDES
Les Dègommeuses
Germany Aktion Transsexualität und Menschenrechte e.V.
Berliner Aids-Hilfe e.V.
Transgender Europe (TGEU)
Latvia Association of LGBT and Their Friends MOZAIKA
Society Association HIV.LV
Macedonia Health Education and Research Association
Moldova Genderdoc-M
Montenegro LGBT Forum Progress
Netherlands Aids Fonds
Norway Ressursgruppe for Transpersoner (RfT)
Poland Trans-Fuzja Foundation
Romania Independence Zone
Population Services International
Russia Ageeva Anastasia
FTM Phoenix Group
LGBT organization (Rakurs)
menZDRAV Foundation
Phoenix PLUS
Positive Wave Foundation
Samara LGBT Movement Avers
Serbia Gayten-LGBT
Slovakia TransFuzia
DIH – Equal Under the Rainbow
Spain Conjuntos Difusos – Autonomía Trans
Fundación Triángulo
Sweden Pride Sports Africa
Switzerland Association 360
Pink Cross
Winters Consulting
Swiss AIDS Federation
Tajikistan Equal Opportunities
United Kingdom AVERT
BHA for Equality in Health and Social Care
HIV Justice Network
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Nigeria Association of LGBT’s Abroad
Rainbow Intersection
Reproductive Health Matters
Social Work & Health Inequalities Network
Support Acceptance Information Learning (SAIL)
TransForum Manchester
Ukraine International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine
menZDRAV Foundation
Uzbekistan XS (Access)
WHO Region of the Americas Argentina Asociación Internacional de Lesbianas, Gays, Bisexuales, Trans e Intersex para AmÈrica Latina y el Caribe (ILGALAC)
Comunidad Homosexual Argentina (CHA)
Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer
Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE)
Grupo de Mujeres de la Argentina
Proyecto Educar en la Diversidad Sexual sin Homofobia, Lesbofobia, Bifobia ni Transfobia de la Escuela de Educación Media N° 20 de La Plata
Belize United Belize Advocacy Movement
Bolivia Catolicas por el Derecho a Decidir/Bolivia
Fundación Diversencia
Manodivera Asociacion Civil
Brazil Latin American Centre on Sexuality and Human Rights
Canada African and Black Diaspora Global Network on HIV/AIDS
AIDS Action Now!
AIDS Committee of Simcoe County
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
Canadian Treatment Action Council
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange
Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS North America
ILGA North America
Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Develpment (ICAD)
Office of Global Health
Ontario Federation of Labour
The SHARP Foundation
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFWC)
Unite Here Local 75
Chile Fadise Chile
Organización de Transexuales por la Dignidad de la Diversidad
Colombia ATSMAG
La Fundación Azul
Costa Rica CIPAC
Dominica MiRiDom
Dominican Republic Coin
Grupo Este Amor
La Candel, Junta Lèsbica
Ecuador ACDemocracia
Asociación Silueta X
Grupo de Ayuda Mutua (Caminos de Esperanza)
Luna Creciente
El Salvador Centro LGBT San Miguel
ICM El Salvador
Guatemala Asociación Colectivo Amigos contra el Sida
Red Nacional de Diversidad Sexual y VIH de Guatemala
Guyana Artisites in Direct Support
Gay Pride Guyana
Haiti SEROvie
Honduras Asociacion Para Una Vida Mejor de Personas Infectadas-Afectadas por el VIH-Sida en Honduras
Cattrachas Organizacion Lesbica Feminista
Cattrachas Tegucigalpa
Mexico Balance Promoción para el Desarrollo y Juventud A.C.
Centro de Desarrollo e Investigación sobre Juventud A.C.
Closet de Sor Juana
Colectivo Sol A.C.
Consorcio para el Diálogo Parlamentario
Fundacion Arcoiris por el Respeto a la Diversidad Sexual
Interculturalidad Salud y Derechos A.C. (INSADE)
Investigaciones Queer A.C.
IpasMéxico A.C.
No Dejarse es Incluirse. A.C.
Odesyr Observatorio Ciudadano de Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos A.C.
Programa CompaÒeros A.C.
Salud Integral para la Mujer A.C.
Vihda a Favor de la Vida A.C.
Nicaragua Centro de Información y Servicios de AsesorÌa en Salud
Gropo Lésbico Feminista Artemisa
Grupo Safo
Iniciativa desde la Diversidad Sexual por los Derechos Humanos
Paraguay Campaña por la Convención Interamericana de los Derechos Sexuales y Derechos Reproductivos
Peru Agrupacion de Travestis Las Mil Manios de la Solidaridad
Asociación Civil CAMBIO y ACCI’N.
Asociación Civil Impacta Salud y Educación
Puerto Rico Coai Inc.
Taller Lesbico Creativo
Suriname Women’s Way Foundation
Uruguay Articulación Feminista Marcosur
USA AIDS Community Research Initiative of America
AIDS Project of the East Bay
American Jewish World Service
amfAR the Foundation for AIDS Research
APHA LGBT Caucus of Public Health Professionals
Asia Catalyst
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
Center Global a program of the DC Center for the LGBT Community
Communit Service Network Inc.
Council for Global Equality
Fenway Health
Gay Men of African Descent Inc.
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality
Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS
Health and Human Rights Law Project – University of California Los Angeles School of Law
HIV Prevention Justice Alliance (HIV PJA)
International Center for Research on Women
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)
International HIV/AIDS Alliance
International Rectal Microbicide Advocates
Lesbian Health Initiative
National LGBT Cancer Network
National Youth Pride Services
Northwest Florida AIDS Consortium
Rainbow Health Initiative
San Francisco AIDS Foundation
University of Minnesota HIV/STI Intervention and Prevention Studies (HIPS) Program
United Food and Commercial Workers OUTreach
Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights
Venezuela Dhayana Carolina Fernandez Matos
Fundación Reflejos de Venezuela
Gente Rara
Orgullo Guayana
Trabajador Cultural
Venezuela Diversa A.C.
ACCSI Acción Ciudadana Contra el SIDA
WHO African Region Algeria AnisS
Botswana Pilot Mathambo Centre for Men’s Health
Burundi Mouvement pour les Libertés Individuelles
Rainbow Candle Light
Together for Women’s Rights
Côte d’Ivoire Renaissance Santè Bouakè
Unis pour Sauver des Vies
Youth Coalition Plus on MDGs Achievement
Ethiopia Rainbow-Ethiopia Health and Rights Initiative
Ghana Centre for Popular Education and Human Rights Ghana
Community and Family Aid Foundation
Communication for Social Change Ghana
Guinea Afrique arc-en-ciel Guinée
Kenya Gay & Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK)
Kenya Medical Research Institute
Kydesa Rainbow Community
Let Good Be Told In Us (NYARWEK Coalition)
Men Against AIDS Youth Group
PEMA Kenya
Tamba Pwani C.B.O.
Upper Rift Minprite
Malawi Centre for the Development of People
CHISA Malawi
Ladder for Rural Development
Northern Youth Network
Mauritania AGD
Mauritius Collectif Arc-en-Ciel
Namibia DMC Services
Nigeria Initiative for Improved Male Health
IRMA Nigeria
Marps Behavioral Initiative
Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS Nigeria (NEPWHAN)
New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society
Women’s Health and Equal Rights Initiative
The Initiative For Equal Rights
Pan Africa Pan Africa ILGA
South Africa African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR)
AIDS & Rights Alliance for Southern Africa
Anova Health Institute
Buwa Project
Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation
Health and Development Africa
International Centre for Aids Care and Treatment Programmes
People’s Health Movement
TC productions
Tanzania LGBT Voice Tanzania
Tanzania Sisi Kwa Sisi Foundation
Uganda Community Uplift
Freedom and Roam Uganda
Spectrum Uganda Initiatives Inc.
Zambia Envision
Friends of Rainka – Medical Consultancy
Zambia Association for the Prevention of HIV and TB
Zimbabwe GALZ
WHO South-East Asia Region Bangladesh Bandhu Social Welfare Society
Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights
JusticeMakers Bangladesh
Village Integreted Development Association (VIDA)
India Astitva Trust
India HIV/AIDS Alliance
International Association of Schools of Social Work
Lakshya Trust
Mission for Indian Gay & Lesbian Empowerment (MINGLE)
The Humsafar Trust
University of Calcutta
Indonesia Fokus Muda–Indonesian Young Key Populations Forum
Gaya Nusantara
Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights
Nepal Blue Diamond Society
Dautari Nepal
Sri Lanka People’s Health Movement
Thailand Anjaree Foundation
Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM)
Health and Opportunity Network
National Health Commission Office
Phakwilai Sahunalu/Anjaree Foundation
Population Services International
Youth LEAD
Youth Voices Count
Global Organizations Global AVAC
Human Rights Watch
International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)

Here is a related article from this blog:

Categories: Health, Human Rights

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2 replies


  1. Donating my birthday « Dr. Hasan Abdessamad
  2. Queer non-discussion of queer issues within WHO | Dr. Hasan Abdessamad

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