Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter
A recent report on sexual orientation and gender identity in international human rights law, released by the UN Human Rights Office, indicated that much more needs to be done to confront prejudice and protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in all countries from violence and discrimination.
The 60-page long booklet titled Born Free and Equal, indicated that deeply embedded homophobic attitudes, often combined with a lack of adequate legal protection against discrimination expose many LGBT people to egregious violations of their human rights.
"They are discriminated against in the labour market, in schools and in hospitals, and mistreated and disowned by their own families. On the streets of towns and cities around the world, they are singled out for physical attack - beaten, sexually assaulted, tortured and killed," the report read.
Still a lot of violence
Executive Director of Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) Dane Lewis is in agreement with the report saying the acts of violence continue to plague the group.
"The homophobia plays out itself in many ways, sadly we are seeing more and more young people being kicked out of their homes, (and) there is still a lot of violence towards the community despite the pockets of tolerance that we have seen," he lamented.
Lewis said even if laws are enacted to protect members of the LGBT community, that will not be enough to reverse the levels of hostility.
"The law alone will not solve the problem because this is a deep seated cultural issue, we have a culture of intolerance. So to change the law alone won't (help), there needs to be a series of social intervention to deal with the issue of intolerance," he said.