Human Rights Day: standing with the forgotten
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Human Rights Day: standing with the forgotten

To mark Human Rights Day on 10th December this year, Stonewall is partnering with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to show a screening of the film Rafiki.

It's a story about the growing romance between two young women amid the familial and political pressures surrounding LGBT rights in Kenya.

The 2018 film, directed by Wanuri Kahiu, was the first Kenyan film to be selected for the Cannes Festival, but was famously banned by the Kenyan film classification board ‘due to its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya contrary to the law and dominant values of the Kenyans’. 

Across the world countless real lives are left behind.

While Rafiki is a story that depicts the struggles of just two fictional characters, across the world countless real lives are left behind. In particular, lesbian, bi women, and trans (LBT+) communities are often invisible in the larger international LGBT movement, making it difficult to address their specific issues and needs.

Stonewall’s Out of the Margins project seeks to address this gap by developing an international network of organisations working to advance LBT+ rights globally, creating new research for advocacy campaigns, and leveraging resources to support and sustain them.

The research conducted by Out of the Margins partners explores key areas of exclusion for LBT+ people in the global LGBT rights movement, where sexual orientation often remains the focus in campaigns, often without considering the multiple and shared marginalisations that women and trans people face.

Over six months, 27 research projects focused on five themes affecting LBT+ communities today: violence and personal security; economic wellbeing; civic and political participation; education; and health. These research projects all contribute to a long-term goal of ensuring that LBT+ people are at the forefront of global equality advances and are no longer left behind.

Providing a platform for LBT+ communities and increasing their visibility are key to further research and progression of rights no matter the context.

Providing a platform for LBT+ communities and increasing their visibility are key to further research and progression of rights no matter the context. The studies done by the Out of the Margins project partners are just the beginning, with future research and advocacy building on this newly found and invaluable evidence.

We can’t forget that in 69 countries around the world, same-sex relationships are criminalised, like the context in Kenya depicted by Rafiki. Most governments also still deny trans people the right to legally change their name and gender from those assigned to them at birth. Programmes of work like Out of the Margins show there are LGBT campaigners, organisations and allies across the world working to change these situations, and to which global solidarity and support is vital.

The UK government has an essential role to play, which is why we’re calling on all political parties to commit to provide clear leadership in championing LGBT equality globally. You can ask your candidates to support LGBT rights by signing our petition.

Find out more information about the Out of The Margins project.

And if you’d like to join us and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for the screening of Rafiki on the evening of 11 December in Victoria, London, please contact LON-RSVP@minbuza.nl.