New Delhi: The United Nations in India welcomed the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of India on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and hoped that the ruling will be the first step towards guaranteeing full range of fundamental rights to LGBTI persons.
The SC on Thursday struck down a key component of IPC Section 377 which criminalized specific sexual acts between adults. . Section 377 is a law dating back to British colonial rule that has targeted in particular lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals and communities.
In a statement, UN in India said sexual orientation and gender expression form an integral part of an individual’s identity the world over, and violence, stigma and discrimination based on these attributes constitute an egregious violation of human rights. It added that LGBTI persons across the world continue to be the targets of violent attacks and are affected by multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination based on age, gender, ethnicity, disability and social status.
“The UN in India sincerely hopes that the court’s ruling will be the first step towards guaranteeing the full range of fundamental rights to LGBTI persons. We also hope that the judgment will boost efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination against LGBTI persons in all areas of social, economic, cultural and political activity, thereby ensuring a truly inclusive society. The focus must now be on ensuring access to justice, including remedy; effective investigations of acts of violence and discrimination; and effective access to economic, social and cultural rights,” the organisation said.