International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) 2024

Mitini Nepal, an organization advocating for the rights of Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (LBT) individuals, conducted a special program to mark the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) 2024 at Bagmati Province in Kathmandu along with the global theme “No one left behind: equality, freedom and justice for all.” This event commemorates the World Health Organization’s historic decision on May 17, 1990, to remove homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses, affirming that homosexuality is a natural process. The event was inaugurated by Honorable Indira Rana, Deputy Chair, House of Representative by watering plant. The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia is celebrated by sexual and gender minority communities worldwide through various programs at both national and international levels. Speaking at the event in Kathmandu, Chief Guest Deputy Speaker Honorable Indira Rana of the House of Representatives emphasized that society comprises not only women and men but also sexual and gender minority communities, highlighting the importance of inclusivity and recognition for all. Stating that the community is still struggling for their identity and survival, Deputy Speaker Honorable Indira Rana emphasized the need for the full implementation of the rights guaranteed by the constitution and the law. She also urged the community to engage politically with the forthcoming bill in parliament, advocating for the advancement of their issues through private bills. Speaking on the occasion, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Tap Bahadur Magar said the commission has been working for the protection of human rights of sexual and gender minorities since its inception. He said the commission’s strategy plan has also given priority to community issues and has recommended to the Government of Nepal to ensure human rights of the community through the study report. Similarly, Mehtab Tatar, Deputy Country Representative of UN Women, congratulated on the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia. Tatar remarked that Nepal is a progressive country in South Asia concerning the rights of sexual and gender minorities. Laxmi Ghalan, founder and chairperson of Mitini Nepal, along with the chief guest Deputy Speaker Honorable Indira Rana, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairperson Tap Bahadur Magar and Mehtab Tatar, Deputy Country Representative of UN Women jointly released a book titled “No One Is Left Behind, Equality, Freedom and Justice for All.” During the event, the couples featured in the storybook were also honored by the chief guest. The stories shared in this book highlight the struggles and identities of couples from sexual and gender minority communities, detailing the challenges they face in both their personal and public lives due to the lack of marriage equality and various other issues. Milan Bastola and Nirmala Bastola of Chitwan, a couple who have been living together for the last 24 years, along with the family of Raj Chaudhary of Morang who have accepted him as members of the community and Aarambha Nepal, were also honored by the chief guest. On the occasion, Founder President of Mitini Nepal, Laxmi Ghalan, stated that solidarity from everyone is necessary in the campaign for equality and freedom of the community. A total of 329 people including individuals from all seven provinces, commissions, UN agencies, international and national NGOs, civil society, local stakeholders, teachers, celebrity and media persons participated in the program.

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