The COVID-19 pandemic is seen to have amplify the vulnerabilities and entrenched discriminatory attitudes against LGBTIQ persons.
The Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission in commemorating the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia today says the community must be afforded acceptance, respect and equal treatment.
Commission Director, Ashwin Raj, says LGBTIQ persons are already victims of homophobic violence, sexual exploitation and discrimination at home and in schools, when seeking gainful employment, accessing housing and healthcare.
Raj says this is amplified during these unprecedented times.
He adds the theme “Together: Resisting, Supporting, and Healing!” is significant for the LGBTIQ community particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He says LGBTQI persons, both young and the elderly, face family rejection, endure domestic violence which is not only physical but also psychological, and bullying in their own homes which lead to depression making them more vulnerable during lockdowns and containment.
Raj says during these critical times, many face financial hardship, job losses, homelessness and are susceptible to health risks.
The Commission Director says that family members of LGBTIQ persons are instrumental in preventing and combating abuse and discrimination by being more accepting and compassionate towards the LGBTIQ members of their family.
This event is celebrated globally on the 17th of May every year.
@ukinfiji is proud to fly the 🏳️🌈 Rainbow flag above the High Commission in Suva today to mark #IDAHOBIT day. The UK 🇬🇧 celebrates the rights of the #LGBTQ+ community & is committed to non-discrimination on any grounds. pic.twitter.com/4EA0hbtoxq
— UK in Fiji (@ukinfiji) May 16, 2021