Kyrgyzstan: Violence against Lesbians, Bisexual Women and Transgender Men
Monday, November 10, 2008 9:42 AM

In October 2008, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a report detailing violence against lesbians, bisexual women and transgender men in Kyrgyzstan.  The report argues that people who identify themselves as lesbian, bisexual or transgender face severe discrimination that often takes the form of violence or sexual assault.  According to the HRW report, entrenched social expectations of masculinity and femininity contribute to violence against people who define their gender identity outside of these norms.  Labrys, a non-governmental organization in Kyrgyzstan cited by the report, is the only organization in the country to provide aid, counseling and shelter to people who identify as lesbians, bisexual women and transgender men.  HRW reports that although the Kyrgyz government enacted a 2003 Domestic Violence Law, little has been done to enforce laws that protect women from sexual abuse or violence.  The report notes that lesbians, bisexual women and transgender men are especially vulnerable populations and as such, laws must provide for their protection as well.   

The report urges the Kyrgyz state to take immediate action to confront the problem.  HRW suggests that the government provide meaningful enforcement of existing laws.  The report also recommends in-depth training of health care administrators, police forces, and government officials.  This training should focus on the specific needs of lesbians, bisexual women and transgender men.

To read the full report, click here. (pdf 48 pages)

 Compiled from: “These Everyday Humiliations: Violence against Lesbians, Bisexual Women, and Transgender Men in Kyrgyzstan, Human Rights Watch, October 2008.