The combined efforts of civil society from around the Commonwealth have produced a new declaration on governance for resilience to be submitted to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta. The Malta declaration contains substantive recommendations for the Commonwealth in better protecting the rights of LGBTI people, including:
- Criminalisation, violence, discrimination and exclusion faced by LGBTI people hinders the resilience of societies. Inclusive societies are stronger, more innovative and therefore more resilient. Commonwealth civil society must forge stronger links across sectoral interests – LGBTI, union, disability, women and faith movements, indigenous people and ageing populations. People in all of their diversity embody multiple identities, face intersecting oppressions and suffer from the same structural and institutional threats to civil society space.
- A number of Commonwealth governments require encouragement to engage with LGBTI civil societies in their own countries. There is a role in sharing good national policy to inform inter-governmental and cross-governmental dialogue to protect the lives of people who experience violence on the grounds of their sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
- The Commonwealth has a role in assisting the transition of knowledge from national to the intergovernmental and between states, and to facilitate a dialogue to safeguard lives which respects the cross cutting nature of LGBTI issues as they intersect with gender, race, faith, ethnicity, disability, and age.
- We call on Commonwealth leaders to follow the example of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, the Organisation of American States and the UN Human Rights Council, and condemn violence on any and all grounds and we call on Commonwealth Governments to effectively build on the work of the CPF 2015 to ensure that this work remains active in the Commonwealth agenda. Furthermore, Commonwealth leaders and institutions must make concrete efforts to prevent acts of violence and harassment committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.