Submission: DFAT consultation on LGBTQIA+ human rights in Australia’s development program

March 15, 2024

ALHR has provided a submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) consultation on LGBTQIA+ human rights in Australia’s development program. 

Despite engagement with LGBTQIA+ rights internationally, Australia has not, to date, developed a formal LGBTQIA+ foreign policy strategy. 

We therefore welcome the Federal Government’s intention to increase its support and advocacy for the human rights of LGBTQIA+ persons, including through the development of an LGBTQIA+ Human Rights Strategy (the Strategy) and a new Inclusion and Equality Fund (the IE Fund). The development of a DFAT Strategy and IE Fund are the much needed next steps that will provide an overarching human rights framework and resources that enable Australia to continuously build upon its international engagement to advance LGBTQIA+ rights as a  priority area of Australia’s foreign policy.

This strengthening of supports to protect and advance the rights of individuals with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and innate variations of sex characteristics(SOGIESC) is a step closer to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda to truly ‘leave no one behind’:

“We will only realize this vision [of ‘no one left behind’] if we reach all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Ending marginalization and exclusion of LGBT people is a human rights priority – and a development imperative.”

Our submission calls on the Federal Government to forensically consider Australia’s international human rights law obligations and civil society’s joint statements on the LGBTQIA+ community’s rights and how they might be reflected and advanced through Australia’s foreign policy, including the Strategy and IE Fund. 

Read our submission and recommendations here