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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Human rights violations among sexual and gender minorities in Kathmandu, Nepal: a qualitative investigation

Sonal Singh123*, Sunil Babu Pant4, Suben Dhakal4, Subash Pokhrel4 and Luke C Mullany12

Author affiliations

1 Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA

2 Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA

3 Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA

4 Blue Diamond Society, Kathmandu, Nepal

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Citation and License

BMC International Health and Human Rights 2012, 12:7  doi:10.1186/1472-698X-12-7

Published: 16 May 2012

Abstract

Background

Nepal has experienced sporadic reports of human rights violations among sexual and gender minorities. Our objective was to identify a range of human rights that are enshrined in international law and/or are commonly reported by sexual and gender minority participants in Kathmandu, to be nonprotected or violated.

Methods

In September 2009 three focus group discussions were conducted by trained interviewers among a convenience sample of sexual and gender minority participants in Kathmandu Nepal. The modified Delphi technique was utilized to elicit and rank participant-generated definitions of human rights and their subsequent violations. Data was analyzed independently and cross checked by another investigator.

Results

Participants (nā€‰=ā€‰29) reported experiencing a range of human rights violations at home, work, educational, health care settings and in public places. Lack of adequate legal protection, physical and mental abuse and torture were commonly reported. Access to adequate legal protection and improvements in the family and healthcare environment were ranked as the most important priority areas.

Conclusions

Sexual and gender minorities in Nepal experienced a range of human rights violations. Future efforts should enroll a larger and more systematic sample of participants to determine frequency, timing, and/or intensity of exposure to rights violations, and estimate the population-based impact of these rights violations on specific health outcomes