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New Equality & Justice Alliance To Lead £5.6 Million Commonwealth Programme To Reform Discrimina

The Equality & Justice Alliance – a consortium composed of international NGOs Kaleidoscope Trust, Human Dignity Trust, The Royal Commonwealth Society and Sisters For Change – will implement a £5.6 million programme to build fairer, more equal and more inclusive Commonwealth societies by supporting countries seeking to reform laws that discriminate against women and girls and LGBT people.

We welcome the announcement made by Prime Minister Theresa May during the Commonwealth Summit in London last week that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office will fund the Alliance’s ambitious 2-year programme, which will engage with Commonwealth leaders, governments and civil society actors to advance equality and equal protection before the law in order to secure the rights of all Commonwealth citizens, regardless of gender, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression.

Speaking to the Joint Forums of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the Prime Minister expressed “deep regret” for Britain’s historic role in instituting “discriminatory laws made many years ago [that] continue to affect the lives of many people, criminalising same sex relations and failing to protect women and girls”. The result of these laws is that women and girls and LGBT individuals do not have equal protection of the law and still suffer discrimination, violence and/or criminalisation on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity in many Commonwealth countries.

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