Santa Khurai, Secretary All Manipur Nupi Maanbi Association and also a writer and gender rights activist presented statement in the 48th Human Rights Council Session on 15th September 2021held in Geneva. She is a fellow RAP 20212 – 2022 fellow under Swedish Federation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender Rights _ RFSL. The statement was make on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons from 14 countries from Global East and Global South. She presented the statement to the Special rapporteur water and sanitation and addressed the issues faced by the LGBTIQ+ community to democratic access to safe water and sanitation.
The statement also highlighted that marginalised groups disproportionately face violations to our rights to water and sanitation. It also mentioned that marginalised groups are not homogenous and intersecting forms of discrimination and inequality impact us differently. In the statement the factors that affect LGBTIQ+ persons’ rights to water and sanitation were also addressed such as the harmful norms and stereotypes, the gender binary, cis-heteronormativity, high poverty rates, and all forms of colonialism. Trans, intersex, and gender non-binary persons experience unequal access to sanitation, menstrual hygiene, and toilets, increasing our risk to violence, affecting our physical and mental health, right to life, safety, privacy, and freedom of movement.
The statement reflects that predatory capitalism and water privatization are driving climate change, destroying ecosystems, creating water crises and contamination, threatening electricity supplies, and increasing water borne diseases affecting the most vulnerable, such as indigenous trans persons. It continued with the current COVID crisis situation and its impact to the LGBTIQ+ community and said that all humans have a right to access water and sanitation equally and states must adopt policies and programs that address LGBTIQ+ issues, affirm their identities, and involve LGBTI people in decision making on water and sanitation management.
The statement ended with a question to the Special Rapporteur on Water and Sanitation as how will he engage and consult with LGBTI persons, especially from underrepresented regions and identities during his mandate?