The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday issued a human-rights advisory and asked all states and UTs to ensure the protection of the rights of the LGBTQI community in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.

The NHRC after viewing the unprecedented situation across the country and being deeply concerned about the rights of the vulnerable and marginalised sections of the society affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdowns constituted a ‘Committee of Experts on Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Human Rights and Future Response’.

The Committee included representatives from the civil society organizations, independent domain experts, and the representatives from the concerned ministries, departments, and was tasked to assess the impact of the pandemic on the realization of the rights of the people, especially the marginalised and vulnerable sections of the population which have been disproportionately impacted.

“After due consideration of the impact assessment and recommendations made by the Committee of Experts, the Commission has now issued the ‘Human Rights Advisory for Protection of the Rights of LGBTQI+ community in the context of COVID-19 pandemic’,” NHRC said.

The Commission has also requested the Union Ministry and all States and UTs for implementation of the recommendations contained in the advisory and compliance the action taken report to the Commission.

The Commission in its advisory asked states and UTs for ensuring access to health service, access to social security, relief measures and welfare schemes, protection from domestic violence and abuse, and a separate 24/7 toll-free helpline number for LGBTQI community.

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