Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

International Affairs

First Advisor

Dr. Lorraine Bayard de Volo

Second Advisor

Dr. Douglas Snyder

Third Advisor

Dr. Lucy Chester

Abstract

In the past couple of decades, much of the world shifted into embracing LGBT rights as human rights. Brazil followed this trend and passed federal laws ensuring rights for the LGBT community. However, the Brazilian society has not fully accepted the LGBT people, as evidenced by Brazil having one of the highest violence rates against LGBT members in the world. This thesis uses the established United Nations international legal framework that defines LGBT rights as human rights worldwide under international law to show how this framework influenced the advancements Brazil made in the 2000s to introduce LGBT-friendly laws within the country. It uses homicide rates to show that violence persists and that adoption of laws did not translate into more societal acceptance. Furthermore, it examines the difficulties in implementing LGBT international laws at the national and local levels within Brazil and how this exacerbates violence against LGBT members mainly because the current initiatives happen in isolation. These challenges require the adoption of a set of comprehensive policies that must be implemented and work in conjunction with one another, tackling different roots of prejudice, in order to effectively fight violence and discrimination against the LGBT people in the country. These policies are ought to be first implemented on local level where current successful initiatives are already in place and sympathy for LGBT people already exists, and after the trial period, they should be expanded to other states. The set of policy proposals are based on similar work done for women’s rights protection in Brazil and Europe, and on recommendations made by the United Nations in regards to anti-LGBT violence and discrimination.

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