Human Rights prize awarded to the Naz Foundation, 10 February 2012
Ambassador Richier visits Naz Foundation and confers Human Rights prize.
New Delhi, 10 February 2012
The French Republic honoured Naz Foundation for its action against discriminations based on sexual orientation
On 10 February 2012, Mr François Richier, Ambassador of France to India, honoured Ms Anjali Gopalan, Director, Naz Foundation India, with a special distinction medal for Human Rights given by the French Republic, “Liberty-Equality-Fraternity” 2011. Founded in 1988 and bestowed in the name of the Prime Minister, this prestigious prize rewards international and French NGOs working towards upholding human rights in all its forms. Last year, two themes were chosen for the prize: fight against violence perpetrated against women, and fight against discriminations based on sexual orientation and gender.
It was for its action in the latter area that Naz Foundation was honoured. It is a pioneer in India both in the treatment of AIDS-affected people and, above all, in receiving and assisting homosexuals.
Since 2000, Naz Foundation has been spearheading a legal battle against Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Inherited from Victorian legislation, it criminalises sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex. By contributing to the formation of a consortium of NGOs and activists called “Voices against 377”, aided by the Lawyers’ Collective, the PIL (Public Interest Lawsuit) filed by Naz Foundation culminated in the Delhi High Court judgement, ruling that this provision went against the Indian Constitution.
The investiture ceremony for the remarkable director of Naz Foundation, Ms Gopalan, was held in the Care Home for HIV+ children, which the Foundation runs in Delhi. Simple and touching, it took place before twenty-five boarders – girls and boys aged between 3 and 17 years. Two French parliamentarians also participated in the event: Senators Fabienne Keller (Bas-Rhin) and Jean-Claude Peyronnet (Haute-Vienne). In India on a study trip organised by Global Health Advocates and AIDES, the Senators aimed at raising awareness on France’s large-scale action on health, particularly for the treatment of infectious diseases like AIDS and tuberculosis.