Journal of South Asian Development. Volume 15(2) pp 184-208
This article explores civil society organizations’ (CSOs) views on the contemporary situation of LGBT+ people in Bangladesh. It is a lacuna requiring attention because of the country’s poor and deteriorating equality and human rights record. Here we analyse the level of attention to prevailing human rights violations and apply critical frame analysis to the corpus of CSOs’ submissions to the United Nations third cycle Universal Periodic Review (UPR), 2013–2018. These reveal how a series of key pathologies—including, violence, intimidation and discrimination—affect the lives of LGBT+ people. The wider significance of this study lies in highlighting that, while not a replacement for justiciable rights, the discursive processes offered by the UPR are of key significance in seeking to advance LGBT+ rights in countries like Bangladesh where oppression combines with extremism and political elites’ refusal to embrace equality in relation to gender identity and sexual orientation.