Circumstance is a film about the fight for sexual freedom of an Iranian teenager, whose attempt to define and express her sexual orientation is opposed by a wealthy and traditional family and by Iran's laws, which criminalise same-sex relationship. This film invites us to reflect upon the state of the rights of LGBTI people around the world. In approximately 70 states (mainly in Africa, South-East Asia and Middle East) homosexuality is illegal, whereas in 10 countries, including Iran, people who engage in homosexual acts face the death penalty, because of the threats to public health and welfare allegedly posed by homosexuality.Criminalisation and discrimination of LGBTI people violate several human rights protected by international law, of which the most important are the freedom from driscrimination and right to privacy, as affirmed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.For this reason, a commitment from the international community to ensure that human rights are respected is fundamental in order to put an end to the violence and discrimination to which LGBTI individuals are exposed. Similarly, it is increasingly important to combat prejudice and promote a change at the domestic level: civil engagement could be one successful way to bring pressure to bear upon the governments concerned.
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The Human Rights Film Series is a student-led Human Rights Law centre initiative. It shows engaging and provocative films which bring challenging human rights issues to life. The context of each film is briefly introduced by a relevant expert followed by discussion. Screenings are organised by a student committee and are free and open to all staff and students.
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