MPF goes to court to include questions about the LGBTQIA+ population in the 2022 Census

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MPF goes to court to include questions about the LGBTQIA+ population in the 2022 Census

The MPF (Federal Public Ministry) filed a public civil action in the Federal Court of Acre for the 2022 Census to include questions about the LGBTQIA+ population.

The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday (22) and requires that the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), responsible for the Census, be obliged to add fields referring to gender identity and sexual orientation in the basic and sample questionnaires of the study. .

Sought for comment, the IBGE did not respond until the publication of this report. The institute has already started the tests as the current Census questionnaire and is selecting researchers.

The request was made by the regional prosecutor for Citizens’ Rights, Lucas Costa Almeida Dias, after representation by the CAV (Victim Assistance Center) of the Public Ministry of Acre.

According to the document, to which the sheet had access, the argument is that the statistical information generated by the Census plays a significant role in the implementation of public policies.

Thus, the absence of questions that identify LGBTQIA+ people would constitute an obstacle to the formulation of initiatives focused on the needs of this population.

The action also recalls that Brazil is the country with the most reports of violence against LGBTQIA+ people for the 13th consecutive year.

“If one of the ways the State thought to face this problem was to make it visible, through the inclusion of the fields of gender identity and sexual orientation in the police reports, the addition of these same fields in the most relevant statistical research in the country would certainly highlight other challenges even more eclipsed”, says the document.

The MPF requires the granting of urgent relief to determine that the IBGE develop and use a methodology to include the fields in the 2022 Census questionnaires, within 60 days. It also asks that the same be done in the next censuses.

IBGE argues that data are sensitive

In November 2021, the MPF had already questioned the absence of questions that identify the LGBTQIA+ population in the 2022 Census. At the time, the IBGE stated that these points were never included in the questionnaires.

According to the institute, the topic had already been analyzed by the Justice in 2018, in an action that asked for the inclusion of questions aimed at counting the transsexual population.

The IBGE argued that identification issues, which require the respondent himself, are not compatible with a census operation.

“Gender investigation is considered a sensitive issue, that is, an item that can be considered invasive and personal by the respondent, and may impact the collection of all other information,” the institute said at the time.

The arguments were accepted and the public civil action was dismissed.

According to the IBGE, the definition of the questions included in the survey is a complex process that involves meeting society’s need for information. In addition, factors such as the need to maintain the historical series of data, the assessment of new information needs, and the available alternatives for obtaining the data must be considered.

MPF disagrees with the thesis

In the civil action, the MPF questions the defense presented by the institute, that questions about gender and sexual orientation would be sensitive data.

According to the document, questions about color and race were also considered sensitive. However, IBGE asks the questions, with specific guidance so that the answer is given according to the respondent’s identification, without questioning.

Another argument presented by the IBGE, according to the lawsuit filed by the MPF, is that countries such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the United States do not include this data in their census surveys.

However, the body argues that England and the United Kingdom carried out their demographic census with detailed questions about sexuality and gender identity, a measure that was also followed by Canada and will be followed by Scotland this year and New Zealand in 2023.

Importance of the Census

The Census is considered the most detailed work on the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of Brazilians.

In practice, the data collected by the IBGE work as a basis for a series of public policies, in addition to company investment decisions.

Census information guides, for example, transfers from the FPM (Municipal Participation Fund), a source of resources for city halls.

The survey is usually done every ten years. The most recent edition took place in 2010.

Initially, the new research was scheduled for 2020. However, the pandemic ended up preventing the institute’s work on the streets of the country last year.

In 2021, the Census was postponed again. This time, the reason was the cut of resources destined to research.

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