United Nations Makes History on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
UN human rights body establishes an Independent Expert
(Geneva, June 30, 2016)
In a defining vote, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on “Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, and gender identity”, to mandate the appointment of an Independent Expert on the subject. It is a historic victory for the human rights of all persons who are at risk of discrimination and violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, 28 human rights groups said today.
The positive vote responds to a joint campaign of a record 628 nongovernmental organizations from 151 countries calling on the Council to adopt the resolution and create the SOGI Independent Expert.
We hope that this resolution will mark a turning point in the struggle to create a world free from violence and discrimination for all people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
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628 NGOs from 151 countries call for a SOGI Independent Expert at the UN
We, 628 organisations from 151 countries, call the UN Human Rights Council to establish an Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).
Our call for a SOGI Independent Expert to address SOGI-related human rights violations is a necessary step towards urgently addressing the serious abuses on these grounds in every region of the world. We urge the Human Rights Council to act urgently and establish such a mandate. As UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon affirmed: “The time has come”.
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Will the UN get an expert on sexual orientation and gender identity?
Come 30 June 2016 the United Nations Human Rights Council will, in a historic vote, seek to establish the first UN Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). The role of the expert will be to assess the implementation of international laws to overcome violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The expert is also tasked with raising awareness and addressing root causes of such violations. The annual reports of the expert will bring to light the often invisible, yet brutal infringements of rights suffered by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) people in all countries around the world, including India.
Read full article by Arvind Narrain
We urge Solomon Islands to ensure that any constitutional reform is inclusive – UPR
In a statement delivered during the Universal Periodic Review of Solomon Islands, ARC International and Pacific Sexual Diversity Network (PSDN) urged the country to “accept and implement all UPR recommendations and ensure that any constitutional reform is inclusive and in conformity with international law”.
The statement expresses the “extremely concerned that during your current constitutional reform process, due to end in late 2016, there is proposed language that would specifically exclude “sexual orientation” from constitutional protection. This is extremely dangerous, and in a climate of high rates of violence, to leave our communities vulnerable is unthinkable”.
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We urge Palau to develop laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of SOGI and intersex status
A statement by ARC International and Pacific Sexual Diversity Network (PSDN) urged Palau to “bring its legislation into conformity with its commitment to equality and non‐discrimination, and its international human rights obligations, by developing anti-discrimination laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and inter sex status. We also recommend that the Human Rights Council urge Palau to develop or support initiatives regarding “hate crimes”, such as legislation, which references sexual orientation and gender identity”.
Delivered by Joleen Mataele during the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council – Universal Periodic Review of Palau, the statement also welcomed “the fact that new criminal laws, which came into force at the end of July 2014, no longer criminalize same-sex consensual conduct in Palau”.
Read the full statement