ARC Statements: 30th regular session of the Human Rights Council
As the 30th session of the Human Rights Council was convened from 14 September to 2 October 2015, ARC International and advocacy partners ensured sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and intersex issues were brought to the floor. Among the statements at HRC30 were:
Joint NGO statement on LGBTI defenders delivered by the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) on 28 September.
Statement on the report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, prepared in close consultation with Muslims for Progressive Values.
Joint statement with the International Lesbian and Gay Association to the interactive dialogue with the WG on Arbitrary Detention.
Our Voices, our Communities, our Rights; Report on the Pacific LGBTQI Human Rights Conference
A visible show of support from Her Royal Highness Honourable Salote Lupepau’u Tuita Taione (Tongan Royal family), contrasted with open protests from anti-gay factions as LGBTQI organised groups convened the Pacific LGBTQI Human Rights Conference in May this year. Co‑organized by the Pacific Sexual Diversity Network (PSDN), Diverse Voices for Action and Equality (DIVA) and ARC International (ARC), the conference was hosted by the Tonga Leiti Association (TLA) in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.
A report on the conference, “Our Voices, our Communities, our Rights: Advancing Human Rights related to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression in the Pacific” is now available online.
Attended by 96 people, including participants from 12 different Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs), the conference objectives include connecting people and LGBTQI organised groups across the Pacific region and educating activists about international human rights law, recent international developments and agreed principles such as the Yogyakarta Principles.
Through panel presentations, discussions and plenaries, the Pacific LGBTQI Human Rights Conference saw a significant LGBTQI dialogue on Pacific society, culture and tradition. The sessions explored topics that includes
- SOGIE invisibility, discrimination, and advancing positive changes in law and in practice;
- Ethics, Spirituality, Religion: Sharing Pacific LGBTQI personal, group and national experiences
- Human Rights, Sexual Rights and Development: Engaging Regional and International Mechanisms
- Health and Wellbeing in the Pacific
The report documents the extensive discussion and the recommendations coming out of the sessions under several general headings of health, youth, security, movement building, monitoring and research. Read more in-depth analysis of the discussion here.
There was strong exhortation to groups in the region to develop strong and holistic positions on health and wellbeing that includes language on sexual and reproductive rights and health and the environment and foster youth leadership positions within their organisations.
Delegates identified the need to address the lack of proper sex education and bullying in schools, to monitor human rights abuses towards LGBTQI in the region and to sensitise police about LGBTQI and SOGI human rights as an immediate priority.
It is vital, delegates asserted, to have Pacific-focused and led dialogue about local LGBTQI human rights abuses and discrimination and produce region-specific research.
Read the full recommendations of the Pacific Regional Human Rights Conference 2015 here.
ARC reports on the 29th session of the Human Rights Council
Geneva, July 23, 2015
The highlight of the 29th Session of the Human Rights Council from June 15 – July 3, 2015, where LGBTI issues are concerned, was the release of the Report of the High Commissioner on human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Report, which polarized state opinion, has the potential for becoming an important tool for global as well as regional and national advocacy.
The increasing mainstreaming of the rights of LGBTI persons was reflected in the fact that that as in previous sessions, LGBTI issues found mention in the Reports of many Special Rapporteurs including the Special Rapporteurs on the right to heath, and the protection of human rights during counter terrorism, as well as in state and civil society responses to the same.
Read on for our analysis on the 29th Session of the Human Rights Council: Denying the rights of persons based on sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status challenges the universality of human rights….Read more on HRC29
417 NGOs support SOGIEI statement to Human Rights Council
Danish Sheikh delivers the statement on SOGIEI at HRC29
Allied Rainbow Communities International joined 417 NGOs from 105 countries to send a strong message to the United Nations (UN) to address discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or intersex status (SOGIEI). ARC International was one of13 co-sponsoring NGOs of the statement delivered by Danish Sheikh at the 29th UN Human Rights Council on 29 June 2015.
The statement welcomed the resolution passed in September and recent report of the OHCHR. It noted however that violations on the basis of SOGII are systemic and require systemic responses.
Read the full statement and the list of signatories here. (aussi en Français; tambien en español)
You can watch the video here.
In Defence of Universal Human Rights
Narrain (centre) on the panel exploring the universality of human rights at UN. Photo courtesy Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV)
ARC’s Geneva Director Arvind Narrain explores the universality of human rights in the following presentation. The three theses in defence of human rights, was presented to the side event on the topic organised by the Association for Women’s Rights in Development. The event on June 17, 2015 was staged as part of the annual full day discussion on the human rights of women, and the interactive dialogues with the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and the Working Group on Discrimination against Women during the 29th session of the Council.
Read Narrain’s full presentation “In Defence of Human Rights”
Full Bulletin of informal meetings held in parallel to the session.