define('DISALLOW_FILE_MODS',true); e-bulletin #22 – April 2018

e-bulletin #22 – April 2018

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Dear colleagues,
After some intensive months, we are pleased to get back to you all and share what have been our latest activities. As we already told you, we have done some movements regarding our staff, so our Geneva director has moved to Bangalore, India, assuming the new title of Director of Research and Practice. We have also participated in UN spaces, attended strategic meetings and delivered conferences and trainings.
Please, take a look at some of our latest activities.


62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62)

Advocacy towards agreed conclusions 

This year ARC engaged well-ahead of the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, along with other NGO partners, to discuss strategies for advocacy around the CSW outcome text, known as the Agreed Conclusions. Following last year’s failure to have Agreed Conclusions, we were pleased to see that this year there was a formal adoption of the text on the last day of the CSW. The text reflected strong content in a number of relevant areas such as: civil society participation, women human rights defenders, intersectionality, diversity, violence, and family. The CSW remains a space where specific SOGIESC language remains a challenge, and NGOs, along with State allies, took a different approach this year, with some significant outcomes. ARC directly facilitated the accreditation of a number of organizations from across the globe and matched others to groups that were able to accredit people to attend.

Side event on LGBTI rural women and people

Human Rights Principles for the treatment of LGBTI rural women and people” was the side event we co-hosted with OutRight Action International and Transgender Europe (TGEU). Our ED Kim Vance and other panelists (Cianan Russell, TGEU, Monica Tabengwa, Pan Africa ILGA, and Kimberly Zieselman, InterACT) spoke about the Yogyakarta Principles plus 10 and how they can be applied to rural LBTI women and people, particularly subjected to human rights violations.
Read more about the conference and watch it here.

CSW LBTI caucus’ communications

As part of the CSW LBTI caucus, ARC’s Communications Officer Mariana Winocur had an active participation in developing a series of messages and images to bring attention to LBTI rights.
The CSW LBTI Caucus is made of Non-Governmental Organizations and advocates who work for the inclusion of the rights of lesbians, bisexual women, transgender and intersex persons at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
Take a look at the CSW LBTI caucus site where you can find our research, messaging and more.

Article about #IESOGI

We are pleased to share an article by Arvind which is titled, ‘The Mandate of the IE on SOGI: What has been achieved, what can we expect and how can it be useful? ‘.  This piece argues that the Independent Expert has to now capitalize and take forward the jurisprudence which has been developed by the Special Procedure and the YP plus 10 process.  The Independent Expert should stimulate fresh thinking on LGBTI issues which can then contribute to the development of jurisprudence.

Read the article here.

YP plus 10

Arvind Narrain worked with Sangama to do a training for  LGBT activists based in (Karnataka) South India on the  Yogyakarta Principles and Yogyakarta Principles plus 10 framework and how they intersect with the Constitutional framework on the 30-31 of March.  The idea of the two day training was to equip activists with human rights language derived from both the Indian Constitution and  YP / YP plus10 to take forward advocacy.

On March 7th, ARC, in partnership with OutRight Action International, GATE, UNDP, UNFPA and UN Women, organized a briefing/webinar for UN Agency staff on the new YP+10 framework and how UN agencies can respond to the recommendations. ARC’s ED, Kim Vance was one of the panelists and spoke about the process for drafting the new principles and the underlying values in both the YP and YP+10 processes.

ARC was also able to work with the Canadian government to facilitate time on the agenda for a short briefing on the YP+10 with Equal Rights Coalition members states during their meeting in Washington on March 26th.

Statement on India – UPR

We were pleased to learn that LGBT organisations who had collaboratively made a statement at India’s UPR felt that the intersectional nature of the statement allowed them to circulate the statement widely and thereby educate human rights groups about the fact that LGBT groups too were affected and concerned about broader human rights concerns such as the rising tide of intolerance in India.

You can read the statement here.

India’s role in the HRC 

An article by Arvind Narrain titled , ‘India’s role in the Human Rights Council: Is there a constitutional vision in its foreign policy?’ was published in the Indian Journal of Constitutional Law. The article seeks ‘to understand the nature of India’s interventions in the Human Rights Council spanning the areas of civil and political rights, country specific resolutions, socio-economic rights and emerging issues such as sexual orientation and gender identity’.

India’s overall record at the Human Rights Council indicates a country which does not seem to think that Constitutional values which govern the country internally need to be promoted internationally.

Read the article here.

Transform – 2nd International Conference on Transgender Rights and the Law 

Transform – 2nd International Conference on Transgender Rights and the Law took place in Bangalore, India, on the 14th and 15th of April. Arvind Narrain presented a paper which analysed the Supreme Court judgment on transgender rights, NALSA v. UOI from an intersectional lens, looking at the connections between caste and gender identity and expression in particular.

The paper also examined how the language of the judgment was moulded by the Yogyakarta Principles ( in particular Principle 3 on right to recognition before the law) and how the YP plus 10 can play a role in developing a transgender jurisprudence in India.

Watch the video here.

Equal Rights Coalition

ARC continues to be deeply involved in the work of the Equal Rights Coalition, regularly participating in meetings, being a member of the Thematic Group on National Laws and Policies, and sitting on the civil society selection and planning committee for the upcoming ERC conference in Vancouver in August 2018. Applications for CSOs are open until May 9th and are available here.

We are also part of a coalition of groups that regularly engage with Global Affairs Canada on their co-chairship of the ERC and foreign policy issues more broadly. This work intersects with ARC’s role on the National Steering Committee for the Dignity Initiative.

Training with Global Affairs Canada

As the lens increasingly shines on Canada to demonstrate leadership on LGBTI issues, we were pleased to accept an invitation to develop and deliver a module on the international LGBTI context with Global Affairs Canada staff in Ottawa in March.

The module focused on: an overview of the current state of international developments at the UN; the Yogyakarta Principles +10 (a framework for SOGIESC obligations and work); and important data/documents that can inform Canada’s role globally.

Relocation notice

Having assessed our achievements of working collaboratively across regions to the growing expansion of human rights organisations in the area of SOGIESC issues around Geneva-based mechanisms, we decided to relocate our Geneva office and move forward.
By the end of February, Arvind Narrain, our former Geneva Director, assumed the new title of Director of Research and Practice, and moved to Bangalore, India, where he continues to work as a vital part of our team.
We feel honoured to have supported and contributed to the growth and expansion in many ways, as the first group working on these issues to have a sustained presence in Geneva.
We will continue to deliver regional trainings, the development of practical tools, supporting various mechanisms for change, along with strong research and analysis.

Looking ahead


ARC ED, Kim Vance, will be travelling to Botswana at the end of May for the Pan-Africa ILGA Regional Conference. ARC and partners COC, PAI and ILGA are hosting a 1.5 day pre-conference assessing and evaluating African CSO engagement with UN mechanisms. ARC and PAI are also co-organizing an African launch of the YP+10 with UN Independent Expert on SOGI, Victor Madrigal Borloz, and hopefully rolling out the French translation.

New anthology

A New anthology from the Human Rights Consortium, School of Advanced Study entitled “Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights: (Neo)colonialism, Neoliberalism, Resistance and Hope” will be released in June. Both Arvind Narrain and Kim Vance have chapters in the book.

Asia-Pacific Conference in Fiji

The  2nd Pacific Human Rights Conference which will be held on 28th May – 1st June 2018 with the theme “My Voyage One Ocean Our Journey: Pacific LGBTQI Roadmap to 2030”. ARC’s Arvind Narrain will participate.


ARC’s ED Kim Vance will be in Geneva in June for the Human RIghts Council in June and present during the 2nd report of the UN Independent Expert on SOGI (and the 1st report of new mandate holder, Víctor Madrigal Borloz.

World AIDS conference

ARC is working with partner organization MSMGF to deliver a skills development workshop entitled “Utilizing international human rights law and mechanisms of the United Nations to strengthen rights for key populations affected by HIV/AIDS” during the World AIDS Conference. The Conference will take place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on 23-27 July.

Other editions of the ARC E-bulletin

21. December 201720. August 2017 I 19. April 2017 I 18. January 2017 I 17. September 2016 16. April 2016 I 15. October 2015 I 14. April 2015 I 13. January 2015  I 12. September 2014  I 11. June 2014  I 10. February 2014  I 9. November 2013  I 8. July 2013  I 7. December 2012  I 6. September 2012  I 5. March 2012  I 4. October 2011  I 3. July 2011  I 2. April 2011  I 1. January 2011