Human Rights Council
The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) is the main intergovernmental forum of the United Nations dealing with human rights issues.
Activists and States have used various tools for promoting visibility, raising awareness and building support for LGBT rights. These tools include the opportunity to
- submit written statements;
- make oral interventions in the Council plenary;
- organise parallel panels on topics of interest;
- raise sexual orientation and gender identity issues during Council sessions with the High Commissioner for Human Rights;
- engage in interactive dialogue with the UN Special Procedures; and
- make individual or joint statements in support of sexual orientation and gender identity issues during general debate.
In 2015, the highlight of the 29th Session of the Human Rights Council from the point of view of the rights of LGBTI persons was the release of the Report of the High Commissioner on human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Report itself (which is a highly significant document) polarized state opinion into those who were totally supportive and those who were strongly opposed. However going beyond the dynamics of the Council session, the Report, as a detailed study by a credible organization, 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.
In June 2011, at it’s 17th session, the Human Rights Council passed the first ever UN resolution on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity. The resolution expressed “grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity”, and requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a study “documenting discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, in all regions of the world, and how international human rights law can be used to end violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity”. The resolution also decided that the HRC would hold a panel discussion to discuss the findings of the report at it’s 19th regular session.
The second resolution on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity (A/HRC/RES/27/32) was adopted by the HRC at its 27th regular session in September 2014. Tabled by Chile, Uruguay, Brazil and Colombia, with 42 additional co-sponsors, the resolution asked the High Commissioner for Human Rights to update the 2012 study on violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, with a view to sharing good practices and ways to overcome violence and discrimination. The report was presented to the Council in June 2015.
Please explore the links below for more information on ARC International’s advocacy at the HRC.
See also ARC International’s Guide to the HRC
View the HRC’s Annual Programme of Work for 2015
31st – February-March 2016
30th – September-October 2015
29th – June-July 2015
28th – March 2015
27th – September 2014
26th – June 2014
25th – March 2014
24th – September 2014
23rd – June 2013
22nd – March 2013
21st – September 2012
20th – June 2012
19th – March 2012
18th – September 2011
17th – June 2011
16th – March 2011
15th – September 2010
14th – June 2010
13th – March 2010
12th – September 2009
11th – June 2009
10th – March 2009
9th – September 2008
8th – June 2008
7th – March 2008
6th – September/December 2007
5th – June 2007
4th – March 2007
3rd – December 2006
2nd – September – November 2006
1st – June 2006
Human Rights Council Advisory Committee