18th session

Geneva 12-30 September 2011

After the wonderful achievements of the 16th and 17th sessions, with the joint statement of 85 states, and the  resolution on Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity respectively, this was a reasonably quiet session for SO/GI issues.

However, as usual the Council adopted a number of UPR reports. Highlights included:

  • Palau and Seychelles accepted recommendations to decriminalize homosexuality. In answering a NGO question the government representative said that such law change would come ‘pretty soon’.
  • Greece considered that gender identity falls in the scope of sexual orientation, and took with interest note of a NGO intervention explaining this is not the case.
  • Solomon Islands accepted to repeal provisions criminalizing sexual activity between consenting adults, but rejected to do so in relation to consenting adults of the same sex. Answering NGO comments, the government announced that budget would be allocated for a nationwide consultation in relation to decriminalization in 2012.
  • Latvia accepted recommendations to increase efforts to combat discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but claimed that violence against LGBT people had not taken place…
  • Suriname rejected recommendations to include SO/GI in anti-discrimination provisions, but agreed with a NGO representative present in Geneva to discuss the need for such issues further when back home.

Read ARC’s advocacy document: Addressing human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity at the 18th session of the Human Rights Council (PDF).