REFERENCES TO SEXUAL ORIENTATION & GENDER IDENTITY
Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
VII. The High Commissioner’s Strategic Management Plan 2010– 2011
56. In January 2010, OHCHR’s third Strategic Management Plan (SMP), setting out the expected accomplishments and operational strategy for the 2010–2011 biennium, was launched. SMP is based on Programme 19 of the Secretary-General’s Strategic Framework. Reviewed and approved every two years by the General Assembly, the Strategic Framework establishes the goals and strategic priorities of the United Nations human rights programme, including OHCHR’s mandated tasks, and forms the basis of its request for regular budget resources. Complementing this approach, the SMP presents synchronized planning, implementation, and evaluation processes, providing OHCHR with the detailed operational plan and the management tool required to translate the Strategic Framework into action. In November and December 2009, OHCHR provided briefings for Member States in Geneva and New York, and civil society organizations, on the 2010–2011 SMP.
57. In an effort to sharpen our operational focus, the SMP identifies six substantive human rights priorities, which encompass the work carried out at Headquarters and in the field. These are: (a) countering discrimination, in particular racial discrimination, discrimination on the grounds of sex and against others who are marginalized; (b) pursuing economic, social and cultural rights and combating inequalities and poverty, including in the context of the economic, food and climate crises; (c) ensuring the realization of human rights in the context of migration; (d) combating impunity and strengthening accountability, the rule of law, and democratic societies; (e) protecting human rights in situations of armed conflict, violence and insecurity; and (f) strengthening international human rights mechanisms and the progressive development of international human rights law. Detailed strategies have been developed in respect of each of these priorities, taking into account OHCHR’s expertise, experience and capacity to add value to the work of the United Nations system as a whole.
60. Looking forward to 2010, OHCHR will focus its attention on supporting the human rights mechanisms, in particular the Council as it begins to review its functioning. OHCHR will continue to draw strongly on its field presences in developing and implementing capacity-building tools for Member States, United Nations entities, civil society and other stakeholders. It will prioritize enhanced and coordinated follow-up to the recommendations of the universal periodic review, special procedures and treaty bodies, as well as greater coherence and coordination. Given the scale of discrimination worldwide, particularly against women, OHCHR will continue to strengthen its work to eliminate all forms of discrimination.
Excerpts from SMP:
Countering discrimination, in particular racial discrimination, discrimination on the grounds of sex, religion and against others who are marginalized
Equality before the law and freedom from discrimination are basic legal principles that underpin the protection of all human rights. The roots of most human rights abuses lie in severe violations of these principles. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the main international human rights treaties all contain clauses prohibiting discrimination and establishing state obligations to refrain from discriminatory policies and practices and to take steps to eradicate discrimination in both the public and private spheres.
While certain grounds for discrimination are the focus of specific treaties, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, drawing directly on the language of the UDHR, extend protection to include discrimination on the basis of any “other status”, which treaty bodies have interpreted broadly.
Almost every part of the Office is involved in anti-discrimination-related work …
Expected accomplishments and strategic directions
International community, increasingly responsive to situations characterized by discrimination against individuals and groups
- Organize regional expert seminars on incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, as envisaged in the Durban Review Conference Outcome Document, and other seminars and panel discussions on a range of discrimination-related topics such as racial discrimination and discrimination based on religion, disability, sex and sexual orientation. (pp.22- 24)
Human Rights Mainstreaming, Right to Development, Research and Analysis
Fighting discrimination, in particular racial discrimination, discrimination on the grounds of sex, religion and against others who are marginalized will continue to be a primary area of focus of the Office’s work during the next biennium.
Particular attention will be given to other individuals and groups who are marginalized, and in this regard, the High Commissioner will undertake initiatives including in relation to discrimination based on religion, disability and sexual orientation. OHCHR will provide training and other forms of technical assistance to government bodies, national human rights institutions and civil society with the aim of increasing participation in decision-making by those affected by discrimination, and will support national initiatives. (p. 54)
REGIONAL OFFICES AND CENTRES
Sub-regional Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
Discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, social and political affiliations, gender, sexual orientation and health status, remains a concern. (p. 66)
Regional Office for Southern Africa (Pretoria, South Africa)
The Office covers 14 countries, namely Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- Countering discrimination, in particular racial discrimination, discrimination on the grounds of sex and sexual orientation. (p.68)