“This is another historic victory, not only for communities of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, but for humanity as a whole.”
(Geneva, July 12, 2019) – In a defining vote, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert focusing on the protection against violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The resolution was adopted by a vote of 27 in favor, with 7 voting against and 12 abstentions.
The campaign calling on the Council to renew the mandate of the UN Independent Expert on SOGI was supported by 1,312 non-governmental organizations from 174 States and territories.
“This is another historic victory, not only for communities of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, but for humanity as a whole”, said Paula Sebastiao of Arquivo de Identidade Angolano in Angola and Simran Shaikh, Asia coordinator of the Trans Respect v. Transphobia project, on behalf of 63 human rights groups worldwide. “Following the call from a record number of organizations from every region imaginable, the UN Human Rights Council has reaffirmed its commitment to combat discrimination and violence on grounds of SOGI, and has reminded all states of their obligations towards these communities.”
Created in 2016, the UN Independent Expert on SOGI has been supported by an ever-growing number of States from all regions of the world. The resolution to create and renew the mandate was presented by a Core Group of seven Latin American countries – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Uruguay.
“The renewal of this mandate demonstrates how United Nations States’ support for tackling violence and discrimination against people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities has grown tremendously,” said UN Trans Advocacy Week campaigners. “The Independent Expert is crucial in bringing international attention to specific violations and challenges faced by trans and gender-diverse persons in all regions.”
Although the renewal process had to overcome 10 hostile amendments, the core of the resolution in affirming the universal nature of international human rights law stands firm.
“The existence of a specific UN human rights mechanism looking at SOGI issues is crucial for our communities to be heard at the global level,” added Ryan Silverio of ASEAN SOGIE Caucus from the Philippines. “If the world is truly committed to leaving no one behind, it can’t shy away from addressing the violence and discrimination that we face. Laws criminalising our identities and actions are unjust, and should no longer be tolerated”.
The UN Independent Expert on SOGI is tasked with assessing implementation of existing international human rights law, by talking to States, and working collaboratively with other UN and regional mechanisms to address violence and discrimination. Through the work of this mandate since 2016, the impact of criminalisation of same-sex relations and lack of legal gender recognition, the importance of data-collection specific to SOGI communities, and examples of good practices to prevent discrimination have been highlighted globally, with visits to Argentina, Georgia, Mozambique and Ukraine.
“The renewal of the mandate signals that the brutal violence and inhuman degradation faced by LGBTI communities worldwide concerns the world community and is an important message reaffirming the humanness of all persons regardless of SOGI. This will help take our struggle forward,” said Arvind Narrain, Director of Research and Practice or ARC International.
We hope that all governments cooperate fully with the UN Independent Expert on SOGI in this important work to bring about a world free from violence and discrimination for all people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
** ENDS **
Note to editors:
- 1. The Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is appointed by the UN Human Rights Council. The mandate was established in 2016, and has been held by Vitit Muntarbhorn (2016-2017) from Thailand, and Victor Madrigal-Borloz (2017-ongoing).
- 2. The press release refers to “people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities” or to “LGBT” – instead of “LGBTI” – as the mandate is specifically tasked with addressing human rights violations on sexual orientation and gender identity.
ORGANISATIONS SIGNING THE STATEMENT AND MEDIA CONTACTS:
|ABGLT – ASSOCIAÇÃO BRASILEIRA DE LESBICAS, GAYS, BISSEXUAIS, TRAVESTIS, TRANSEXUAIS E INTERSEXOS
|ASEAN SOGIE Caucus
|Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN)
|Asistencia Legal por los Derechos Humanos A.C. (ASILEGAL)
|Jose Luis Gutierrez Román
|Asociación OTD Chile
|CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality
|Comunidad Homosexual Argentina (CHA)
|Pedro Paradiso Sottile
|Conurbanes por la Diversidad- Argentina
|ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey
|Fundación Afrodescendiente por las Diversiades Sociales y Sexuales – SOMOS IDENTIDAD
|Fundación Afrodescendiente por las Diversidades Sociales y Sexuales – SOMOS IDENTIDAD
|Fundacion Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexual
|Roberto Perez Baeza
|Fundación Reflejos de Venezuela
|Ana Margarita Rojas
|Haus of Khameleon
|Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia
|Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum
|Human Rights Law Centre
|ILGALAC – Asociación Internacional de Lesbianas, Gays, Bisexuales, Trans e Intersex para América Latina y El Caribe
|Pedro Paradiso Sottile
|International Family Equality Day
|Maria von Känel
|International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI)
|International Service for Human Rights
|Tess McEvoy and Helen Nolan
|firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
|Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights (KLPH)
|Las Reinas Chulas Cabaret y Derechos Humanos AC
|LGBTI Support Center
|LSVD Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany
|Namibia Diverse Women’s Association (NDWA)
|Linda RM Baumann
|ODRI Intersectional rights
|OutRight Action International
|Pacific Human Rights Initiative
|People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
|Red Latinoamericana GayLatino
|RFSL, the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights
|RWS – India’s Diverse Chamber
|Miriam Van der Have
|Synergía – Initiatives for Human Rights
|The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights
|the Transgender Liberation Front(abbr. TLF)
|Tuisina Ymania Brown
|TransAction (Aotearoa / New Zealand)
|Valientes de Corazón Ecuador
|Young Queer Alliance
|Fokeerbux Najeeb Ahmad