A move to stop the work of the United Nation’s special expert on LGBT issues from investigating human rights abuses around the world has been fought off at the UN’s General Assembly.
A small group of States attempted to stop the United Nation’s first ever Independent Expert on the “protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
The Independent Expert role was created through United Nations Human Rights Council resolution in June of this year and is held by Vitit Muntarbhorn, a Thai human rights expert.
On Monday UN General Assembly member States voted 84 against a amendment calling for the appointment to be reconsidered. Seventy seven nations voted in favor, and 16 abstained.
Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, commented on the vote saying,
“The UN General Assembly vote makes clear that no one should be subjected to discrimination and violence on any grounds. We congratulate the many states, national human rights institutions, and civil society organizations that worked to ensure that the universal human rights system would be upheld. Today was a victory for human rights.”
Outright Action International said that despite ample jurisprudence defining sexual orientation and gender identity in international human rights law, those who brought the hostile amendment contested the legal principles underpinning the mandate, arguing that sexual orientation and gender identity are not universally recognized as human rights concepts and are not codified in international law.
Published on December 20, 2016 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization