UN Renews Crucial Mandate for Protection Against Violence and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

12 July 2019

Media Contact: Daina Rudusa, commsteam@outrightinternational.org, +1 (917) 622-1865

UN Renews Crucial Mandate for Protection Against Violence and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

“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 favour, with 12 voting against and 7 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 60 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.

Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International said:

“In far too many places around the world, violence and murder of people because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity remains a daily reality. Even in countries which have enjoyed significant progress in recognition of the human rights of LGBTIQ people, a backlash has been growing. We commend the Human Rights Council's affirmation of the acute continuing need for the Independent Expert on the Protection Against Violence and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, as we face quite the battle ahead before we can live free to be who we are, love whom we choose, free from fear of violence, hate and persecution.”

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.

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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 (2018-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.


Organization Name Name
42 Degrees Emily Dwyer  
ABGLT - ASSOCIAÇÃO BRASILEIRA DE LESBICAS, GAYS, BISSEXUAIS, TRAVESTIS, TRANSEXUAIS E INTERSEXOS Symmy Larrat
Accountability International Denis Nzioka
Amnesty International Laura Carter
ARC International Mariana Winocur
ASEAN SOGIE Caucus Ryan Silverio
Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) Joe Wong
Asistencia Legal por los Derechos Humanos A.C. (ASILEGAL) Jose Luis Gutierrez Román
Asociación OTD Chile Franco Fuica
Caribe Afirmativo Wilson
çavaria Jeroen Borghs
CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality Harjanti Kertokarijo
COC Nederland Alexander Hammelburg
Colectivo Alejandria Karla Guevara
Comunidad Homosexual Argentina (CHA) Pedro Paradiso Sottile
Conurbanes por la Diversidad- Argentina Darío Arias
Egale Canada Helen Kennedy
Equality Australia Hayley Conway
ERA - LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey Vuk Raiević
Fundación Afrodescendiente por las Diversiades Sociales y Sexuales - SOMOS IDENTIDAD
Fundacion Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexual Roberto Perez Baeza
Fundación Reflejos de Venezuela Ana Margarita Rojas
GATE Naomhán O'Connor
Gender DynamiX Hape Peshoane
GIN-SSOGIE Toni Kruger-Ayebazibwe
Haus of Khameleon Miki Wali
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia Biljana Ginova
Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum Susan Baluka
Human Rights Law Centre Michelle Bennett
ILGA Asia Dowha Kim
ILGA World Daniele Paletta
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
Iranti Jabu Pereira
Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights (KLPH) Minhee Ryu
Las Chulas Cabaret y Derechos Humanos AC Luz Aranda
LGBTI Support Center Biljana Ginova
LSVD Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany Klaus Jetz
Namibia Diverse Women's Association (NDWA) Linda RM Baumann
ODRI Intersectional rights Marisa Paredes
OutRight Action International Daina Rudusa
Pacific Human Rights Initiative Tuisina Brown
People's Matrix Tampose Mothopeng
People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy Sooyoung Hwang
Planet Ally Bess Hepworth
Red Latinoamericana GayLatino Simón Cazal
REDTRANS Nicaragua silvia martinez
RFSL, the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights Micah Grzywnowicz
RFSU Matilda Ström
RWS - India's Diverse Chamber Simran Shaikh
Stichting NNID Miriam Van der Have
Synergía - Initiatives for Human Rights Fanny Gomez
The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights Carlos Quesada
Jinho Lee nonolettuce@gmail.com
Trans Pasefika Tuisina Ymania Brown
TransAction (Aotearoa / New Zealand) Jack Byrne
Valientes de Corazón Ecuador Emilio Villafuerte
Young Queer Alliance Fokeerbux Najeeb Ahmad