Asian Region of The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Joint statement on UN renews crucial mandate for protection against violence and discrimination based on SOGI

Joint statement on UN renews crucial mandate for protection against violence and discrimination based on SOGI

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
12th July 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 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. 

”Extending this mandate would be crucial for the members of LGBTI communities in many West Asian countries where the states have refused to ratify many human right treaties and left them empty handed and vulnerable facing laws which criminalise sexual orientation and gender identity and expression” said Shadi Amin from Iranian NGO 6Rang.

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. 

“Our communities have witnessed both fundamental victories and alarming setbacks in recent years” said Manisha Dhakal of Blue Diamond Society from Nepal, and ILGA Asia co-Chair. “Amidst this challenging political and social climate, the presence of an expert who can foster dialogue and assist States towards more inclusive policies is of fundamental importance.”

** 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 (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.


Signed:

  1. 42 Degrees

  2. ABGLT - ASSOCIAÇÃO BRASILEIRA DE LESBICAS, GAYS, BISSEXUAIS, TRAVESTIS, TRANSEXUAIS E INTERSEXOS

  3. Accountability International

  4. Amnesty International

  5. ARC International

  6. ASEAN SOGIE Caucus

  7. Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) 

  8. Asistencia Legal por los Derechos Humanos A.C. (ASILEGAL)

  9. Asociación OTD Chile

  10. Caribe Afirmativo

  11. çavaria

  12. Centro de Promoción y Defensa de los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos - Promsex

  13. CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality

  14. COC Nederland

  15. Colectivo Alejandria

  16. Comunidad Homosexual Argentina (CHA)

  17. Conurbanes por la Diversidad- Argentina

  18. Egale Canada

  19. Equality Australia

  20. ERA - LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey

  21. Fundación Afrodescendiente por las Diversiades Sociales y Sexuales - SOMOS IDENTIDAD

  22. Fundacion Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexual

  23. Fundación Reflejos de Venezuela

  24. GATE 

  25. Gender DynamiX

  26. GIN-SSOGIE

  27. Haus of Khameleon 

  28. Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia 

  29. Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum

  30. Human Rights Law Centre

  31. IGLYO

  32. ILGA Asia

  33. ILGA World

  34. ILGALAC - Asociación Internacional de Lesbianas, Gays, Bisexuales, Trans e Intersex para América Latina y El Caribe

  35. International Family Equality Day

  36. International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI)

  37. International Service for Human Rights

  38. Iranti

  39. Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights (KLPH)

  40. Las Reinas Chulas Cabaret y Derechos Humanos AC 

  41. LGBTI Support Center 

  42. LSVD Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany

  43. Namibia Diverse Women's Association (NDWA)

  44. ODRI Intersectional rights

  45. OutRight Action International

  46. Pacific Human Rights Initiative

  47. People's Matrix

  48. People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

  49. Planet Ally

  50. Red Latinoamericana GayLatino

  51. REDTRANS Nicaragua

  52. RFSL, the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights

  53. RFSU

  54. RWS - India's Diverse Chamber 

  55. Stichting NNID

  56. Synergía - Initiatives for Human Rights

  57. The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights 

  58. the Transgender Liberation Front(abbr. TLF)

  59. Trans Pasefika

  60. TransAction (Aotearoa / New Zealand)

  61. Transgender Europe (TGEU)

  62. Valientes de Corazón Ecuador 

  63. Young Queer Alliance


ILGA Asia Media Contacts:

Dowha Kim, Communications and Membership Officer (dowha@ilgaasia.org)

Statement regarding the case of Kyaw Zin Win - a young member of the Myanmar LGBTI community

Statement regarding the case of Kyaw Zin Win - a young member of the Myanmar LGBTI community