8 June 2016
Over at the United Nations, the ILGA World Board has unanimously decided to support the establishment of a Special Procedure on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity at the UN Human Rights Council.
UN Special Procedures are independent human rights experts who report and advise on issues of human rights, most which have particular mandates, including indigenous persons and violence against women.
ILGA says the discrimination and violence that LGBTI people face on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics, “is also fundamentally linked with other forms of discriminatory repression: on basis of HIV status, disability, race, occupation, sex, gender, class, language and many others”.
They say that at the core of any response is “understanding and addressing the roots causes of discrimination and oppression.”
A Special Procedure on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity would present analysis and reports, engage with States and civil society and formulate key recommendations to the council say ILGA.
The establishment of a Special Procedure can only take place if it is voted on by governments at the UN Human Rights Council. The ILGA say while there “will be opposition by hostile governments”, under the leadership of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay and with “strategic outreach to key governments” the resolution could pass.
“As social movements, our agendas intersect just as our realities do, we believe that every step that has been taken in the recognition of the rights of a population that has historically been violated and discriminated against has been a breakthrough for all and we believe that this would be too. We are also convinced that every process, expert group and UN committee must continue to strengthen the analysis of the dimensions of Gender, Sexuality and individual Autonomy; that is the call we are making and will continue to make.”
The Board have also pledged their dedication to work on the existing gaps in relation to sexual rights and intersex human rights at the UN.