International Documentation on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI)

References to SOGI by UN Human Rights Entities, Special Procedures and Officials

UN Treaty-Based Bodies (CEDAW, Human Rights Committee, CESCR, CRC, CAT, CERD) This document compiles excerpts of the Concluding Observations and General Comments issued by the CEDAW Committee since 1994, by the Human Rights Committee since 2008, and by the CESCR, the CERD, the CRC and the CAT since the 2000s. It sets out all those Concluding Observations, General Recommendations and General Comments which comprise references to any form of violence and/or discrimination on grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, as well as to any criminalization of consensual relations between same-sex adults. Universal Periodic Review (UPR) This document compiles the Conclusions and/or Recommendations emitted by States of the Human Rights Council during Universal Periodic Reviews since the creation of this process. It sets out all those Conclusions and/or Recommendations which comprise references to any form of violence and/or discrimination on grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, as well as to any criminalization of consensual relations between same-sex adults. UN Special Procedures (Special Rapporteurs/Representatives and Working Groups) – List of Remarks The UN Human Rights Council comprises a system of Special Procedures, which are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. These special procedures include special rapporteurs and working groups on a broad range of thematic issues covering civil, cultural, economic, political and social human rights. Among other issues, these Special Procedures have addressed that of sexual orientation and gender identity on multiple occasions. This document contains a list of remarks made by different UN Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups in which they refer to SOGI, and includes excerpts of those remarks contained in the most recent reports. UN Officials: List of Speeches and Statements and Most Recent Texts [Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights Navi Pillay] (2010-2013) Over the past years, UN Officials, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, have expressed on repeated occasions the need to put an end violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. This document contains a summary of the speeches and statements made respectively by Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and Ms. Navi Pillay since 2003 in which they address the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity. It also includes the text of each one’s speeches and statements issued since 2010.

Resolutions by UN Entities Referencing SOGI

Resolution of the UN General Assembly on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions [Reference to Sexual Orientation: Para. 6(b)] (November 2012) In November 2012, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly passed a Draft Resolution on Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions that included a reference to gender identity for the first time, underscoring that no one may be killed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In this historic resolution, the UN General Assembly thus

“urges all States: (…) to ensure the effective protection of the right to life of all persons under their jurisdiction, to investigate promptly and thoroughly all killings, including those targeted at specific groups of persons, such as racially motivated violence leading to the death of the victim, killings of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities or because of their sexual orientation or gender identity (…).” (para. 6(b))

Resolution of the Human Rights Council on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (July 2011) In July 2011, in a groundbreaking achievement for upholding the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution addressing specifically and explicitly the issue human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Among other decisions, in this historic resolution, the Human Rights Council:

“[requested] the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to commission a study (…) documenting discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, in all regions of the world, and how international human rights law can be used to end violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity”. The Human Rights Council also decided that it would “remain seized of this priority issue”.

Reports, Papers and Other Resource Documents Issued by UN Entities

Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in Relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (2006) In 2006, a group of human rights experts developed and published “a set of international legal principles on the application of international law to human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, (with the aim to) bring greater clarity and coherence to States’ human rights obligations”: the Yogyakarta Principles.

“The Yogyakarta Principles address a broad range of human rights standards and their application to issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Principles affirm the primary obligation of States to implement human rights. Each Principle is accompanied by detailed recommendations to States. The experts also emphasise, though, that all actors have responsibilities to promote and protect human rights. Additional recommendations are addressed to other actors, including the UN human rights system, national human rights institutions, the media, non-governmental organisations, and funders.”

An Activist’s Guide to the Yogyakarta Principles (2010) Following the publication, in 2006, of the Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in Relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, a group of… produced an Activist’s Guide to these Principles, as an introduction to these Principles, to facilitate their deeper understanding and to encourage their use and their promotion. This tool is primarily targeted to activists working on LGBTI issues but also aims at being of interest to grassroots human rights defenders and organizations as well as service providers, academics, lawyers, family and friends of LGBTI people, etc. Discriminatory Laws and Practices and Acts of Violence against Individuals Based on their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Report of the High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights (November 2011) In its Resolution 17/19 on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, adopted in July 2011, the Human Rights Council requested “the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to commission a study (…) documenting discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, in all regions of the world, and how international human rights law can be used to end violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity”. This report was submitted to the Human Rights Council in November 2011. It highlights critical human rights concerns in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity that States have an obligation to address, emphasizes emerging responses and sets out a series of recommendations to Member States.

“(…) on the basis of the information presented herein, a pattern of human rights violations emerges that demands a response. Governments and intergovernmental bodies have often overlooked violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The mandate of the Human Rights Council requires it to address this gap: the Council should promote “universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in a fair and equal manner.” With the adoption in June 2011 of resolution 17/19, the Council formally expressed its “grave concern” regarding violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Further action is now needed, especially at the national level, if individuals are to be better protected from such human rights violations in future (…)”

Born Free and Equal, Booklet by the UN OHCHR on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in International Human Rights Law (2012) In November 2011, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights submitted a report to the Human Rights Council, highlighting a pattern of systematic violence and discrimination directed at people in all regions because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. In March 2012, the Human Rights Council hosted a panel discussion on the basis of this report’s findings – the first time a UN intergovernmental body had held a formal debate on the issue. This historic discussion resulted in the production of a booklet titled Born Free and Equal, which recalls the core legal obligations that States have to safeguard the human rights of LGBTI people and describes how UN human rights treaty bodies and special procedures have applied international law in relation to issues of human rights violations on the basis on sexual orientation and gender identity. This booklet is also intended to assist human rights defenders and rights-holders generally to call States to account for breaches of international human rights law. Human Rights and Gender Identity, Issue Paper by Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights (2009) In 2009, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg published an Issue Paper addressing the multiple issues raised around transgender human rights. The paper outlines the international human rights framework that should be applied to protect the rights of transgender persons, highlights the key human rights concerns that transgender persons face, and presents examples of good practice and recommendations to member states of the Council of Europe.

Statements

Joint Statement Addressed to the UN General Assembly on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (December 2008) Joint Statement on Ending Acts of Violence and Related Human Rights Violations Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, UN Human Rights Council (March 2011) Joint NHRI Statement on Discriminatory Laws and Practices and Acts of Violence against Individuals Based on their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Human Rights Council, 19th Session (March 2012)

Other Resource Documents Produced by Civil Society Actors

Follow Up to the SOGI Resolution: Options, Paper by ARC International (2012) This document produced by ARC-International sets out a number of options for appropriate follow-up to the recommendations of the study commissioned by the High Commissioner on Human Rights, in November 2011, on Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, subsequently to the Human Rights Council historic resolution 17/19. This document thus goes through “a number of modalities (that) could be beneficial in addressing human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity through constructive dialogue and actions. These include a dedicated special procedures mandate, an expert seminar, an issues forum, and other forms or reports or panels at the HRC.” This tool further facilitates the analysis of the different options it proposes as it presents the pros and the cons of each of them. Summary Report of the E-Discussion on Development and Rights of LGBTI People, in the Framework of the Global Thematic Consultation on Addressing Inequalities (2012) As part of the Global Thematic Consultation on Addressing Inequalities, UN Women and UNICEF convened a global e-discussion on development and rights of LGBTI people, in collaboration with the OHCHR and ARC International. Nearly 1,700 people joining the forum, and hundreds engaging actively from all over the world, the e-discussion marked a significant moment: the first time an open UN-hosted debate of this kind has been held on inequalities affecting LGBTI people and the associated impact on development opportunities. The discussion confirmed. March 2012 Update of the Trans Murder Monitoring Project, Transgender Europe This publication can also be found at  Human Rights and Gender Identity - Best Practice Catalogue, ILGA-Europe and Transgender Europe-TGEU (2012) – Follow-up to Commissioner Hammarberg’s Issue Paper Human Rights and Gender Identity: Best Practice Catalogue is a civil society follow-up to the pioneering work of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, and his 2009 Issue Paper entitled Human Rights and Gender Identity. In it, the Commissioner explored the human rights situation of trans people in depth, clearly showing that they remain one of the most vulnerable and discriminated communities due to inadequate legislation and social marginalization. Through a set of twelve recommendations, the Commissioner called on Council of Europe Member States to respect the human rights of trans people and put in place concrete measures for the social inclusion and emancipation of trans people. This Best Practice Catalogue produced by ILGA-Europe and Transgender Europe aims to provide advice towards the implementation of the Commissioner on Council of Europe’s recommendations through a set of best practices known to them, to illustrate how each of the twelve recommendations can be met in legislation, policy and practice. También disponible en Español »