After years of intense debates, the Human Rights Council adopted the historical resolution on “Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity”, including the mandate to appoint an Independent Expert. This represents a huge breakthrough in the struggle for human rights for all groups. The adoption of this resolution, led by Latin American countries, was the result of a campaign by hundreds of organisations – amongst which several Hivos partners – from countries all over the world. Hivos was one of the supporters of the campaign, and we now call upon the UN to appoint one of the many suitable candidates from the Global South to this important post.
However, Hivos remains very concerned about the ongoing human rights violations against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in many different spheres of life. In the course of our work, we witness the serious forms of discrimination and violence LGBTI people face on a daily basis just because of who they are – because of their sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI). Hivos is convinced that a more systematic approach to SOGI-related human rights violations is needed to address these violations effectively.
The current resolution allows the Human Rights Council to take such a systemic approach. The Independent Expert is mandated to investigate violations and raise awareness. His/her conclusions and recommendations to help end SOGI-related violence and discrimination will be included in reports and shared in the Council and in dialogue with UN member states.
For Hivos, the adoption of the resolution is a positive step for the rights of LGBTI people who have suffered so much, especially in recent years, with killings in Honduras and the US, amongst others. This resolution should help to further pave the way to a time when people can love whom they want to love and be who they want to be, free from violence, discrimination and stigma.