By PV staff
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, without distinction of any kind. Yet in all regions of the world, people face violence and discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 2S/LGBTIQ+ organizations have documented that acts of hate and violence are on the rise, including a disturbing increase in anti-trans narratives.
In June 2016, through resolution 32/2, the UN Human Rights Council created the mandate of Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (IE-SOGI). Initially created for three years, this mandate was renewed in June 2019 under resolution 41/18.
The task of the IE SOGI is to explore ways to better protect persons who suffer from violence and discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The work is conducted through several means including assessing implementation of human rights standards, raising awareness of these issues, identifying and addressing the root causes of violence and discrimination, dialogue and consultation with governments, and supporting international cooperation to combat violence and discrimination.
Since 2016, the Independent Expert has sent urgent appeals and letters of allegation to several governments regarding violence and discrimination against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, undertaken fact-finding country visits, and prepared reports for the UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly on trends and activities relating to the IE-SOGI mandate.
The mandate is up for renewal in July, but 2S/LGTBIQ+ advocates are concerned that the outcome is far from certain. In an urgent appeal, the North America and Caribbean section of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-NAC) is calling for organizations to sign a global statement calling for the IE-SOGI mandate renewal.
“Together we made history at the UN in 2019 delivering the support of 1,312 organizations from 174 states and territories. The IE-SOGI’s mandate was renewed. Since then, the composition of the UN’s Human Rights Council has changed. Dangerously homo/trans/biphobic states have joined the Council.”
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