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Press Release: Renewal of IE SOGI Mandate at HRC 41

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.

  • Published
  • 12 July 2019
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Geneva, July 12, 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 favor, 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. 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.

Paula Sebastiao of Arquivo de Identidade Angolano in Angola and Simran Shaikh, Asia Coordinator of the Trans Respect v. Transphobia project, on behalf of 60 human rights groups worldwide. 

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. The Independent Expert is crucial in bringing international attention to specific violations and challenges faced by trans and gender-diverse persons in all regions.

UN Trans Advocacy Week campaigners.

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. f 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.

Ryan Silverio of ASEAN SOGIE Caucus from the Philippines.

The UN Independent Expert on SOGI is tasked with assessing the 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 criminalization 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.

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.

** 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.


Organization NameMedia Contact Email
42 DegreesEmily Dwyer 
Accountability InternationalDenis
Amnesty InternationalLaura
ARC InternationalMariana
Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN)Joe
Asistencia Legal por los Derechos Humanos A.C. (ASILEGAL)Jose Luis Gutierrez Romá
Asociación OTD ChileFranco
Centro de Promoción y Defensa de los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos (PromSex)  
CHOICE for Youth and SexualityHarjanti
COC NederlandAlexander
Colectivo AlejandriaKarla
Comunidad Homosexual Argentina (CHA)Pedro Paradiso
Conurbanes por la Diversidad- ArgentinaDarío
Egale CanadaHelen
Equality AustraliaHayley
ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and TurkeyVuk Raičević
Fundación Afrodescendiente por las Diversiades Sociales y Sexuales – SOMOS IDENTIDADFundación Afrodescendiente por las Diversidades Sociales y Sexuales – SOMOS
Fundacion Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexualRoberto Perez
Fundación Reflejos de VenezuelaAna Margarita
GATENaomhán O’
Gender DynamiXHape
Haus of KhameleonMiki
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of MacedoniaBiljana
Human Rights Awareness and Promotion ForumSusan
Human Rights Law CentreMichelle
ILGA AsiaDowha
ILGA WorldDaniele
ILGALAC – Asociación Internacional de Lesbianas, Gays, Bisexuales, Trans e Intersex para América Latina y El CaribePedro Paradiso
International Family Equality DayMaria von Kä
International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI)  
International Service for Human RightsTess McEvoy and Helen and
Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights (KLPH)Minhee
Las Reinas Chulas Cabaret y Derechos Humanos ACLuz
LGBTI Support CenterBiljana
LSVD Lesbian and Gay Federation in GermanyKlaus
Namibia Diverse Women’s Association (NDWA)Linda RM
ODRI Intersectional rightsMarisa
OutRight Action InternationalDaina
Pacific Human Rights InitiativeTuisina
People’s MatrixTampose
People’s Solidarity for Participatory DemocracySooyoung
Planet AllyBess
Red Latinoamericana GayLatinoSimón
REDTRANS Nicaraguasilvia   martinezredtransnicaragua1
RFSL, the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ RightsMicah
RFSUMatilda Strö
RWS – India’s Diverse ChamberSimran
Stichting NNIDMiriam Van der
Synergía – Initiatives for Human RightsFanny
The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human RightsCarlos
the Transgender Liberation Front(abbr. TLF)Jinho
Trans PasefikaTuisina Ymania
TransAction (Aotearoa / New Zealand)Jack
Transgender Europe (TGEU)  
Valientes de Corazón EcuadorEmilio
Young Queer AllianceFokeerbux Najeeb