Press Release: Renewal of IE SOGI Mandate

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.”

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 favour, 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 supportedby 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”, said 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. “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.”

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,” said UN Trans Advocacy Week campaigners. “The Independent Expert is crucial in bringing international attention to specific violations and challenges faced by trans and gender-diverse persons in all regions.”

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,” added Ryan Silverio of ASEAN SOGIE Caucus from the Philippines. “If 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”.

The UN Independent Expert on SOGI is tasked with assessing 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 criminalisation 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.

ORGANISATIONS SIGNING THE STATEMENT & MEDIA CONTACTS:

Organization NameMedia Contact Email
42 DegreesEmily Dwyer 
ABGLT – ASSOCIAÇÃO BRASILEIRA DE LESBICAS, GAYS, BISSEXUAIS, TRAVESTIS, TRANSEXUAIS E INTERSEXOSSymmy Larratabglt@abglt.org
Accountability InternationalDenis Nziokadenis@acountability.international
Amnesty InternationalLaura Carterlaura.carter@amnesty.org
ARC InternationalMariana Winocurmariana@arc-international.net
ASEAN SOGIE CaucusRyan Silverioryansilverio@gmail.com
Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN)Joe Wongjoe.wong@weareaptn.org
Asistencia Legal por los Derechos Humanos A.C. (ASILEGAL)Jose Luis Gutierrez Romándireccion@asilegal.org.mx
Asociación OTD ChileFranco Fuicafranco.fuica@otdchile.org
Caribe AfirmativoWilsondireccion@caribeafirmativo.lgbt
ÇavariaJeroen Borghsjeroen.borghs@cavaria.be
Centro de Promoción y Defensa de los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos (PromSex)  
CHOICE for Youth and SexualityHarjanti Kertokarijoharjanti@choiceforyouth.org
COC NederlandAlexander Hammelburgahammelburg@coc.nl
Colectivo AlejandriaKarla Guevarakarlaguevara2009@yahoo.es
Comunidad Homosexual Argentina (CHA)Pedro Paradiso Sottilesecretaria@cha.org.ar
Conurbanes por la Diversidad- ArgentinaDarío Ariasconurbanosporladiversidad@gmail.com
Egale CanadaHelen Kennedyhkennedy@egale.ca
Equality AustraliaHayley Conwayhayley.conway@equalityaustralia.org.au
ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and TurkeyVuk Raičevićvuk@lgbti-era.org
Fundación Afrodescendiente por las Diversiades Sociales y Sexuales – SOMOS IDENTIDADFundación Afrodescendiente por las Diversidades Sociales y Sexuales – SOMOS IDENTIDADsamiarizabaleta@gmail.com
Fundacion Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexualRoberto Perez Baezaroberto@fundacionarcoiris.org.mx
Fundación Reflejos de VenezuelaAna Margarita Rojasradioreflejos@gmail.com
GATENaomhán O’Connornoconnor@transactivists.org
Gender DynamiXHape Peshoaneregional@genderdynamix.org.za
GIN-SSOGIEToni Kruger-AyebazibweToni@gin-ssogie.org
Haus of KhameleonMiki Walimikiwali7@gmail.com
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of MacedoniaBiljana Ginovabiljana.ginova@mhc.org.mk
Human Rights Awareness and Promotion ForumSusan Balukasbaluka@hrapf.org
Human Rights Law CentreMichelle BennettMichelle.Bennett@hrlc.org.au
IGLYO  
ILGA AsiaDowha Kimdowha@ilgaasia.org
ILGA WorldDaniele Palettamedia@ilga.org
ILGALAC – Asociación Internacional de Lesbianas, Gays, Bisexuales, Trans e Intersex para América Latina y El CaribePedro Paradiso Sottiledirector@ilga-lac.org
International Family Equality DayMaria von Känelinfo@internationalfamilyequalityday.org
International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI)  
International Service for Human RightsTess McEvoy and Helen Nolant.mcevoy@ishr.ch and h.nolan@ishr.ch
IrantiJabu Pereirajabu@iranti.org.za
Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights (KLPH)Minhee Ryuminhee.ryu@gmail.com
Las Reinas Chulas Cabaret y Derechos Humanos ACLuz Arandaluz.aranda.arroyo@gmail.com
LGBTI Support CenterBiljana Ginovabiljana.ginova@mhc.org.mk
LSVD Lesbian and Gay Federation in GermanyKlaus JetzKlaus.jetz@lsvd.de
Namibia Diverse Women’s Association (NDWA)Linda RM Baumannnamibiadiversewomen@gmail.com
ODRI Intersectional rightsMarisa Paredesod.intersectionalrights@gmail.com
OutRight Action InternationalDaina Rudusadrudusa@outrightinternational.org
Pacific Human Rights InitiativeTuisina Brownymania@gmail.com
People’s MatrixTampose Mothopengmothopeng.tampose@gmail.com
People’s Solidarity for Participatory DemocracySooyoung Hwangswimming@pspd.org
Planet AllyBess Hepworthbess@planetally.org
Red Latinoamericana GayLatinoSimón Cazalsimon@somosgay.org
REDTRANS Nicaraguasilvia   martinezredtransnicaragua1
RFSL, the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ RightsMicah Grzywnowiczmicah.grzywnowicz@rfsl.se
RFSUMatilda Strömmatilda.strom@rfsu.se
RWS – India’s Diverse ChamberSimran Shaikhinfo@rwsindia.org
Stichting NNIDMiriam Van der Havemiriam.vanderhave@nnid.nl
Synergía – Initiatives for Human RightsFanny Gomezfanny@synergiaihr.org
The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human RightsCarlos QuesadaQuesada@raceandequality.org
the Transgender Liberation Front(abbr. TLF)Jinho Leenonolettuce@gmail.com
Trans PasefikaTuisina Ymania Browntuisinaybrown@gmail.com
TransAction (Aotearoa / New Zealand)Jack Byrnejackbyrne@trans-action.nz
Transgender Europe (TGEU)  
Valientes de Corazón EcuadorEmilio Villafuertevalientesdecorazonecuador@gmail.com
Young Queer AllianceFokeerbux Najeeb Ahmadnajeeb.af1990@gmail.com
Press Release: Renewal of IE SOGI Mandate
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