|Image courtesy: un.org
On 30 August 2016, the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) announced Vitit Muntarbhorn, from Thailand, as his chosen candidate for the Independent Expert on the “protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).” The position was mandated by the passing of resolution A/HRC/RES/32/2.
On June 30, 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on “Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, and gender identity”, to mandate the appointment of an Independent Expert on the subject. It is a historic victory for the human rights of all persons who are at risk of discrimination and violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, 28 human rights groups said today. This resolution builds upon two previous resolutions, adopted by the Council in 2011 and 2014.
The Expert will be tasked with assessing implementation of existing international human rights law, identifying best practices and gaps, raising awareness of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, engaging in dialogue and consultation with States and other stakeholders, and facilitating provision of advisory services, technical assistance, capacity-building and cooperation to help address violence and discrimination on these grounds.
The Core Group of seven Latin American countries – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Uruguay – and 41 additional countries jointly presented the text.
The resolution was adopted by a vote of 23 in favor, 18 against and 6 abstentions.
RESULTS OF THE VOTE
Voting in favor of the resolution
Albania, Belgium, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Macedonia, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, UK, Venezuela, Viet Nam
Voting against the resolution
Algeria, Bangladesh, Burundi, China, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Morocco, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Togo, United Arab Emirates
Abstaining on the resolution
Botswana, Ghana, India, Namibia, Philippines, South Africa
‘Protection against violence and discrimination due to any basis such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status’
‘Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity’
‘Recalling further all Human Rights Council resolutions relevant to protection against violence and discrimination due to any basis such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status’
Recalling further Human Rights Council resolutions 17/19 of 17th June 2011 and 27/32 of 26th September 2014’
Stressing the need to maintain joint ownership of the international human rights agenda and to consider human rights issues in an objective and non-confrontational manner.
Undertaking to support its broad and balanced agenda, and to strengthen the mechanisms addressing issues of importance, including fighting racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in all their forms.
Reiterating the importance of respecting regional, cultural and religious value systems as well as particularities in considering human rights issues.
Underlining the fundamental importance of respecting relevant domestic debates at the national level on matters associated with historical, cultural, social and religious sensitivities.
Deploring the use of external pressures and coercive measures against States, particularly developing countries, including through the use and threat of use of economic sanctions and/or application of conditionality on official development assistance, with the aim of influencing the relevant domestic debates and decision-making processes at the national level.
Concerned by any attempt to undermine the international human rights system by seeking to impose concepts or notions pertaining to social matters, including private individual conduct, that fall outside the internationally agreed human rights legal framework, and taking into account that such attempts constitute an expression of disregard for the universality of human rights.
Underlining that the present resolution should be implemented while ensuring respect for the sovereign right of each country as well as its national laws, development priorities, the various religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of its people, and should also be in full conformity with universally recognized international human rights.
‘Deplores acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status’
‘Strongly deplores acts of violence and discrimination in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity’.
To replace Op 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 with one operative paragraph reading:
‘Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to present a report to the Thirty fifth session on protection of all individuals against violence and discrimination committed against individuals because of their race, colour sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status with a focus on major challenges and best practices in this regard.’
Source: outrightinternational.org, ohchr.org, un.org