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Human Rights Council must not ignore violations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity
Tuesday, 04 June 2013 10:46


(Geneva - 3 June 2013) – The Human Rights Council must act urgently to ensure that violations suffered on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity do not fall off the Council’s agenda, ISHR told the 23rd session of the Human Rights Council.


‘It is two years since the Council passed its groundbreaking resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity’, said Dr Heather Collister, head of the LGBT rights program at the International Service for Human Rights. ‘If the Council does not act soon to follow-up on this resolution, it will be interpreted as turning its back on this issue.’


A 2012 report by the UN’s human rights chief, High Commissioner Ms Navi Pillay, followed by a series of regional meetings, revealed that the violations suffered by LGBT people are often egregious, systemic and take place in all regions of the globe.


‘The huge and shocking range of violations suffered by LGBT persons must be systematically documented’, said Dr Collister. ‘The Council must institutionalise regular research, documentation and reporting to the UN in order to build a full picture of the challenges facing LGBT people’, Dr Collister said in a statement to the Council.


Such a response from the Council would be a crucial element of a broader approach to this issue that should include ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders, as well as awareness raising of the application of the international human rights framework in this area. A response from the Council would also contribute to ensuring that LGBT rights are mainstreamed throughout other UN bodies.


‘The Human Rights Council cannot sit back and wait for more favourable conditions for moving this issue forwards. As the UN’s peak human rights body it has an obligation to be part of the response', said Dr Collister.


‘A failure to act will send the message that the Council is washing its hands of this issue. Member States must let LGBT people know that they are still listening and that they will take action.’


Read ISHR's statement to the Council.


Contact: Dr Heather Collister, International Service for Human Rights, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or +41 79 920 3805


Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 June 2013 11:09

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