On the 30th of June 2016 the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the principal human rights organ of the UN, established the institution’s first LGBT rights expert with the resolution ”Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity”. The creation of the UN independent LGBT expert, which will assess the implementation of existing international human rights instruments with regard to ways to overcome violence and discrimination against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, marks a pivotal moment in advancing and safeguarding LGBT rights globally. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 23 in favor, 18 against and 6 abstentions and was laid forward on the initiative of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Uruguay and was supported by another 41 states.
“UN has made history with adopting the resolution”, IGLYO’s board member Elin Lilijenbladh remarks. “The resolution affirms that LGBTQI rights are enshrined in the international human rights law, which is something that many countries have questioned. In addition, the establishment of independent LGBTQI expert will shed light on the situation of LGBTQI people in the world to the most important human rights organ of the world, UN Human Rights Council, that only recently had started to pay attention to the dire needs of LGBTQI people.”
The expert is tasked to identify the root causes of violence and discrimination against LGBT people, assessing the implementation of existing international human rights law and creating awareness about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity.
“IGLYO hopes that the expert will give particularly focus to the situation of LGBTQI youth in the world as one of the most marginalised and vulnerable groups. UNESCO’s report on school-related homophobic and transphobic violence published earlier this year revealed that, in some countries 85 per cent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students experience homophobic and transphobic violence in school. A large number of LGBTQI youth face homelessness. These are just a few of the many forms discrimination that LGTBQI youth continue to experience”, Elin Lilijenbladh adds.
IGLYO will monitor the work of the expert and ensure that the needs of young LGBTQI people are taken into account in the UN’s work on human rights.