Resolutions on sexual orientation, civil society, adopted as Human Rights Council session ends

As the UN Human Rights Council approached the conclusion of its 27th regular session tonight, it adopted resolutions including on the topics of violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and the protection of civil society space.

The resolutions on civil society space, and on non-violence and non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, were adopted after a series of hostile amendments were defeated.

The resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity, led by Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay, recognizes the worldwide problem of violence and discrimination, and builds on a resolution on the same subject from 2011. It calls for the High Commissioner for Human Rights to update the report produced under the 2011 resolution.

The States that supported the resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity overcame a series of amendments brought by Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Uganda, and United Arab Emirates. The amendments would have among other things deleted all references to sexual orientation and gender identity from the resolution text, fundamentally changing its purpose, and perpetuating a complete denial of the very real violence and discrimination inflicted on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual and intersex people in all regions of the world.

The civil society space resolution, which was led by Chile, Ireland, Japan, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, draws on discussions at a Panel convened by the Council earlier in the year. It affirms the valuable contribution made by civil society in countries around the world, expresses concern about the threats and challenges faced by civil society, and requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to produce practical recommendations for addressing these threats and concerns.

The texts of the resolutions (in the final draft form on which they were adopted – the official final versions are not yet available) are available here: Civil Society Resolution Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Resolution

A joint NGO press release on the resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity is available here.

The ICJ maintains databases of jurisprudence, legislation and UN action on the topic of sexual orientation and gender identity.