Today Iranti joins the rest of the world in celebrating the renewal of the mandate of the Independent Expert on the protection against violence based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. In a crucial vote The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, for three more years.
In a time of continued, and often increasing, discrimination and violence geared towards LGBTIQ people, the UN Human Rights Council has made the correct decision by re-affirming its commitment to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
There continues to be a great need for a specific UN Human Rights mechanism that assesses implementation of international human rights law and raises awareness on the root causes of the violence and discrimination faced by LGBTIQ persons.
“The United Nations Human Rights Council has voted to protect all human beings, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The renewal of the Independent Expert Mandate on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity is extremely important to our movement. This mandate has accomplished much in the last six years, and we believe it will continue to do so in the spirit of ensuring LGBTIQ+ people around the world have the freedom to express themselves and enjoy their inherent rights without discrimination.” said Iranti Transgender Rights Officer Sylvester Kazibwe
This momentous vote was also the first time that the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution explicitly condemning legislation that criminalises consensual same-sex conducts and diverse gender identities, and called on States to amend discriminatory legislation and combat violence on the grounds on SOGI.
Iranti would like to appreciate the efforts of the different coordinating organisations in Africa, namely the Global Interfaith Network for people of all Sexes, Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities and Expressions (GIN-SSOGIE) and Pan-African ILGA (PAI), who we have worked with in collaboration with to realise this victory. We also extend our gratitude to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA World), the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) and all the different institutions and activists that have contributed tremendously to this win.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, without distinction of any kind. Yet in all regions of the world, there are acts of violence and discrimination committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
To address this concern, in 2016 the UN Human Rights Council created the mandate of Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (also referred to as the Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, or the “IE SOGI”).
The Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is appointed by the UN Human Rights Council. Victor Madrigal-Borloz was appointed as UN Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity in late 2017. His initial three-year term started on 1 January 2018. He is the second Independent Expert to serve in this capacity after Vitit Muntarbhorn (2016-2017) from Thailand.