Saturday, June 18, 2011

UN Human Rights Council passes resolution on sexual orientation...and gender identity!

HRW reports:
Affirming the fundamental principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the council passed a resolution expressing "grave concern" at the discrimination and violence experienced by people all over the world because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

"The Human Rights Council has taken a first bold step into territory previously considered off-limits," said Graeme Reid, LGBT rights director at Human Rights Watch. "We hope this groundbreaking step will spur greater efforts to address the horrible abuses and discrimination against people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity."

The resolution also calls for the UN high commissioner for human rights to commission a global study on human rights violations on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. When completed at the end of 2011, this report should provide important guidance on how existing human rights law can be used to end violations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, Human Rights Watch said. The council will discuss the report at its session in March 2012.

The resolution was introduced by South Africa and co-sponsored by 42 countries from all regions of the world. It was passed 23 to 19, with 3 abstentions.
This report lists the votes and abstentions by country. It quotes Kim Vance of ARC International as saying "Now, our work is just beginning," the truth of which hits home when you consider the state of affairs in some of the countries that supported the resolution.

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