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26th session of the Human Rights Council: Yahia Zaidi Delivers a Statement

Item 2 General Debate following update by the \nHigh Commissioner for Human Rights\n\nStatement sponsored by Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network & ILGA*\n\n- delivered by Yahia Zaidi\n\n\nThank you Mr President.\n\nWe commend the High Commissioner for her leadership in solidifying the Office’s commitment in calling for an end to human rights violations against all persons, including those who face violence, discrimination, stigma and abuse because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or intersex status.\n

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

8th July 2014 18:54

Alessia Valenza

 These are urgent and crucial human rights concerns. In all regions, Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans and Intersex people face sexual violence, killings, arbitrary detention, criminalisation, forced surgery, involuntary sterilization, genetic de-selection, and denial of basic economic and social rights. This is compounded by multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, including on the basis of sex, gender, race, class, ability, and religion.

At the same time, we welcome the positive developments on these issues around the world, including the recent adoption by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights of a historic resolution on the ‘Protection Against Violence and other Human Rights Violations Against Persons on the Basis of their Real or Imputed Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity’, as well as the adoption just last week by the 44th General Assembly of the OAS of its seventh resolution on “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity and Expression”.

The Human Rights Council must also play its part. While regional human rights mechanisms move ahead in addressing these issues, the Council risks falling behind. We endorse the High Commissioner’s comments, in receiving last month an award from the international LGBTI NGO ILGA, when she noted: “the Human Rights Council can maintain its attention on this human rights issue by instituting regular reporting at the inter-governmental level.”

We call on the Council to address all forms of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and intersex status, and to ensure sustained, systematic attention to, and documentation, of both violations and protection gaps. We further call on all States to take such legislative and other steps as are necessary to prevent, investigate and remedy such forms of discrimination and violence.

Finally, we thank the High Commissioner for being a champion of human rights for all, and wish her success in her work and future endeavours. We look forward to working with her successor to continue to address these important human rights issues.
* This statement is also supported by ARC International & Organisation Intersex International Australia