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Advancing equality #1 – September 2016

Welcome to ILGA’s inaugural programmatic newsletter, where we present and highlight some of the work and activities of the UN Programme and the Gender Identity & Gender Expression Programme

Profile photo of Daniele Paletta

14th September 2016 07:48

Daniele Paletta | World

newsletter_advancing_equality_ilga


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ADVOCACY GUIDE FOR TRANS RIGHTS DEFENDERS: THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS

In June 2016, ILGA’s Gender Identity & Gender Expression Programme and UN Programme (Treaty Bodies) started developing guides to fill a gap in resources available to civil society in its engagement with the Treaty Bodies.

[Read more]

UN TREATY BODIES: LGBTI REFERENCE COMPILATIONS
FOR 2014 AND 2015

We are proud to launch the first two ILGA annual reference compilations for the Treaty Bodies where you can now easily find all the recommendations made to more than 100 countries on LGBTI when they were reviewed by seven of the UN Treaty Bodies in 2014 and 2015.

[Read more]

UN SOGI VOTE COMPILATION

mexico

[Read more]

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: LGBTI COMPILATIONS FOR 2016

The UN Human Rights Council meets three times every year – March, June and September – to discuss and take action on a wide range of human rights issues all round the world. At every session LGBTI issues come up for discussion in a variety of different ways.

[Read more]

UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW

The Universal Periodic Review second cycle is coming to an end and for the third cycle there are new technical guidelines for NGO submissions.

[Read more]


SOGI_resolution_HumanRightsCouncil

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1

pai-photo

AFRICAN BODIES: BREAKING GROUND, BUILDING BRIDGES:
2016 PAN AFRICA ILGA CONFERENCE –
TRANS-PRE-CONFERENCE

From 13-18 May 2016, Pan Africa ILGA (PAI) held its regional conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, hosted by the PAI Regional Board and Iranti-org and with the theme “African Bodies: Breaking Ground. Building Bridges.” The spread of participants from all regions of Africa was truly impressive, with over 30 countries from the continent represented.

[Read more]

PAN AFRICA ILGA CONFERENCE – ADVOCACY TRAINING

ILGA’s UN Programme and Pan Africa ILGA (PAI), together with ARC International and COC Netherlands, provided a two-day advocacy training to two dozen LGBTI human rights defenders from around Africa at the PAI conference in Johannesburg, on 14 & 15 May 2016.

[Read more]


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TRANS AND INTERSEX ACTIVISTS GATHER AT THE WORLD PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR TRANSGENDER HEALTH’S 24TH SYMPOSIUM IN AMSTERDAM

From 17th to 21st June 2016, the World Professional Association for Transgender Heath held its 24th biennial Scientific Symposium in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, attended by around 800 medical practitioners across a wide spectrum of trans-related, and to a lesser extent intersex-related, healthcare services – including surgeons, endocrinologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, sexologists and counsellors.

[Read more]

3

ILGA_World_Conference_2016_deadlineThere will be a chance to learn more about ILGA’s work with member organisations at the UN at the biannual ILGA World Conference to be held in Bangkok from 28 November to 2 December 2016. There will be a pre-conference on 27 November on UN advocacy, and during the conference a couple of workshops on different parts of the UN. More information in the coming weeks…

whats-coming-up

Below is the list of links that contains the upcoming deadlines for the Treaty Bodies, Universal Periodic Review and the Human Rights Council.

Treaty Bodies:
http://ilga.org/what-we-do/united-nations/treaty-bodies/deadlines/

Universal Periodic Review:
http://ilga.org/what-we-do/united-nations/upr/deadlines-2/

Human Rights Council:
33rd Session: September 13 – September 30, 2016

If you are interested in engaging with one of these mechanisms or bodies, please contact:
For UN Treaty Bodies: untreaties@ilga.org
For Universal Periodic Review: upr@ilga.org
For Human Rights Council and other issues at the UN: un@ilga.org

 

4

ADVOCACY GUIDE FOR TRANS RIGHTS DEFENDERS: THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS

In June 2016, ILGA’s Gender Identity & Gender Expression Programme and UN Programme (Treaty Bodies) started developing guides to fill a gap in resources available to civil society in its engagement with the Treaty Bodies. These guides take as their starting point two comprehensive pieces of research on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) references, trends, developments and opportunities across seven of the Treaty Bodies in 2014 and 2015 (for more information on the reference and analysis reports, please see article below).

A number of trans right defenders have consistently expressed a desire to engage with Treaty Bodies as part of their national advocacy, but felt they lacked the technical expertise to, already had worked with one Treaty Body but did not know how to engage with others, or simply did not know where to start. There was also uneven knowledge of practical and administrative issues.
In targeting individual Treaty Bodies, the hope is that trans rights defenders will be able to access the relevant technical and practical information quickly, draw inspiration from success stories and formulate ideas on useful pressure points in their work.

We intend to release further guides on other Treaty Bodies in the months to come and look forward to continue working with trans rights defenders to increase overall engagement with the Treaty Bodies, encourage more trans-specific references and recommendations that are targeted to local advocacy, promote better terminology, and explore new thematic areas in relation to gender identity and gender expression.

You can download the guide here.

Zhan Chiam

[back to top]

UN TREATY BODIES: LGBTI REFERENCE COMPILATIONS FOR 2014 AND 2015

We are proud to launch the first two ILGA annual reference compilations for the Treaty Bodies where you can now easily find all the recommendations made to more than 100 countries on LGBTI when they were reviewed by seven of the UN Treaty Bodies in 2014 and 2015. This is a key tool for advocates to clearly identify what has been recommended to their State, and also to see how they can influence future recommendations to better-serve local needs.

Not only that, this compilation also analyses the approach taken by the seven most relevant Treaty Bodies on LGBTI issues more generally and provides insights on how to use each of them better. The compilation also touches on the intersection of our movements with others, looking at sex work and HIV/AIDS references too.

In the introduction, there is an overview of the trends, developments and opportunities at Treaty Bodies. Encouragingly, overall there is an increase in attention to these issues. We also see over the two years:

– a shift to specific references to intersex rather than only in an LGBTI acronym;
– references to Trans-specific issues remaining low;
– more nuance and sensitivity on language with more appropriate use of acronyms and a move away from “transsexuality” and “homosexuality”;
– a strong focus on discrimination.

There are also some key tips for advocates in the 2015 report, including on what and how to submit information to the Treaty Bodies, the timing of a submission, the merits of attending the sessions, and how to progress with the potential lack of openness of some Committee Members.

Opportunities for engagement are highlighted as well, with some reflections on opportunities to advance in such areas as the rights of LGBTI children, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and family diversity. Breaking new ground in terms of individual communications, general comments and under-utilised Treaty Bodies is also discussed.

The documents are very user-friendly with hyperlinks within the reports and direct links to all the relevant documents, saving you a lot of time in your research. Overall, there’s a wealth of information in this publication to help anybody who is thinking of using the UN Treaty Bodies to help their advocacy.

Our very deep gratitude to Helen Nolan who researched and wrote these two reference compilations while at ILGA as UN Programme Officer for the Treaty Bodies, and to Kara DeMilio for her assistance with this project while interning with us. The 2016 version should be out early next year…

You can download the 2014 report here, and the 2015 report here.

André du Plessis

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UN SOGI VOTE COMPILATION

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On 30 June 2016 in an historic vote, the Human Rights Council (HRC) voted to establish an Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. The establishment of the Independent Expert – a UN Special Procedure – is a tool to ensure sustained and systematic attention by the United Nations to human rights violations on grounds of SOGI, and can reinforce the fact that such human rights violations should be treated with due seriousness under international law.

What was of great interest was not just the votes that established the expert, but also the statements made by various States explaining their votes, giving great insight to the way that different governments view SOGI.
ILGA worked with ARC-International to produce a compilation of the 3.5 hour voting process including statements from States as diverse as Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, South Africa and the Philippines.

André du Plessis

[back to top]

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: LGBTI COMPILATIONS FOR 2016

The UN Human Rights Council meets three times every year – March, June and September – to discuss and take action on a wide range of human rights issues all round the world. At every session LGBTI issues come up for discussion in a variety of different ways.

For example, at the March session the Special Rapporteur on Torture draw the attention to the specific instances of torture and inhumane and degrading treatment faced by persons who are perceived to transgress sexual and gender norms.

ILGA compiles all the LGBTI references in the many UN reports that come-up for consideration at each session. Here is the report for the 31st Human Rights Council Session and the 32nd Human Rights Council Session.

André du Plessis

[back to top]

UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW

The Universal Periodic Review second cycle is coming to an end and for the third cycle there are new technical guidelines for NGO submissions.

During the 25th UPR working group session Suriname, Greece, Samoa, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Hungary, Papua New Guinea, Tajikistan, United Republic of Tanzania, Swaziland, Trinidad & Tobago, Thailand and Ireland were reviewed.

Some human rights defenders participated in the UPR advocacy week organized by ARC-International, COC Nederlands and ILGA. Here is a summary of what happened in those working group sessions: http://ilga.org/upr-session-25-sogiesc-recommendations/

Diana Carolina Prado Mosquera

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SOGI_resolution_HumanRightsCouncil

conferences_ok

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pai-photo

AFRICAN BODIES: BREAKING GROUND, BUILDING BRIDGES:
2016 PAN AFRICA ILGA CONFERENCE – TRANS-PRE-CONFERENCE

From 13-18 May 2016, Pan Africa ILGA (PAI) held its regional conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, hosted by the PAI Regional Board and Iranti-org and with the theme “African Bodies: Breaking Ground. Building Bridges.” The spread of participants from all regions of Africa was truly impressive, with over 30 countries from the continent represented.
The purpose of the conference was to engage around common regional strategies to achieve change in policies discriminating against people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, exchange best practices, share successes and develop strategies for effective advocacy on the continent.

For my part, I was especially pleased to participate in a two-day Trans Pre-conference, with trans-identified participants from Southern, East and West African countries. First, there was a thorough session on the upcoming revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and what impact it will have on trans diagnoses in the African context, which also discussed definitions of health, different healing systems, the barriers to access to healthcare, and the impact of the ICD on the continent. The second day of the pre-conference involved closed and open sessions focused on regional trans organising, including possibilities such as a Southern African Trans Forum and an All African Trans Committee. Some of the aims were to move beyond HIV work, towards movement building, research and young leadership development.
It was a privilege to be at both the main and pre-conference, meet activists from so many countries, renew existing connections and, of course, make new ones.

Zhan Chiam

[back to top]

 

PAN AFRICA ILGA CONFERENCE – ADVOCACY TRAINING

ILGA’s UN Programme and Pan Africa ILGA (PAI), together with ARC International and COC Netherlands, provided a two-day advocacy training to two dozen LGBTI human rights defenders from around Africa at the PAI conference in Johannesburg, on 14 & 15 May 2016.

The training focussed on the UPR process, sharing strategies for how-best to engage with and use this mechanism to help LGBTI rights across the continent. There was also an introduction to work at the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, as well as the UN Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies.

Andre du Plessis

[back to top]

 

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wpath-pic

TRANS AND INTERSEX ACTIVISTS GATHER AT THE WORLD PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR TRANSGENDER HEALTH’S
24TH SYMPOSIUM IN AMSTERDAM

From 17th to 21st June 2016, the World Professional Association for Transgender Heath held its 24th biennial Scientific Symposium in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, attended by around 800 medical practitioners across a wide spectrum of trans-related, and to a lesser extent intersex-related, healthcare services – including surgeons, endocrinologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, sexologists and counsellors.

In addition, this year the Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE) registered and brought over 40 trans and intersex activists to the Symposium, as well as conducted a two-day pre-conference on the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) as it relates to trans and intersex persons and the upcoming ICD-11 revision.

Being in Amsterdam for an entire week, with like-minded activists from around the world while in such a charged and medicalised space as the WPATH Symposium, was both an energising and challenging experience. It was certainly made different by the GATE pre-conference which went through the ICD process, history and work in detail, discussed perspectives and asks from different regions, and framed de-pathologisation of trans identities as a human rights issue. The pre-conference was also valuable in allowing the participants – many of whom were, like myself, attending a WPATH Symposium for the first time – the space to familiarise ourselves with the range of presentations at the upcoming Symposium.

The opening panel of the Symposium saw a well-contested debate for and against the proposed childhood gender incongruence category in ICD-11, with two speakers on each side, and Sam Winter and Simon Pickstone-Taylor arguing effectively against the inclusion of the category. In amongst the activist-led workshops were ones on intersex, trans rights in Europe, human rights based approach to healthcare and health in Asia and the Pacific. I was on a panel presenting the Asia Pacific Trans Health Blueprint and also a stakeholder speaker at the launch of The Lancet’s Series on Transgender Health.

There were numerous workshops run by a range of medical practitioners, some of which were problematic in terms of on how trans and intersex identities were perceived and classified, or which did not approach these from a humane and human rights perspective. In these sessions, the trans and intersex activists challenged the panellists’ approaches and assumptions, promoted a patient-centred approach to their work, as well as provided support to each other as audience members (a not insignificant contribution). Equally, there were also progressive sessions which recognised the expertise of trans communities and reflected the ability to consult and reflect community views in their practices.

In all, it was an interesting experience for the group to be in a scientific conference which has as its focus medical experiences of trans persons (and to a lesser extent intersex), and to participate as members of the affected population. In this space, it is vitally important that as subjects, we assert the needs of our populations to improve medical research and data outcomes, as well as position ourselves as experts and strategic thinkers to be consulted in the development of such research. It is also important that we maintain a presence in these spaces to hold accountable those who continue to benefit professionally from the lived experiences of trans and intersex persons.

In mid-September 2016, the Global Action for Trans* Equality will publish its report on the pre-conference and WPATH Symposium, available at: http://www.transactivists.org/

Zhan Chiam

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ILGA_World_Conference_2016_registration_WP

There will be a chance to learn more about ILGA’s work with member organisations at the UN at the biannual ILGA World Conference to be held in Bangkok from 28 November to 2 December 2016. There will be a pre-conference on 27 November on UN advocacy, and during the conference a couple of workshops on different parts of the UN. More information in the coming weeks…

whats-coming-up

Below is the list of links that contains the upcoming deadlines for the Treaty Bodies, Universal Periodic Review and the Human Rights Council.

Treaty Bodies:
http://ilga.org/what-we-do/united-nations/treaty-bodies/deadlines/

Universal Periodic Review:
http://ilga.org/what-we-do/united-nations/upr/deadlines-2/

Human Rights Council: 
33rd Session: September 13 – September 30, 2016

If you are interested in engaging with one of these mechanisms or bodies, please contact:

For UN Treaty Bodies: untreaties@ilga.org
For Universal Periodic Review: upr@ilga.org
For Human Rights Council and other issues at the UN: un@ilga.org

 

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