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ECOSOC, COC

in NETHERLANDS, 01/06/2006

Dutch Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender organisation COC applies for status at UN

In the frame of ILGA's campaign to support LGBT groups in their application to get observer status at the United Nations, we are glad to publish the following press release from ILGA member, COC.


Amsterdam, June 1, 2006: The Dutch Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) organisation the COC has applied for a consultative status at the United Nations. Currently this has been rewarded to not a single LGBT-organisation around the globe. With a consultative status the COC wants to achieve acknowledgment of LGBT-rights as universal human rights by the United Nations.

Among the 3.000 NGOs with a consultative status at the UN there is not one LGBT-organisation. LGBT-organisations are not officially being heard by the ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) at the United Nations. It is therefore not surprising that time and time again lobbies for gay rights seem to be hampered at the global level.

In the last few years applications from such organisations have repeatedly been turned down with a dubious role of countries such as Iran, Sudan and the Vatican. They expressively do not consider gay rights part of the Univer-sal Human Rights.

One of the core principles of the United Nations is non-discrimination; ap-parently this does not count for sexual orientation. It is outrageous that out of 3000 NGOs there is not one LGBT-organisation with a consultative status. As the eldest LGBT-organisation in the world (established in 1946 at the same time as the UN), COC fights for the rights of gays and lesbians all over the world. Through the UN we can draw international attention to the position of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders. During our application process we are anticipating support from the Dutch government, having been a pioneer of gay rights and having obtained membership of the new Human Rights Council,” said Frank van Dalen, Chair of COC Netherlands

As a consultative NGO, the COC will draw attention to the rights of LGBT people in countries where homosexuality is still forbidden. In over 80 coun-tries people run the risk of being thrown in jail, tortured and punished for being gay or lesbian. The COC will lobby for a UN-resolution forbidding these practices and forcing countries to take homosexuality out of the Penal Code. Moreover the COC will fight for the acknowledgement of the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, for the recognition of the International Day against Homophobia and adoption of the Brasilian resolution (sexual orientation recognised as a ground for discrimination).


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