Thesis abstract: The great diversity of human sexual and gender identities, senses, behaviours and feelings is a central part of the human experience. Hostility to this diversity, along with the prejudicial violence, discrimination and ostracization that hostility produces worldwide, constitutes today one of the gravest challenges to the United Nations’s founding pursuit of the rights and dignity of the human person. Nonetheless, this issue has been marginalized and misunderstood in international politics until recent decades, becoming recognized and addressed only during the 1990s and 2000s, primarily on the human rights agenda: and then only through a painstaking struggle that still endures against hostile forces who seek its exclusion. This study thus inquires into the current state of sexual diversity as a human rights concern in international policy discourse and practice, particularly in the United Nations agenda. It examines the recent history of sexual diversity as a complex political and human rights issue; the movement whose efforts have advanced it; and the hostile counter-movement’s drivers, methods and contexts. Ultimately, in pursuit of an international system free of heteronormative biases and the recognition of the full relevance of sexual diversity across all its major policy fields, the thesis explores and asserts the significance of sexual diversity for the vision and practice of the United Nations – and above all for the integrity and prospects of universal human rights.
About the author: Ai Chaobang (a.k.a. John Ashton) holds a BSc degree in History and Government from the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK). In 2010, he worked as a teacher at the Bina Hill Institute in the North Rupununi, Region 9, Guyana. From 2011 to 2013 he studied at the United Nations University (UNU) in Tokyo, Japan, where he obtained a MSc degree in Sustainability, Development and Peace, and in the course of which he composed this thesis. Chaobang is an aspiring and eclectic writer, with an active blog, and identifies as a citizen of the world with no national alignment.
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