A large number of governments insisted sexual orientation and gender identity should be addressed by the Commission
32 countries supported New Zealand in a public statement pushing the Commission to address the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity in a resolution in the near future.
The increasing number of Latin American countries is remarkable (as is the absence of Brazil which initiated the whole discussion by presenting a resolution of the sort in 2003...)Read full textDuring the High Level Segment
During the first days of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights which takes places every year during six weeks in March and April in Geneva, governements have the opportunity to make general statements on the issues they would like the Commission to address.
Following are the excerpts of those speeches regarding sexual orientation and gender identity (we wish to thank Arc International and the International Commission of Jurist for this compilation).
“We note that it becomes difficult to introduce new themes to this Commission such as, for example non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation”. Switzerland
“This system should be flexible, so that we can make progress in new areas, such as fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity”.Canada
“Well aware of that the issue of non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation has led to fierce debate in this commission during the past years, I believe that if we together work from our common vision, as stated in the Universal declaration on Human Rights, we will be able to agree. We, as human beings, are equal in dignity and rights and everyone has the right to fully enjoy his or her human rights without discrimination on any ground. No one should be arbitrarily executed and everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. We may differ in tradition and culture, but we must be equally committed to our human rights obligations, which are universal. I am pleased that the Secretary-General has decided that UN personnel living in homosexual marriages or partnerships will have the same employment benefits as married heterosexual employees, and I urge all UN organs and specialized agencies to follow suit.”Sweden
“Likewise, important steps have already been taken to eliminate differences regarding the rights for sexual orientation”.Spain
“Sexual orientation continues to spark discrimination, harassment and human rights violations in many parts of the world. It is clear, however, that each and every individual should benefit from the principle of non-discrimination and be protected against human rights violations. This Commission cannot shy away from addressing the clearly existing human rights challenges related to sexual orientation”. Finland
“In this same direction, we will ask for international cooperation to elaborate a comprehensive National Plan on Human Rights that includes specific national plans on womens’ rights, domestic violence, children’s rights, racism, racial discrimination and all forms of discrimination, and which, inspired on the Santiago Regional Conference agreements, shall also include sexual orientation issues.”Uruguay
“I am pleased to announce today that the Law on Equal Treatment in Certain Areas and Protection against Discrimination (the Antidiscrimination Act) has since been adopted and entered into force on 1 July 2004. The purpose of the law is to guarantee protection against any discrimination on grounds of sex, religion or belief, racial, national or ethnic origin, disability, age and sexual orientation.”Slovakia
“The principle of non-discrimination is at the core of our understanding of what human rights are all about. No discrimination on the basis of a person’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, descent, national or ethnic origin must take place. This fundamental principle must also apply to people regardless of their sexual orientation or identity. We note with great concern that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or identity is giving rise in certain cases to grave human rights issues.”NorwayLikewise, countries may intervene to comment the work of the UNCHR under each agenda item. Here are some of the interventions.
“Discrimination can take many forms, often insidious. In that connection, the EU would stress the unacceptability of any discrimination based on sexual orientation. The EU is deeply concerned about reports of continued and unacceptable violence, persecution, denial of fundamental freedoms and violations of human rights (including the right to life), arrests, arbitrary detentions and other abuses and violations of human dignity on the basis of sexual orientation.”Luxemburg (EU, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Croatia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Iceland)
/ Item 6: Racism, Racial Discriminiation, Xeonophobia and all Forms of Discrimination
“The equal implementation of all human rights without discrimination based on ethnic origin, religion, belief, nationality, sex, age, opinion, disability, sexual orientation or other grounds, is a principle on which the protection of human rights and Finland's human rights policy are essentially based.”
“Multiple discrimination is a problem that deserves our particular attention. On Tuesday 12 April, Finland will organise a side event where this issue will be discussed in more detail. The main purpose of this panel discussion is to underline the need to take stronger action against multiple discrimination, and to highlight examples of the particularly difficult situation of persons facing discrimination on more than one ground. In our view, the commission on Human Rights should do more to address all forms and aspects of discrimination. Sexual orientation continues to spark discrimination and other human rights violations. lt is clear, however, that each and every individual should benefit from the principle of non-discrimination and be protected against human rights violations. The Commission on Human Rights cannot shy away from addressing the clearly existing human rights challenges related to sexual orientation.”Finland
/ Item 14: Specific groups and individuals