Join us for a side event at the 46th UN Human Rights Council to explore specific challenges faced by LGBTI persons with disabilities, map the gaps in their human rights protection, and identify possible ways to ensure the full protection of LGBTI persons with disabilities’ human rights!
The debate will feature UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Gerard Quinn, UN Independent Expert on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity Victor Madrigal-Borloz, and human rights defenders working on intersections of SOGIESC and disability.
Human Rights Council, 46th session (online event)
Date: Friday, 19 March 2021
Time: 14:00-16:00 CET
Intersectional human rights framework: LGBTI and disability
Click here to register
Co-sponsors and co-organisers:
ILGA World, CREA, ILGA Oceania, OII Europe
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Permanent Mission of Mexico, Permanent Mission of New Zealand
Voice interpretation (English and Spanish)
International Sign Language
Closed captions (English and Spanish)
Mr. Gerard Quinn, the new Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, named intersectionality among the key elements of his vision of the mandate.[i] As he also stated in his report, ‘the Convention [on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities] made an innovative stab at embracing intersectionality.’[ii]
Intersectionality - including age, class, race, indigenous origin, caste and disability - is the everyday reality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) persons around the globe. Their lives are experienced at the intersections of their identities but also systems of oppressions such as ableism and cisheteronormativity that often reinforce each other.[iii] Intersectionality, however, can also be a framework within which to address, analyse and mitigate human rights challenges faced by LGBTI persons with disabilities.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, like all other international human rights Treaties, does not mention sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) explicitly. Nevertheless, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has developed significantly its interpretation of the Convention. Since 2015, the Committee has mentioned lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) persons with disabilities in its periodic reviews of almost 40 States Parties, and in five general comments.[iv] The previous Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities has also addressed the situation of LGBTI persons with disabilities on several occasions.[v]
We believe that a proper intersectional approach requires attention to the situation of LGBTI persons with disabilities who face stigmatization, discrimination and violence because of their combined diverse bodies, minds, sexualities, gender identities and expressions, along with other factors of structural exclusion. Together, we can achieve more for LGBTI persons with disabilities by challenging ableism and cisheteronormativity through human rights mechanisms.
- Rosemary Kayess – Chair, UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Permanent Mission of Mexico
- Permanent Mission of New Zealand
Niluka Gunawardena - Disability studies scholar and researcher
- Gerard Quinn - Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities
- Victor Madrigal-Borloz - Independent Expert on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
- Po Kimani - Kenyan LGBTI rights and social justice activist in East Africa
- Margherita Coppolino - Disability Sub-Committee Chair, ILGA Oceania
- Dan Christian Ghattas - Executive Director, OII Europe (Organisation Intersex International Europe e.V.)
- Michael van Gelderen – Human Rights Officer, Women’s Human Rights and Gender Section, OHCHR
[i] A/HRC/46/27. See also: G. Quinn (2016), Reflections on the Value of Intersectionality to the Development of Non-Discrimination Law, The Equal Rights Review, 16, pp. 63-72, available at: https://www.equalrightstrust.org/ertdocumentbank/Reflections%20on%20the%20Value%20of%20Intersectionality%20to%20the%20Development%20of%20Non-Discrimination%20Law.pdf.
[ii] Ibid. para. 31.
[iii] See e.g. W. Leonard and R. Mann (2018), The everyday experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people living with disability, available at: https://www.disabilityrightswa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/GAFLA-Report-Final-Version.pdf; N. Gale (2017), Oppression Squared: D/deaf and disabled trans experience in Europe, available at: https://tgeu.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Oppression-Squared.pdf.
[iv] See ILGA World’s Treaty Bodies Annual Reports, available at: https://ilga.org/treaty_bodies_annual_reports.
[v] A/70/297, para. 40; A/HRC/31/62, paras. 25 and 60; A/71/314, para. 5; A/HRC/34/58, para. 42; A/72/133, paras. 21 and 35; A/73/161, para. 43; A/74/186, paras. 27 and 62; A/75/186, para. 64; A/HRC/43/41/Add.2, para. 94(c).