Geneva, 9 November 2016 – The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United Nations has proven to be crucial for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) persons, a new report has found.

Launched today at the United Nations in Geneva by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), in collaboration with ARC International and the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics at the Universal Periodic Review finds, among other things, that:

  • Over eight years, 158 states under review from all regions received 1,110 recommendations that were specific to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics issues.
  • Of those recommendations, 413 (37 per cent) were accepted by states under review, and 697 noted (63 per cent).
  • 40 per cent of the recommendations that called for adopting anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBTI persons have been accepted.

Click here to download the full Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics at the Universal Periodic Review report

Click here to download the report summary

In addition to providing an overview of the role played by the UPR and the key challenges of the process in shaping the protection of the human rights of LGBTI persons, the report includes recommendations specific to the different stakeholders: states under review, recommending states, civil society, lawyers and legal associations.

The report and its findings will be further discussed at the 28th ILGA World Conference, which will take place in Bangkok, Thailand from November 28 to December 2.

“The UPR has been a crucial platform to make visible a wide array of human rights violations against LGBTI persons worldwide and to hold states accountable,” says Diana Carolina Prado Mosquera, UN Programme Officer at ILGA and co-author of the report. “This could not have happened without the involvement of members of the civil society: their continuous effort in making submissions, presenting oral interventions in international spaces and advocating with their governments has allowed them to make their voices heard, letting states know what is really happening on the ground and backing up reports and documents with their lived realities.”

And the report indeed comes at a crucial time for the protection of the human rights of LGBTI persons around the world.

“Even if public attitudes towards LGBTI persons are moving towards acceptance, we must not erase the fact that violence and discrimination inflicted on sexually and gender diverse persons continue unabated,” says Renato Sabbadini, Executive Director at ILGA. “And while history was made this year when the first-ever UN Independent Expert to address violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity was appointed, a group of States is currently trying to turn back the clock. With so much uncertainty at the moment the need for a deep commitment to the human rights system has never been more urgent.

“Today here we are talking about LGBTI persons, but we could be talking about any targeted group. All minorities are potentially targets,” says André du Plessis, UN Programme and Advocacy Manager at ILGA. “If we fight for the inclusion and protection of one, we are actually fighting for the inclusion of all. We are looking forward for the beginning of Cycle 3 to have more SOGIESC and LGBTI recommendations that address the root causes of violence and discrimination.”


For more information on the report, its key findings and recommendations download the report summary hereILGA wishes to thank Anaida Simonian and LGL – Lithuanian Gay League, who made the layout of this summary possible.

Click here to download the full reportSexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression and Sex Characteristics at the Universal Periodic Review.