Submitted by Daniele Paletta on Wed, 06/12/2019 - 11:36
Since 2016, the UN Independent Expert on SOGI has assisted States to better protect people from violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This work can't stop now!
Our voices matter, but they don't always get heard.
In 2016, the United Nations created a way to listen better and to take action: an Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on orientation and gender identity, or SOGI. Now that UN has a Human Rights expert dedicated to protecting the LGBT community from violence and discrimination: it is one voice that States should not ignore, and this is a big deal! They need to listen to our local communities and understand how we live through multiple intersecting forms of violence and discrimination.
The Independent Expert on SOGI talks to States and works collaboratively with other UN and regional mechanisms, assists them to create policies and take action that better protect us. This expert can visit your country, meet authorities, and safely speak to activists and victims of human rights violations. This has already happened in four countries, and many more are on the horizon.
The Independent Expert is easier to reach than you might think, and your contribution is so important! The information you give helps highlight individual cases through urgent appeals to States, and contributes to reports that are presented at the United Nations. Through this work, since 2016, the world has heard more about the impact of criminalisation, the need to legally recognise a person's gender, good practices to prevent discrimination, and the importance of data related to LGBT lives.
Our communities really need this: without stories from the ground, how can human rights mechanisms support those they are meant to serve?
We fought hard for this, but it's not over yet: the mandate has to be renewed every three years, and some States continue to refuse to support it, claiming that sexual orientation and gender identity issues are too controversial. We disagree: violence and discrimination impact on persons of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities every day. Lives are at stake, and States have a duty to protect the human rights of everyone. everywhere.
You can help to support the mandate!
Mobilise your local community: let them know why it's important that the Independent Expert on SOGI continues to exist!
Join our global family: from all over the world, we are calling for our voices to be heard.
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