Organisations worldwide are urging the United Nations to #RenewIESOGI.
Ahead of this crucial vote at the Human Rights Council, which will take place during the first days of July 2022, human rights defenders worldwide share their thoughts on whythe mandate of the UN human rights expert on sexual orientation and gender identity should be renewed.
"We're only just beginning to shed the kind of light that’s needed on issues facing our communities around the world. I can’t imagine how it could possibly be justified not to continue this mandate. The work is still not done".
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Why do you think that the mandate of the Independent Expert on SOGI should be renewed?
It’s tremendously important that in 2022 the mandate of the UN Independent Expert on SOGI gets renewed. This has been a position we’ve fought so hard to get established, and this would now be the second renewal.
We have a voice through this mandate in the international community.
It’s the only space we have, and we cannot back down, we cannot take a step back: the only way is forward. To see how the mandate has evolved is something wonderful, fantastic… To be there, facing this rainbow sky in room XX of the Human Rights Council, and to see that LGBTI people are acknowledged and named through this mandate, is something truly worth it.
It’s important to have the Independent Expert at the UN level to show the world that LGBT people deserve equal rights as everyone else.
To me, this is a powerful mechanism, something that represents us, something that we can turn to, something that must not get lost. It’s something that we conquered that we should not retrocede from but rather something that we must keep renewing.
There's been moments when we felt as a global movement that things are just on an eternally upward spiral and we are not feeling that right now. A renewal right now shows that governments are committed. It shows that we are a movement that is together, united, forging alliances for the future. It would give us hope.
If this mandate is renewed it holds countries and groups accountable when it comes to SOGI issues.
The SOGI mandate should be renewed because it's one of the vehicles that we have to ensure that gender-based language remains part of international law.
It is very important that the Independent Expert’s mandate be renewed, especially because there is a huge lack of data around the world on the realities of LGBTQI people, in different countries, and the Independent Expert makes it possible to compensate for some of this lack of information, bringing to the forefront realities that are sometimes not seen.
It's urgent timing to renew the mandate because (the issue of) violence and discrimination is not resolved. And if the mandate was not going to be renewed, the UN would send a message - and the member states of the UN would send a message - that the problem is resolved, and it clearly isn't. The mandate itself has built a wealth of evidence around discrimination and violence on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity and it is obvious and clear that this mandate needs to continue because the problem is still there.
I think it’s very important that the mandate gets renewed every 3 years because situations on the ground can change in three years. The continuity and the sustainability of that global advocacy work at the UN level is of extreme importance.
The campaign to renew the mandate is a moment when collectively, regardless of what we’re advocating for, our movement has an opportunity to come together despite its differences. Because this is one thing that we can all agree upon: we must have a voice within the UN.
I think it should be renewed this time again, and every time it comes up, going forward. I think we're only just beginning to shed the kind of light that’s needed on issues facing our communities around the world. I can’t imagine how it could possibly be justified not to continue this mandate.