Yesterday and today – people around the world continue to be denied their basic and fundamental human rights, targeted on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression. And not only do violence, criminalization, discrimination, and impunity remain widespread, anti-rights actors frequently justify them at the national and international level in the name of culture, religion and tradition.
Over 70 countries continue to criminalize consensual same-sex relationships, and many people who are non-conforming in terms of their gender identity and expression and sexual orientation, including LGBTIQ people, undergo torture and ill-treatment in everyday life, in custody, and in clinics and hospitals. Across contexts, the law is employed to punish individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity and to restrict rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. Still today, region across region, entrenched discriminatory attitudes thrive in legal and policy vacuums and hate-motivated violence blights and ends the lives of many.
Yet states are legally bound by international human rights law to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of all persons, no matter their gender identity and expression and sexual orientation.
Human rights are for each and every one of us. To reserve rights for the powerful in society and to withhold them from the marginalized makes a mockery of our human rights system and of state obligations to their citizens, and to deny any group or individual their essential rights is nothing less than to try to define them as less than human.
Join OURs today in celebrating the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) and stand in solidarity with activists and individuals worldwide. Let us call for all states to uphold the universality of rights for everyone, everywhere – equally and without discrimination.
What is OURs?
OURs aims to monitor, analyze, and share information on anti-rights initiatives threatening our human rights systems. Our goal is to strengthen the work of activists facing direct challenges to rights, especially rights related to gender and sexuality.
Resources and further information
This IDAHOT, OURs highlights a selection of resources for activists working on rights related to sexual orientation and gender identity and expression worldwide.
Please share these with your networks, let us know of your key resources, and tweet using the hashtags #RightsAreUniversal and #IDAHOT
- AWID – Arab Queer Women and Transgenders Confronting Diverse RFs: the case of Meem in Lebanon (case study)
- African Commission – Resolution on Protection against violence and other human rights violations on the basis of their real or imputed SOGI
- MPV – Position Statement on SOGI
- Joint UN agency statement – Ending Violence and Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex People
- OHCHR Information Series on SRHR: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Intersex and Transgender People
- PRA: Colonizing African Values (report)
- Yogyakarta Principles – Principles on the application of International Human Rights Law in relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity (report)
- ARC International: How far has SOGII advocacy come at the UN and where is it heading? (report)
- CAL & AMSHeR: Realities and Rights of Gender Non-Conforming People and People Who Engage in Consensual Same-Sex Sexual Relations in Africa (a civil society report)
- ILGA – State-sponsored Homophobia (2015 report)
- ICJ – SOGI Casebook
- TGEU – Transrespect vs Transphobia (TVT) Worldwide
- TGEU and ILGA Europe – Human Rights and Gender Identity, Best Practice Catalogue
- GATE – Gender Identity and Human Rights (fact sheet)