Friday 5 July 2013

The Commission recently joined other National Human Rights Institutions from a diversity of cultures and societies, calling on the United Nations to take concrete action to support the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people from around the world.

“In June this year, the Commission joined 28 other ‘A status’ National Human Rights Institutions to call on the United Nations Human Rights Council to establish an appropriate mechanism to study, document and report to it about human rights violations, barriers and challenges experienced by individuals across the world because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or because they are intersex,” said Commission President, Professor Gillian Triggs.

Such a mechanism could take many forms, the aim being that it would operate in consultation with LGBTI persons to promote dialogue, identify best practice and provide guidance to States and other UN bodies on human rights.

“The statement to the Human Rights Council expressed joint concern at the very serious systemic and continuing human rights violations that take place in all regions of the world,” Professor Triggs said. “We are talking about violations that include killings, rape, torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, medical abuses, criminalisation of homosexuality, denial of the recognition of relationships and recognition before the law, denial of the freedoms of expression and association and of the right to health.”

The NHRI’s also want the Council to encourage States to improve data collection, which should be collected in accordance with human rights principles and in consultation with LGBTI persons.

“Though a resolution was not reached at the session, a decision to host two high level meetings was made,” Professor Triggs said. “This was certainly seen as encouraging and as an important step towards sustained engagement on these issues.”

A previous joint NHRI statement on discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity was presented at the 19th session of the Human Rights Council in 2012.

A copy of the statement is available at