NHRIs support mandate of UN expert on sexual orientation and gender identity
Graphic: People hold up a rainbow flag
Eleven NHRIs from across the Asia Pacific have expressed their support for the UN Independent Expert in a statement to the Human Rights Council.
Eleven national human rights institutions (NHRIs) from across the Asia Pacific have expressed their support for the ongoing work of the UN Independent Expert tasked with addressing violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The joint statement to the Human Rights Council – delivered by Maiava Iulai Toma, Ombudsman of Samoa – praised the important work of the Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity since the mandate was established in 2016.
"The establishment of the Independent Expert has been invaluable in the promotion of LGBT people's rights to be free from violence and discrimination, and more specifically in our region, the Asia Pacific," the statement said.
"We strongly encourage the Council to continue the mandate of the Independent Expert, building on its important work and furthering protections against violence and discrimination for all."
The joint statement was made by the 'A status' NHRIs of Australia, India, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, the Philippines, Samoa and Timor-Leste. It was supported by the NHRIs of Fiji and Tuvalu.
In April 2017, an APF-UNDP workshop brought together more than 100 experts from NHRIs, LGBTI civil society organisations, research bodies and UN and development partners from over 25 countries and territories.
The Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity was a key contributor to the discussions.
The statement to the Human Rights Council noted that NHRIs have a role to help integrate international human rights principles into domestic legislation and to coordinate with governments and civil society to foster an environment of collaboration and cooperation.
"The work of the Independent Expert and NHRIs are interconnected at the global, regional and national levels. Both contribute to each other's respective international and national mandates," the statement said.
"As NHRIs, we will encourage our respective States to consider the Independent Expert's recommendations to protect the right to be free from violence and discrimination of all people in relation to their sexual orientation and gender identity.
"In accordance with our mandates, we will continue to promote freedom from violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics. We look forward to continued cooperation with the Independent Expert."
Date: 24 June 2019
- People hold up a rainbow flag - Carrie Kellenberger, Flickr; http://bit.ly/1MacxL5