No Challenge in UN Third Committee on the Renewal of Independent Expert on SOGI

New York, 07 November 2019

The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution presenting the Annual Report of the Human Rights Council today without challenge to the extension of the mandate of the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination on the basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (IE SOGI).

In 2016 when the mandate was created, an amendment challenging it was tabled at the Third Committee. This year, a record-high number of States supported the renewal of the mandate at the Human Rights Council in July, and the mandate was not challenged in the Third Committee. This is a clear indication that the international community is becoming both more aware and less tolerant of violence and discrimination on the basis of SOGI.

1,312 non-governmental organizations from 174 States and territories, including MPact, campaigned for a renewal of the IE SOGI mandate. While the mandate was not challenged today, civil society will remain vigilant to any future attempts to undermine the crucial work of the Independent Expert.

Since 2016, through the work of this mandate, the international community has become increasingly aware of the devastating impact of the criminalization of same-sex relations and the lack of legal gender recognition, but also of the importance of data-collection specific to LGBT communities, and of how hatred against LGBT people is hindering their full participation in society.

“The work of the IE SOGI mandate is crucial to hold governments to account for realizing the right to health for gay and bisexual men, who face disproportionate discrimination, stigma, and violence while seeking care. We are grateful to all the activists who have held the pressure on governments to support this mandate, and we look forward to more important studies and research from his office to benefit LGBTI people globally.” Dr. George Ayala, MPact Executive Director

Civil society looks forward to the future activities of the expert. Victor Madrigal-Borloz is set to visit Sri Lanka in 2020 and has tabled 12 requests for as many country visits. We encourage all governments to cooperate fully with the UN Independent Expert on SOGI and contribute to bringing about a world free from violence and discrimination for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Statement adapted from OutRight, ISHR, and ILGA