UN seeks solutions to end sexual orientation discrimination
NEW YORK – In a landmark resolution narrowly adopted in Geneva last week, the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) expressed “grave concern” at the violence and discrimination experienced by people because of their “sexual orientation or gender identity” and called for a global study of discriminatory laws and practices documenting their suffering to be submitted by December.
The study, conducted by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has also been asked to consider “how international human rights law can be used to end violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Twenty-three countries endorsed the resolution, 19 countries opposed, and three abstained.
Last month UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned that hate crimes against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people were on the rise around the world. Homophobia and transphobia were no different to sexism, racism or xenophobia, but were “too often overlooked,” she said.
A future panel discussion based on the study’s findings will be convened for a “constructive, informed and transparent dialogue,” the resolution said.