Human Rights Council Passes First Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

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Human Rights Council Passes First Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

June 18 , 2011 – “The Human Rights Council made a historic decision by passing the first resolution on human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity (L9/rev1) yesterday, June 17. This is first UN resolution that specifically focuses on human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It affirms the universality of human rights, and expresses grave concern ab out acts of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Attorney Clara Rita A. Padilla, Executive Director


of EnGendeRights.

The resolution requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a study on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and calls for a panel discussion to be held at the Human Rights Council to discuss the findings of the study.

Atty. Padilla added, “The resolution recalls human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other relevant core human rights instruments, It recalls the UDHR which affirms that all human beings are born free and equa

l in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in that Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status;”

“This resolution follows a joint statement of nations to end violence and criminal sanctions based on sexual orientation and gender identity delivered at the March 2011 session of the council. The resolution was passed in relation to the follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action,” Atty. Padilla continued.

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The resolution, presented by South Africa along with Brazil and 39 additional co-sponsors from all regions of the world, was passed by a vote of 23 in favor, 19 against, and 3 ab stentions. A list of how States voted is attached.

“Not being a member of the Human Rights Council, the Philippine did not have voting rights but could have co-sponsored the resolution as 39 other countries did. The Philippines did not express support to the resolution just like its failure to support the March 22, 2011 Joint Statement and the December 22, 2010 United Nations General Assembly resolution which included protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from extrajudicial executions (EJE) and other unlawful killings based on sexual orientation,” continued Atty. Padilla.

Atty. Padilla added, “It is a dangerous precedent for the Philippine government not to express support for such a historic UN resolution expressing concern on human rights violations based on one’s sexual orientation and gender identity. The Philippines should uphold universal human rights where all rights apply to everyone including if one is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. In this important resolution, the Philippine government failed to stand up for the rights of LGBTs not just in the Philippines but around the world.”

“In the past years, there have been numerous reports in the Philippines of lesbians, gays and transgenders being murdered or beaten and harassed without clear investigations and active prosecution being conducted leading to the perpetuation of ab uses with impunity. The Philippines must perform its obligation to prevent, investigate and prosecute human rights ab uses including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity,” Atty. Padilla concluded.

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Contact Person:

Clara Rita “Claire” A. Padilla, JD
Executive Director
EnGendeRights, Inc.
Telefax: (+632) 3762578
Mobile Landline: (+632) 6645696
Mobile : (+63)918-2182682
Email: [email protected];
[email protected]

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