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UNITED NATIONS

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Asylum / Refugees
Civil Unions
Discrimination
Executions
Gender Identity
Hate Crimes
Human Rights
Homosexuality
Immigration
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
Partners
Privacy
Sodomy
Status
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence

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Asylum, Refugees Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Declarations & Decisions

In July 2008, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) accepted one Iranian man's case and denied that of his partner [R1.1].

2.

Convention

The recognition of "sexual orientation" as an informal addition to the provisions enshrined in the 1951 UN Convention entitling a person to apply for refugee status, owes its inclusion to a growing understanding in a handful of countries that gay men and lesbians constitute a distinct "particular social group" (Articles 1 and 33). This article has been invoked to grant asylum to gay men and lesbians in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, France and the US. [R2.1].

R1.1 PinkNews.co.uk: Gay Iranian Denied Refugee Status by UN 25 JUL08
PinkNews.co.uk: Gay Iranian Granted Refugee Status by UN 17 JUL 08
R2.1 UNHCR: Convention and Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees (Adopted on 28 July 1951 by the United Nations Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons convened under General Assembly resolution 429 (V) of 14 December 1950) entry into force 22 April 1954, in accordance with article 43
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [MARRIAGE]
1.

Secretariat:

In April 2004, a UN panel asked Secretary-General Kofi Annan to decide the fate of the new policy that allows gay partners of UN staffers to receive benefits – a program that has angered many Muslim and African nations [R1.2].

As from 01 February 2004, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced that all UN staff who are part of a legally recognised domestic partnership in their home country will be entitled to qualify for the UN entitlements provided for family members [R1.1].

2.

Declarations & Decisions:

In November 2008, Edward Young, the gay widower of an Australian war veteran, was finally granted a war widower’s pension a decade after applying for it [R2.2].

In September 2003, the United Nations condemned the Australian Government for discriminating against same sex couples in a case concerning veteran's pensions [R2.1].

R1.2 Associated Press: Annan to Decide Fate of Controversial Ruling on Same-sex Partner Benefits 02 APR 04
R1.1 Melbourne Star: UN Extends Benefits 05 FEB 04
R2.2 MCV: Gay War Widower Wins Pension Fight 08 JAN 09
R2.1 Young v. Australia
Senator Brian Greig: UN Condemns Australia Over Same-Sex Couple Discrimination 04 SEP 03
Executions Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
1.

Declarations & Decisions:

On 20 November 2012, the Third Committee of the General Assembly passed a resolution by a vote of 108 to 1, with 65 abstentions that for the first time acknowledged gender identity as a characteristic in need of protection from extrajudicial executions [D1.3], [R1.2].

On 21 December 2010, the United States succeeded in getting the United Nations to restore a reference to killings due to sexual orientation that had been deleted from a resolution condemning unjustified executions. The amended resolution was then adopted with 122 yes votes, none against and 59 abstentions [R1.1].

D1.3 UN Press Release: General Assembly will condemn in the strongest terms use of extrajudicial executions, demand states end practice, under terms of text approved by Third Committee GA/SHC/4059 20 NOV 12
R1.2 The Advocate: UN Draft Resolution Against Extrajudicial Executions Includes Gender Identity 21 NOV 12
R1.1 Reuters: U.N. restores gay reference to violence measure 21 DEC 10
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [EXECUTIONS]
   
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Issues

On 10 December 2010, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed for its complete and universal decriminalization of homosexuality, stressing that human rights must always trump cultural attitudes and societal strictures. He deplored discrimination against homosexuals and the violence of which they are often victims, for which the perpetrators escape punishment [R1.4].

On 01 December 2009, the United Nations's Joint Program on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS, released a statement calling for nations to stop criminalizing the LGBT community. According to the organization, 80 nations still have laws that criminalize gay sex [R1.3].

In September 2008, the French minister of human rights and foreign affairs confirmed that she would appeal at the United Nations for the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality [R1.2].

In April 2005, regional International Lesbian and Gay Association representative, Carlos Perera, raised the issue when he addressed the UN General Assembly about human rights abuses faced by gay people around the world, in the context of Fiji's goaling of two men for consensual sex. Mr Perera was the first person to address the General Assembly on the issue of LGBT human rights [R1.1].

2.

Declarations & Decisions

In April 2004, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention held that arrests for consensual homosexual conduct are by definition human rights violations [R2.1].

R1.4 ILGA: Universal decriminalization of homosexuality a human rights imperative – Ban 10 DEC 10
R1.3 The Advocate: UNAIDS Condemns Criminalizing Being Gay 01 DEC 09
R1.2 PinkNews.co.uk: France to Ask UN for Universal Decriminalisation of Homosexuality 03 SEP 08
R1.1 BnewS: Fiji Faces United Nations 14 APR 05
R2.1 Human Rights Watch: Fiji: Sodomy Law Convictions Violate Constitution 12 APR 04

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Human Rights, Discrimination, Privacy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Issues:

On 26 September 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council approved a resolution 25-14 condemning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, asking the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights to gather and publish information on how best to overcome discrimination and violence [D1.17], [R1.16].

On 15 December 2011, a report released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called on countries to abolish laws that criminalize homosexuality and to include sexual orientation and gender identity in comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation, among other recommendations [D1.15], [R1.14].

On 22 March 2011, eighty-four countries signed a statement entitled "Ending Acts of Violence and Related Human Rights Violations Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity" calling for an end to violence, criminal sanctions and other human rights violations against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity [R1.13].

In November 2010, the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women adopted two General Recommendations, one on older women and the protection of their human rights and one on the core obligations of States parties under Article 2 (on discrimination) — affirming that discrimination of women based on gender and sex is inextricably linked with other factors, including sexual orientation and gender identity [R1.12].

In September 2010, secretary-general Ban Ki-moon called on countries to stop enforcing laws that discriminate against gays and lesbians [R1.11].

In September 2009, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations, suggested that instances of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests would be more accurately described as ephebophilia – attraction to mid to late adolescents – rather than pedophilia [R1.10].

In September 2009, when asked by journalists about the 2008 'Declaration for the Universal Decriminalisation of Homosexuality', the UN Assembly's new President Ali Abdussalam Treki said: "It is a very thorny argument. As a Muslim, I do not agree with it. I believe it is not acceptable for most of the world, and it is totally unacceptable for our tradition and religion." [R1.9].

In December 2008, the Roman Catholic Church's representative at the United Nations explained it opposed a statement on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people read out at the General Assembly because the use of the phrases "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" in the statement have no definition in international law and are cultural concepts [R1.8].

On 18 December 2008, 66 countries signed the joint UN statement at the United Nations General Assembly in New York reiterating the universal human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people [R1.7].

As at May 2008, 60 countries had publicly supported sexual orientation as an issue at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights/Human Rights Council since 2003 [R1.6].

In 2006, Norway delivered a short oral statement at the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2006 in support of a resolution condemning human rights abuses involving LGBT victims such as violence, torture and death, directed against people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity [R1.5].

In May 2001, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, six Independent Experts – high-level individuals appointed by the UN to investigate patterns of human rights abuse based on sexual orientation and gender identity – reached out to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities [R1.4].

In August 1999, the group "Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Employees at the UN" (GLOBE-UN) argued that, despite the UN's efforts to ensure "equal rights for all," the world body still must "eliminate discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation" within its own system [R1.3].

In October 1998, the United Nations human rights chief, former Irish President Mary Robinson, met leaders of the International Lesbian and Gay Association [ILGA] for the first time [R1.2].

In 1996, ILGA issued a demand that the UN recognise sexual orientation as a human right [R1.1].

2.

Declarations & Decisions

On 30 August 2016, the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) announced Vitit Muntarbhorn, from Thailand, as his chosen candidate for the Independent Expert on the ''protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI)''. The position was mandated by the passing of resolution A/HRC/RES/32/2. The Independent Expert will serve a three year term with the possibility of holding the position for a maximum of six years [R2.7].

On 30 June 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted 23-18 (with 6 abstentions) to create the institution's first LGBT rights watchdog. The person appointed to this new role will be responsible for monitoring ''violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity'' [R2.6].

On 26 September 2013, Minsters of Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, El Salvador, France, Israel, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and the United States, along with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy declared their strong and determined commitment to eliminating violence and discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity [D2.5], [R2.4].

On 17 June 2010, the UN Human Rights Council adopted resolution (A/HRC/17/L.9/Rev.1) 23:19 (with 3 abstentions) declaring there should be no discrimination or violence against people based on their sexual orientation [R2.3].

In November 2010, Morocco's and Mali's leaders introduced an amendment to remove sexual orientation from a resolution, proposed by the human rights committee of the U.N. General Assembly denouncing arbitrary executions of members of marginalized groups, replacing it with "discriminatory reasons on any basis." The amendment passed 79–70, and the full resolution passed with 165 favorable votes from 192 total member states [R2.2].

In 1994, in the case of Nicholas Toonen v. Australia the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) determined that Australia had violated its obligations under Articles 2 (non-discrimination) and 17 (right to privacy) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) [R2.1].

D1.17 Draft Resolution: Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity A/HRC/27/L.27/Rev.1 Word 24 SEP 14
R1.16 LGBTQ Nation: UN Human Rights Council approves resolution supporting LGBT rights 26 SEP 14
D1.15 Human Rights Council: Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity A/HRC/19/41 PDF 706.19kb, 17 NOV 11
R1.14 The Advocate: UN Report Calls On Countries to End Anti-LGBT Discrimination 15 DEC 11
R1.13 fridæ: Over 80 countries sign UN statement condemning rights violations against LGBTIs 24 MAR 11
R1.12 IGLHRC: CEDAW Adopts General Recommendations Including Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity 22 OCT 10
R1.11 The Advocate: U.N. Chief Calls for Gay Rights 17 SEP 10
R1.10 The Advocate: Vatican: Ephebophilia, Not Pedophilia 30 SEP 09
R1.9 MCV: UN president denounces gay rights 29 SEP 09
R1.8 PinkNews.co.uk: Vatican Claims Sexual Orientation is Not Legally Defined 22 DEC 08
R1.7 PinkNews.co.uk: 66 Countries Back UN Statement on Rights of Sexual Minorities 19 DEC 08
Southern Star: Australia to Support UN Declaration 18 DEC 08
R1.6 PinkNews.co.uk: New Report Claims 86 Countries Criminalise Same-Sex Acts 15 MAY 08
R1.5 PinkNews.co.uk: Norway moves to legalise gay marriage 17 MAR 08
R1.4 IGLHRC: United Nations: Historic Progress 04 JUN 01
R1.3 Inter Press Service: Gay Staffers Seek Equal Treatment 16 AUG 99
R1.2 Sydney Star Observe: ILGA Talks to UN 15 OCT 98
Reuters: UN Rights Chief to Meet Gay and Lesbian Activists 07 OCT 98
R1.1 ILGA: United Nations/OCSE 96
2. Declarations & Decisions
R2.7 OutRightActionInternational: UNHRC President Announces Vitit Muntarbhorn as Proposed Candidate for SOGI Independent Expert Position 01 SEP 16
R2.6 The U.N. Votes To Create Its First LGBT Rights Watchdog 30 JUN 16
D2.5 UN Ministerial Declaration: Ministerial Declaration on Ending Violence and Discrimination Against Individuals Based on Their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity 26 SEP 13
R2.4 UN Radio: Groundbreaking Declaration on ending violence and discrimination against LGBT 26 SEP 13
R2.3 Reuters UK: UN rights forum proclaims equal gay rights 17 JUN 11
UN HRC Press Release Word 17 JUN 11
Resolution A/HRC/17/L.9/Rev.1 PDF 32.86kb, 15 JUN 11
R2.2 The Advocate: UN Resolution Drops Gay Protections 17 NOV 10
R2.1 IGLHRC: 1997 Year in Review 02 JAN 98
Marriage Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
1.

Declarations & Decisions:

On 17 July 2002, the Human Rights Committee found that "the Covenant which defines a right by using the term "men and women", rather than "every human being", "everyone" and "all persons" means that "mere refusal to provide for marriage between homosexual couples" does not "disclose a violation of any provision of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights" [D1.2], [R1.1].

R1.2 Human Rights Committee: Joslin v. New Zealand Communication No. 902/1999 PDF 137.75kb, 17 JUL 02
R1.1 TheAustralianBusinessReview: Overruled on gay marriage, by UN 21 OCT 15
Status Legislation/Cases/References
1.

In July 2010, the UN Economic and Social Council voted to accredit the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission after strong lobbying by the U.S. administration [R1.4].

In February 2008, the UN Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) Committee denied observer status to GLBT rights groups [R1.3].

On 30 April 2002, Economic and Social Council of the United Nations voted by 29 to 17, with seven abstentions, to reject ILGA's application for consultative status [R1.2.]

In February 2002, the UN Non-Governmental Organisations Committee denied observer status to GLBTI rights groups [R1.1].

R1.4 365Gay.com: US gay rights group gets UN accreditation 19 JUL 10
R1.3 MCV: UN Denies GLBT Voice 21 FEB 08
R1.2 ILGA: Homophobic States Defeat ILGA's Bid for UN Consultative Status 06 MAY 02
R1.1 Melbourne Star: UN Rejects Gay Group 07 FEB 02
Violence: Domestic Violence, Harassment, Vilification Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Declarations & Decisions

On 30 June 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted 23-18 (with 6 abstentions) to create the institution's first LGBT rights watchdog. The person appointed to this new role will be responsible for monitoring ''violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity'' [R1.3].

On 26 September 2013, the Minsters of Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, El Salvador, France, Israel, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and the United States, along with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy declared their strong and determined commitment to eliminating violence and discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity [D1.2], [R1.1].

R2.6 The U.N. Votes To Create Its First LGBT Rights Watchdog 30 JUN 16
D1.2 UN Ministerial Declaration: Ministerial Declaration on Ending Violence and Discrimination Against Individuals Based on Their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity 26 SEP 13
R1.1 UN Radio: Groundbreaking Declaration on ending violence and discrimination against LGBT 26 SEP 13

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