The new LGBT rights investigator is facing another challenge by those states opposed to us having the same rights as everyone else. They were defeated recently when a group of African states objected to LGBT rights being considered human rights and tried to overturn the new position, but failed.
Now there's another attempt underway at the UN general assembly to yet again try to stop the work of investigating human rights violations against the LGBT around the world. If it succeeds it will set a dangerous precendent for the authority of the UN in all human rights issues.
‘Rejecting the work of independent expert could really throw the whole UN human rights system into quite a spin as it will be a direct challenge to the authority of the Human Rights Council,’ said Ms Patel.
Eight hundred and seventy organisations from 157 countries around the world have signed an open letter (carta en español / lettre en francais) urging the governments represented in the General Assembly to respect the Human Rights Council’s decision and defend the principle of non-discrimination.
‘Nations voting to halt the expert’s work need to realise that their vote will be deeply harmful - it will send a clear message that they are willing to tolerate the unacceptable levels of discrimination currently faced by LGBT people. Further they will be actively voting to erode the authority of the Human Rights Council,’ said Ms Patel.
Alarmingly, votes at the UN on issues relating to LGBT rights are getting tighter. Last month’s attempt to derail the mandate in the UN’s Third Committee – which considers social, humanitarian and culture issues, was only defeated by seven votes. Given 17 nations abstained from that vote, the outcome of this week’s General Assembly vote is hard to predict.
‘We’re in a real danger zone. Things are winding up for the Christmas break, representatives are starting to fly back to their home countries and we have a very important vote which we know is going to be very close. The human rights and LGBT communities really need to rally once again to muster support and ensure their national governments will be voting on the right side of history,’ said Ms Patel. International Service for Human Rights
Update: the challenge failed narrowly:
.@UN general assembly again rejects motion to suspend #LGBT watchdog (SOGI expert) https://t.co/LnD0xfIXUV via @washblade @mklavers81— OutRight (@OutRightIntl) December 19, 2016