In a historic ruling on 4 October 2023, the Supreme Court of Mauritius declared prohibitions of sodomy unconstitutional. This landmark decision marked a significant advancement for LGBTQI+ rights in the country.
‘As we develop strategies for engaging with the international human rights system, we considered it essential that we come together as a coalition. For the first time, a coalition of 10 national organisations working on issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics have come together to engage in UN advocacy,’ explains Linda Baumann, who previously participated in ISHR’s Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme.
‘While COVID meant we could not all meet in person, we developed a series of online workshops bringing together defenders from across the country that work across these issues,’ explains ISHR’s Tess McEvoy. ‘These new relationships and strengthening coalitions seek to enhance the impact of UN advocacy as well as the movement itself.’
The workshops aimed to increase understanding and enhance engagement with UN human rights mechanisms to support and strengthen existing national advocacy. To date, the coalition has made submissions to the Universal Periodic Review and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. Going forward, the coalition is preparing advocacy tools and strategies for continued engagement with these mechanisms, as Namibia is reviewed by the two bodies this year.
Photo: Namibia Diverse Women’s Association
ISHR and Outright International celebrate the adoption by United Nations Third Committee Member States today of a resolution on elections and democratic processes that, for the second time, specifically includes sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited grounds of discrimination in people’s right to participate in public affairs.
On 26 October 2023, Victor Madrigal-Borloz presented his last report as the UN Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity to the General Assembly’s Third Committee. On his final day, he also released four crucial statements.