LGBTIQ rights

LGBTIQ rights

Despite being one of the most vulnerable groups of defenders, LGBTIQ rights defenders continue to work toward enhanced respect, dignity, equality and a world free from violence and discrimination for their communities, for everyone!

Millions of people around the world face human rights violations because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC). These violations are often ignored or given insufficient attention by governments, especially when they are committed by government authorities themselves.  Violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) persons and their organisations remain widespread, as does the criminalisation of advocacy for LGBTIQ rights.  

In this context, the ability of LGBTIQ rights defenders to engage with the UN and use its mechanisms to put pressure on States to make positive change is even more important. Yet it is only in the past several years that SOGIESC issues have made it onto the UN agenda. In 2004, a resolution on sexual orientation was withdrawn because it was so contentious. Fifteen years later, the UN Human Rights Council voted to renew the mandate of its independent expert dedicated to combating violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), first established in 2016.

ISHR has played a significant role in supporting progress on the rights of LGBTI persons and communities at the UN,  assisting LGBTI communities and activists to participate in and have their voices heard. 

Yogyakarta Principles 

Building on our leading role in developing the Yogyakarta Principles on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and the YP plus 10, and in contributing to the creation and renewal of a the first Independent Expert on violence and discrimination on the basis of SOGI, our work with LGBTI rights defenders strengthens international and regional protections against violence and discrimination.

ISHR supports LGBTIQ defenders 

ISHR stands with LGBTI rights defenders in their work, providing intensive training and advocacy support, lobbying to ensure that the role and protection needs of LGBTI rights defenders are reflected in international resolutions and standards, and working with LGBTI rights activists and groups to promote the effective implementation of these resolutions and standards on the ground. ISHR works within a global coalition of LGBTI rights organisations, as part of the LGBTQ movement. 

With enhanced communication and solidarity across the LGBTI global movement, as well as human rights movement more generally, the advocacy against violence and discrimination will not only continue but strengthen.

Latest updates

Check out all the latest updates to this topic

LGBTQI | Four key developments at the Human Rights Council’s 47th session

ISHR, along with 23 organisations, highlight attacks and targeting of trans and gender diverse defenders; the Independent Expert on SOGI examines the construction of gender in international law, a Group of Friends of the mandate of the Independent Expert is formed; and 27 States call on the Council to urgently protect the human rights of trans people.

Egypt | Stop prosecuting and harassing LGBTIQ+ individuals and organisations

In a context where Egyptian police routinely prosecute and arrest LGBTIQ+ people by using fabricated charges such as “immorality”, “incitement to immorality”, “misuse of social media” and “belonging to terrorist groups”, ISHR joined human rights organisations in calling on the Egyptian government to immediately stop arresting or detaining individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. No one should face discrimination, intimidation or imprisonment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; and to ensure a safe and enabling environment for civil society organisations to work freely to serve this community.

ACHPR68 | Protect defenders against reprisals in Africa

According to Articles 23 (3) and 72 of the Rules of Procedure of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, each Commissioner must present an activity report detailing activities undertaken in relation to their mandates. Following the presentation of the report of the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders in Africa, ISHR delivered a statement highlighting the violations and reprisals faced by human rights defenders on the continent.

ACHPR68 | Periodic review of the Republic of Niger

Niger is one of the few States in Africa to fulfill its reporting obligations to the African Commission on time. In that regard, the Republic of Niger, after its previous review in 2017, submitted its 15th Periodic Reports covering the period 2017-2019. The report presents the progress made by the country regarding the state of human rights in Niger.

NGO Forum | The impact of Covid-19 on elections in Africa

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on human rights and fundamental freedoms in general. However, many countries in Central and West Africa had to hold elections during the pandemic period. How were the elections organised during this period and what was the impact of Covid-19 on the conduct of the elections?

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