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LGBTI+ rights: UN Special Procedures have given more attention to SOGIESC in 2021

According to ILGA World and ISHR, the UN Special Procedures have given more attention to LGBTI+ communities in 2021. The Special Procedures continued raising concerns in regard to human rights related to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC).

In 2021 UN Special Procedures mandate holders increased their engagement with SOGIESC topics and expressed engagement in different issues related to the human rights of LGBTI+ community members. ILGA and ISHR prepared a series of factsheets, which list the references and recommendations made regarding LGBTI+ persons and SOGIESC in communications, thematic reports and country visits by mandate holders. The series contains an examination of 10 country mandates which were active in 2021.

In relation to LGBTI+ topics, 52 new communications, 8 reports on country visits and 54 thematic reports were created by the Special Procedures in 2021. Communications covering SOGIESC issues were sent to 36 states from all around the globe (i.a., Afghanistan, Belarus, Canada, Colombia, and Sri Lanka). The number of country visits has been limited due to the pandemics, but in 2021 Special Procedures still presented 8 reports covering 8 countries in all five UN geographical clusters. SOGIESC elements were also included in UN experts’ thematic reports to the General Assembly and Human Rights Council. In 2021, 54 reports (slightly less than 50% of all thematic reports) made references to SOGIESC related topics. 15 of those reports - good or strong references to LGBTI+ populations, e.g. The Urgency of Now: Systemic Racism and the opportunities of 2021, Artistic Freedom of Expression, Artificial intelligence and privacy, and children’s privacy.

According to the ILGA and ISHR research, the most active in relation to SOGIESC issues were: the Independent Expert on violence and discrimination on the basis of SOGI (34 items), the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression (31 items) and the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders (30 items).

The updated factsheets created by ILGA and ISHR can be found here.