Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Yogyakarta Principles : The application of International Human Rights law in relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

In 2006, in response to well-documented patterns of abuse, a distinguished group of international human rights experts met in Yogyakarta, Indonesia to outline a set of international principles relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.

The result was the Yogyakarta Principles: a universal guide to human rights which affirm binding international legal standards with which all States must comply.

They promise a different future where all people born free and equal in dignity and rights can fulfil that precious birthright.

Human rights violations targeted toward persons because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity constitute an entrenched global pattern of serious concern. They include extra-judicial killings, torture and ill-treatment, sexual assault and rape, invasions of privacy, arbitrary detention, denial of employment and education opportunities, and serious discrimination in relation to the enjoyment of other human rights.

Key human rights mechanisms of the United Nations have affirmed States obligation to ensure effective protection of all persons from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. However, the international response has been fragmented and inconsistent, creating the need for a consistent understanding of the comprehensive regime of international human rights law and its application to issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Yogyakarta Principles do this.

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