UN Bodies


The United Nations General Assembly made a Declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity, at the occasion of its 63th Session on December 22, 2008, which has been signed by 68 Countries. In this Declaration, the signatories have reaffirmed the principle of universality of Human Rights. It also stated the principle of non-discrimination regardless gender or sexual orientation, and condemned human rights abuses based on sexual orientation. They called on States to stop criminalizing same sex relations.
On 21 December 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted an amendment that reintroduced the mention of the executions of LGBT persons in the resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

HRC is a subsidiary organ of the UN General Assembly which is responsible for checking the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It is compound of 47 members which “shall serve in their personal capacity”(Article 40(3) ICCPR) , which means that they have to be independent and impartial.
After a statement in 2006 by which 54 States expressed deep concerns about ongoing human rights violations, on March 22, 2011, 85 States supported a joint statement at the Human Rights Council titled “Ending Acts of Violence and Related Human Rights Violations Based On Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity”. This was a landmark statement. Indeed, it welcomed attention to LGBT issues as a part of the Universal Periodic Review process, encouraged the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue addressing LGBT issues, and called for states to end criminal sanctions based on LGBT status.
The HRC adopted a Resolution on 15 June 2011 on “the follow-up and the implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Principle of Action”which had been adopted at the World Conference on Human Right’s declaration. It began by expressing its grave concerns about violence and acts of discrimination directed at person by reason of their sexual orientation and gender identity. The HRC also entrusted the Human Rights Commissioner into the creation of a study in order to list violence, laws, and practices discriminatory toward LGBTIQ.
In addition to being a place of great evolution for the rights of LGBTI, the Human Rights Council is also responsible for procedures which can be used to protect LGBTI people against violation and provide them remedies when violations occur.

Under Article 40 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), signatories States have obligation to report to the HRC on the implementation of the ICCPR one year after its entry into force and then every four years.
Along the State’s report, NGOs can also provide shadow reports to the HRC for it to be taken in account during the examination. After having examined the report, the HRC generally asks clarification to the reporting States, often based on the shadow report.

The individual communication procedure gives individuals access to the HRC committee. However, individuals willing to bring their claims before the Committee have to be a national of a State which has ratified the Optional Protocol to the CCPR ( 110 States).
This procedure is also accessible under the Convention Against Torture for States which have made a special declaration to this effect and to the CEDAW to which procedure 89 States have acceded.
The Committee has the power of issuing interim relieves which it considers to be binding.

The Special Procedures system is made up of experts, usually titled Special Rapporteurs, assigned to investigate and report on the realization of certain rights around the world, or on the situation within specific countries. Over the past decade they have become one of the most effective international instruments for confronting violations of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) people. Amongst other examples they have taken action against killings, violence, deprivation of liberty, denials of the rights of freedom of expression and association, as well as discrimination in access to public services on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.