In a landmark vote, the United Nations Human Rights Council approved a resolution calling for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to update a report on the state of anti-gay violence and discrimination around the world and efforts to prevent those violations.
Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, and 42 additional co-sponsors introduced the resolution. In its presentation to the Council, Chile stated that “this resolution does not seek to create new rights…there are some whose rights are more violated and need more protection.” Colombia added “the report that we request is part of existing international law.” The resolution passed by a vote of 25 to 14, with 7 abstentions, with support from all regions and an increased base of support since 2011.
The resolution survived a total of seven hostile amendments, seeking to strip the resolution of all references to sexual orientation and gender identity. Brazil stated that the proposed amendments would “seek to radically change the purpose and focus of the resolution and change its substance.”
“The leadership of these Latin American states reflects strong commitment to human rights for all and follows the significant progress that is being made by governments and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, travesti, and intersex activists in the region,” said Andres Rivera Duarte of the Observatorio Derechos Humanos y Legislación in Chile.The resolution asks the high commissioner for human rights to update a 2012 study on violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (A/HRC/19/41), with a view to sharing good practices and ways to overcome violence and discrimination. The resolution expresses grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination in all regions of the world against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. This resolution demonstrates that this issue remains on the agenda of the Human Rights Council and sends a message of support to people around the world who experience this type of violence and discrimination, the organizations said.
“While we would have preferred to see an institutionalized reporting mechanism, the council has still sent a strong message of support to human rights defenders working on these issues,” said Jonas Bagas, of TLF Share in the Philippines. “We look forward to states implementing the outcomes of these reports.”
The votes were predictable. In support of the resolution were Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Montenegro, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Romania, South Africa, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom, United States of America, Venezuela, and Vietnam. Opposing were Algeria, Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon Indonesia, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Russia.