Human rights contestations: sexual orientation and gender identity

[Resourcel URL]

Go to Resource

[Relevance]

This academic article is relevant for development practitioners as it outlines the benefits of including SOGI related rights into a human rights framework and the challenges currently impeding their inclusion.

This academic article examines whether rights associated with sexual orientation and gender identity should be included within a human rights framework. It argues that human rights can be both a tool and a site of struggle and affirms that a reconceptualisation of human rights could ensure that they are more inclusive for vulnerable groups who are marginalised because of their diverse sexual orientation or gender identity.

The article argues that SOGI based human rights should be pursued because the primary actor targeting sexual and gender minorities are nation states.The different forms of push back and resistance from states to the inclusion of SOGI rights within a human rights framework are outlined at the beginning of the article. Normative critiques of human rights from cultural relativist and poststructuralist perspectives are discussed before the article suggests how to defend the existence of human rights and how best to include SOGI rights within a human rights framework.

The article argues that a key benefit of including SOGI rights within a human rights framework is that it can shift the human rights framework away from a protection of singular identity categories to a more fluid sense of multiple and shifting identities that intersect and influence one another. An anti-foundationalist reading of human rights is favoured by the author who argues that this is the most effective way of incorporating previously excluded populations into a human rights framework.

[Quote]

“Mobilisations around SOGI-related rights present an opportunity in that they are not just about adding more identities to those already included under a human rights rubric. The real opportunity lies in the degree to which SOGI-related rights are informed by an understanding of orientation, identity and expression as shifting and plural – what Momim describes as ‘queer as intersectionality’ – not a singular identity as has too often been the case in human rights.”

Most Popular Resources

Beginner's Guide

No such thing as neutral: Understanding the implications of COVID-19 for communities with diverse SOGIE in the Global North

This Think Piece is by Kirsty McKellar, one of Edge Effect’s 2020 interns. Kirsty has recently completed her masters of Development Studies...

We deserve human rights: Interview with Emma Yaaka

Emma Yaaka (he/him) is an LGBTIQ+ advocate who has worked to provide medical services and information to LGBTIQ+ refugees in Kenya and...

This academic article examines whether rights associated with sexual orientation and gender identity should be included within a human rights framework. It argues that human rights can be both a tool and a site of struggle and affirms that a reconceptualisation of human rights could ensure that they are more inclusive for vulnerable groups who are marginalised because of their diverse sexual orientation or gender identity.

The article argues that SOGI based human rights should be pursued because the primary actor targeting sexual and gender minorities are nation states.The different forms of push back and resistance from states to the inclusion of SOGI rights within a human rights framework are outlined at the beginning of the article. Normative critiques of human rights from cultural relativist and poststructuralist perspectives are discussed before the article suggests how to defend the existence of human rights and how best to include SOGI rights within a human rights framework.

The article argues that a key benefit of including SOGI rights within a human rights framework is that it can shift the human rights framework away from a protection of singular identity categories to a more fluid sense of multiple and shifting identities that intersect and influence one another. An anti-foundationalist reading of human rights is favoured by the author who argues that this is the most effective way of incorporating previously excluded populations into a human rights framework.