Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics at the Universal Periodic Review

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This report is relevant for development and humanitarian practitioners as it provides a detailed account of the influence of the UPR on the protection of the rights of people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) and those who identify as LGBTI. The report provides a series of practical recommendations for states, civil society organisations, legal professionals and international legal organisations to follow to uphold the work of the UPR.

This report examines how the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) has influenced the protection of those with diverse SOGIESC and those who identify as LGBTI. The report focuses on three areas: 1) the content and level of acceptance of the UPR recommendations on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) issues, 2) the involvement of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the UPR and 3) the influence of the UPR on international law that protects LGBTI persons.

The report begins with an introduction to the UPR and the principal challenges to the protection of people with diverse SOGIESC from a human rights perspective. Chapter two outlines the UPR recommendations relating to SOGIESC issues. Chapter three examines the involvement of CSOs in the UPR and the challenges limiting their engagement. Chapter four analyses how the international human rights framework has been influenced by the UPR. Chapter five provides a number of examples to highlight both success stories and examples of challenges in implementing UPR recommendations. The final chapter provides a series of recommendations on how best to uphold the work of the UPR and protect the rights of people with diverse SOGIESC or those who identify as LGBTI.

These recommendations are addressed individually to recommending states, states under review, civil society, legal professions and international legal organisations.

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“At a time when a majority of states claim to value the principles of equality and non-discrimination in the enjoyment of all human rights by their citizens, the evidence has grown of violence committed on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics.”

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This report examines how the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) has influenced the protection of those with diverse SOGIESC and those who identify as LGBTI. The report focuses on three areas: 1) the content and level of acceptance of the UPR recommendations on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) issues, 2) the involvement of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the UPR and 3) the influence of the UPR on international law that protects LGBTI persons.

The report begins with an introduction to the UPR and the principal challenges to the protection of people with diverse SOGIESC from a human rights perspective. Chapter two outlines the UPR recommendations relating to SOGIESC issues. Chapter three examines the involvement of CSOs in the UPR and the challenges limiting their engagement. Chapter four analyses how the international human rights framework has been influenced by the UPR. Chapter five provides a number of examples to highlight both success stories and examples of challenges in implementing UPR recommendations. The final chapter provides a series of recommendations on how best to uphold the work of the UPR and protect the rights of people with diverse SOGIESC or those who identify as LGBTI.

These recommendations are addressed individually to recommending states, states under review, civil society, legal professions and international legal organisations.