Over the last two decades UN human rights bodies and mechanisms have been at the forefront of promoting equality and fair treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender-diverse and intersex (LGBTI) people. These contributions have led to considerable progress regarding decriminalisation of consensual same-sex consensual acts and diverse gender identities, enactment of progressive laws and the promotion of international standards on the rights of LGBTI persons. While these advances have been, and continue to be, integral in the promotion and protection of equal rights for LGBTI persons, the stories of those relentlessly fighting for that progress often remain untold. Indeed, everywhere around the world human rights defenders working on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE) play a central role in the fight for equality for LGBTI persons.
This side event aims to shed light on the success stories of human rights defenders working to combat violence and discrimination based on SOGIE, bringing together defenders as well as two UN mandate holders that focus on human rights defenders and on SOGIE. The panel will reflect on opportunities and risks for LGBTI HRDs, nation level developments towards equality for LGBTI persons, progress of the current UN standards on these issues, and what can be done to address challenges.