Last edited: February 14, 2005

IGLHRC Calls for Global Mobilization to Help Pass the UN Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Human Rights

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), February 2, 2004

Paula Ettelbrick, Executive Director: tel: (212) 216-1256 email:
Susana Fried, Program Director: tel: (212) 216-1281, email:

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), along with a global coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), today issued a call to LGBT organizations and allies around the world to mobilize in support of the UN Commission on Human Rights Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Human Rights. This landmark resolution is the first one in the history of the United Nations that specifically, and unambiguously, spells out that abuses on the basis of sexual orientation are human rights violations. It recognizes the existence of sexual-orientation based discrimination around the world; affirms that such discrimination contravenes what has been established in major human rights instruments; and calls all governments to promote and protect the human rights of people, regardless of their sexual orientation. IGLHRC today called for its allies to join it in mobilizing support for the passage of this resolution which will be considered at the 60th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (March 15-April 25 in Geneva, Switzerland).

Paula Ettelbrick, IGLHRC’s Executive Director said, “This resolution would be the first United Nations Commission on Human Rights resolution to connect the full range of human rights to sexual orientation, and to condemn discrimination on its basis.” According to IGLHRC, the impact of passing this resolution is significant to show that sexual orientation-based discriminatory legislation is contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to global trends that increasingly call for condemnation of such discrimination and abuse.

Last year, in April 2003, the Brazilian delegation to the Commission introduced this historic—and unexpected—resolution. After prolonged debate, the Commission voted to postpone further discussion on the resolution to the 2004 Commission session. As a result, this coming March, 53 nations will sit in Geneva to publicly declare if they believe that all people should be protected from discrimination, persecution and violence—whatever their sexual orientation. IGLHRC, along with a coalition of NGOs is now working to support Brazil and other friendly governments to secure passage of this groundbreaking resolution. Key countries to target in this mobilization effort include South Africa, India, Costa Rica and the United States.

According to Susana Fried, IGLHRC Program Director, the resolution is “a key building block in the global understanding of human rights. It could be invoked to call on States to end all discrimination based on sexual orientation in economic and social rights, such as access to health, education and housing.” The resolution would also encourage governments to take a more active role to prevent discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation such as murder, torture and arbitrary arrest and detention. It would help to ensure the protection of victims and help bring perpetrators of violence against sexual minorities to justice. The Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Human Rights would provide activists with another tool to hold states accountable to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of LGBT people.

For more information on the resolution and on how you can help mobilize support for its passage, please see the Action Kit on our website at under Publications/ Fact Sheets: here ( 1&id=109).

IGLHRC has also posted a list of contact information for the 53 governments that are current members of the UN Commission on Human Rights, available at under Publications/ Fact Sheets: here (

Further information is also available at the International Lesbian and Gay Association’s website at

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