UN Human Rights Council Side Event on Lesbian & Gay Issues

Project at a glance

Dates and Place

01 - 05 October 2006, Geneva, Switzerland
UN and Maison des Associations

Project details

Like many non-governmental organizations, the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) followed the discussions of the 2nd Human Rights Council (HRC) which took place from 18 September to 6 October 2006. In this context, it organized a series of HRC side events, including the follwing sessions: 

Recognition of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual) NGOs by the United Nation

The rejection by the ECOSOC Committee on Non-governmental Organizations of the applications of four LGBT organizations, including ILGA, for consultative status in 2006 has underlined that many states are not even willing to give LGBT people the right to speak at the UN. In the course of 2005 and ILGA organized a campaign for eleven LGBT associations from Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America to apply for ECOSOC status. ILGA was denied this right in July 2006 by the full ECOSOC, in spite of the strong case made in their favor by some government officials. The Danish association LBL, ILGA-Europe and the German LSVD will be voted on again by ECOSOC later this year. This panel will give the various organizations involved in the ECOSOC process an opportunity to shed some light on the issues and provide a forum for debate on the rights and presence of LGBT people at the UN.

Lesbian and Bisexual Women - invisible and doubly discriminated

Lesbian and bisexual women suffer double discrimination because of their gender and because of their sexual orientation. While almost all issues and concerns of women have been addressed by the International Women's Movements since the first World Conference on Women in 1975, the basic needs and rights of lesbian and bisexual women in the world have been unspoken and suppressed. In fact, lesbian and bisexual women all over the world are the persons most vulnerable to persecution because of their gender and their sexual orientation. Even among most women's rights groups, lesbian and bisexual women are discriminated against, their issues often described as disruptive and divisive. As a result, the lesbian and bisexual women have had to remain silent and invisible, left out of the global march towards full emancipation.

Voices from the Global South: Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people come out globally

Many states in the Global South claim that homosexuality was imported during colonial times in spite of ample documentation of homosexuality in traditional societies across the globe. Some say there is no homosexuality whatsoever in their country, others go as far as saying "homosexuals are animals and need to be treated as such". Recent developments for example in Africa are proving there is on the contrary a rising international LGBT movement with initiatives such as All Africa Rights Initiative and the Coalition of African Lesbians. There are also developing LGBT movements in Latin America and Asia.

Transgender: An emerging human rights issue

Throughout the world, different cultures have different perceptions of gender and its expression. Individuals themselves express their gender identity in many different ways. Though a basic human right, the will to express one's identity and/or attachment to a gender often leads to discrimination, suffering and all too often to physical aggression up to and including murder. It is the expressed desire of ILGA to remind the international community of the necessity to include gender identity in a UN resolution in order to protect the rights of transgender people.

About ILGA

ILGA represents interests of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people and lobbies against any form of discrimination against them. ILGA seeks to achieve this aim through the worldwide cooperation and mutual support of its members. It focuses public and government attention on cases of discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people by supporting programs and protest actions, asserting diplomatic pressure, providing information and working with international organisations and the international media.

Role of ICVolunteers

Volunteer interpreters provided interpretation from and to English, French and Spanish.



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