During the 47th Human Rights Council Session, the UN Trans Advocacy Week 2021 partners made a statement in support of the IE SOGI’s report “The Law of Inclusion” in an interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (IE SOGI), Victor Madrigal-Borloz.
This report is released at a time of increased hostility towards trans communities around the world, stemming from anti-trans feminist and LGB activists, as well as right-wing or conservative civil, political, and religious groups, media outlets, and States. These actors have been advocating for a rollback or complete erasure of the human rights of trans people, including calling for the legalisation of conversion therapy for trans people (recognised as a form of torture by the UN), preventing access to bathrooms and single-sex spaces (in particular, targetting trans women), and general anti-trans rhetoric that attempts to re-pathologise trans people (going against the 2018 World Health Assembly decision to remove trans people from the Chapter on Mental and Behavioural Disorders).
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the discrimination, stigma, and violence faced by trans and gender-diverse people worldwide, with gender-segregated lockdown policies making it impossible for trans people living in countries without legal gender recognition to leave their homes without facing harassment, violence, and detention.
The report released by the IE SOGI is an important step forward for trans rights globally. We are confident that it will contribute to strengthening an intersectional, inclusive, and holistic understanding of gender justice, and will provide a basis upon which State policies that promote trans rights and greater inclusion of trans communities in society can be built.
Please see the full statement below, delivered by the Swedish Federation of LGBTI Rights – RFSL on behalf of Trans Advocacy Week 2021 partners.
Throughout the world, trans people continue to face disproportionate levels of violence and systemic discrimination. Trans women, in particular, face high levels of violence, which often go unchallenged, uninvestigated, and unpunished. Working towards the safety, security, well-being, and development of trans people must remain a priority. We share the Independent Expert’s analysis that gender and sex are firmly established categories in international human rights law. They complement each other and are both crucial to achieve gender justice.
We reiterate that safeguarding the rights of trans and gender diverse people does not come at the expense of any other group as human rights are indivisible, interlinked, and inalienable. Our understanding is informed by intersectional feminist movements that foster synergies between women in all their diversity, standing together with trans and gender-diverse people in our collective struggle for equality and inclusion.
Trans Advocacy Week 2021 welcomes the Independent Expert’s recommendations to member states on gender self-determination, legal gender recognition and the rights of trans and gender-diverse minors. We express our gratitude to Mr. Madrigal-Borloz and his team, and we are committed to supporting the mandate in future.