A side event entitled “Intersectionality and Impunity: locating Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity in the Human Rights Discourse” took place on Wednesday 19 March 2014. The event was co-sponsored by, alphabetically, Coalition of SOGI Malaysia, ICARH, ILGA, ISHR, JSA Consulting Group and the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI). Panelists included human rights defenders from India, Malaysia, Nigeria and Switzerland as well as a representative of OHCHR; including the SRI’s Sunita Kujur (representing CREA). The panel looked at the many intersectioning similarities in the root causes of human rights violations, the types of violations suffered and the ways of addressing them.
The panel noted that violations are not perpetrated independently but are rather reinforced by cultures of impunity, which indeed vary by country and their system of law enforcement and that by looking at intersectionalities in the promotion and protection of human rights, and in the impunities enjoyed by perpetrators of human rights violations, there could be a way to address the challenges in dealing with human rights issues at local, regional and international levels.
The panel also highlighted that homophobic laws being promulgated in countries like Nigeria and Uganda, as well as state-sponsored homophobic activities in Russia, India and other parts of the world, are actually part of wider culture of hetero-normativity and gender-stereotyping, often seeking to impose rigid gender norms. This, coupled with a culture of impunity leaves LGBTI persons and other communities vulnerable to human rights violations.
Source: ILGA – International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association
Watch the full presentations here:
Watch the discussion here:
Read a full de-brief from the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council, here.