Joint Statement at the Durban Review Conference
Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity as Multiple Forms of Discrimination & Related Intolerance
04/05/2009
The following speech was given by Lindiwe Nkutha, South Africa (Coalition of African Lesbians) on behalf of ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association during the last session of the plenary of the Durban Review Conference (video).

By ARC-International, Coalition of African Lesbians, COC Netherlands, Egale Canada, IGLHRC, ILGA, Mulabi,RFSL.


We welcome Paragraph 85 of the document that notes with concern the increased instances of discrimination on multiple or aggravated forms of discrimination and that such discrimination, as laid down in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, affects the enjoyment of human rights and can lead to particular targeting or vulnerability. This paragraph is holistic and comprehensive in construction by addressing contemporary forms and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia and other related intolerance.


This paragraph is holistic and comprehensive in construction by addressing contemporary forms and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia and other related intolerance.

We reaffirm the importance of addressing multiple or aggravated forms of discrimination and we believe that discrimination on other grounds, such as nationality, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity are equally unjust.

Sexual orientation and gender identity are examples of forms of discrimination that are inextricably linked with once race. We emphasize the importance of the Yogyakarta Principles explain the application of existing human rights law to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The Yogyakarta Principles is a document developed by international human rights experts from around the world.

We welcome the recent message of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Pillay who said:

QUOTE“There remain too many countries which continue to criminalize sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex in defiance of established human rights law. Ironically, many of these laws, like the Apartheid laws that criminalized sexual relations between consenting adults of different races, are relics of the colonial era, and are increasingly becoming recognised as anachronistic, and as inconsistent both with international law and with traditional values of dignity, inclusion, and respect for all.”
END QUOTE

Many states do not protect LGBTI citizens from discrimination, torture, and beatings. Even more disturbing is the fact that, through the criminalization of homosexuality, human beings experience torture, beatings and even death at the hands of their own government agents such as the police and other members of the legal system all over the world.

We conclude by reiterating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which articulates that “all human beings are free and equal in dignity and rights” – not some, not even most, but ALL.

Thank you


Noted Paragraph

85. Notes with concern the increased instances of discrimination on multiple or aggravated forms of discrimination and reiterates that such discrimination, as laid down in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, affects the enjoyment of human rights and can lead to particular targeting or vulnerability and urges States to adopt or strengthen programmes or measures to eradicate multiple or aggravated forms of discrimination, in particular by adopting or improving penal or civil legislation to address these phenomena;



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