We welcome the first report of the Independent Expert on SOGI-related violence and discrimination. We recognize that some States opposed creation of the mandate, but are encouraged that it was reaffirmed by the General Assembly with support from all UN regional groups. We hope that all can stand united in the recognition that no one should be subjected to discrimination or violence on any ground.
Our recent research supports the Independent Expert’s assessment that SOGI-based violence and discrimination “stretches from the home to the education system to the community setting to the State level and beyond.” Human Rights Watch has, for example, documented domestic violence against lesbian women in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan; severe bullying against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender non-conforming school children in Japan, the Philippines and the United States; local violence against LGBT people in Kenya and Nigeria that goes unaddressed by officials; and state-sanctioned violence against gay men by lashings of gay men in Indonesia’s Aceh province, arbitrary detention and torture in Chechnya province in Russia, and forced anal examinations in Egypt, Tanzania, and Tunisia.
States not only have an obligation to take action when these abuses are committed by state officials or agents, but also when committed by private individuals as guarantors of safety and human rights for all, with no discrimination on any grounds. States need to provide protection and redress, and ensure that their legal frameworks do not promote or justify violence and discrimination.
We also thank the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions for her report, and are dismayed that the Philippines has sought to impose unreasonable conditions on her proposed country visit, thereby impeding her independence to examine and report on the more than 7,000 killings perpetrated in the context of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs.” As a member of this Council, the Philippines has an obligation to uphold the highest standards of human rights, and to cooperate with the Council and its mechanisms, and should be held accountable for failure to do so. We call on the Philippines to allow unfettered access to the Special Rapporteur on an urgent basis, and we urge this Council to condemn all unlawful killings and establish an independent international investigation to determine responsibility and ensure mechanisms for accountability.