There has been a lot going on lately. The bathroom law, shooting in Orlando and all the hatred against the LGBT community has shown us the darker side of the society. The whole idea of ‘choice’ has itself been questioned.
But amidst the rhetoric of hatred and violence, a positive news came earlier this month. The UN Human Rights council has voted to formally create an “independent expert” for probing human rights violations against LGBT people worldwide. The news was reported by UN Dispatch, the United Nations News & Commentary, and Global News-Forum.
As reported by the UN Dispatch,
The debate leading up to the vote was intense. Culturally conservative countries opposed to the resolution tried furiously to scuttle the measure, or at the very least water it down. Saudi Arabia tried to block the resolution all together, and at one point Nigeria even tried to delete the title of the resolution.
But in the end, it passed with strong Western and Latin American support: 23 to 18, with six abstentions.
In June last year, the council held the first ever meeting on LGBT rights. The appointment of an ‘independent expert’ gave a confirmation that the organization is serious about the issue.
The ‘independent experts’ as the name suggests are independent lawyers or academics who have the deep knowledge of a specific issue. While some experts are country specific, others are experts on ‘cross-border thematic issue’. The expert for the LGBT issues is yet to be given a name.
According to the Forum, the duties of the expert might include,
making recommendations to member states and UN bodies on how they can improve and expand LGBT rights, providing technical assistance to countries to help design and implement policies to protect LGBT rights, and general awareness raising about specific threats to the LGBT communities worldwide.
While there has been clear indication by some countries like Nigeria that they would ignore the new expert, the community will make sure that people’s voices are heard no matter to what country or race they belong.
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