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1,000+ Groups Call to Renew United Nations’ LGBTQ Rights Advocate

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on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity was established in 2016 with by a narrow vote of member states, and was renewed narrowly in 2019.

It is the only part of the UN that directly addresses issues pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity. Its existence is currently up for re-evaluation and supporters of LGBTQ rights are asking for the IE SOGI to stay.The IE SOGI acts as an independent party, separate from the United Nations, and “examines, monitors, advises, and publicly reports” on member countries that commit human rights abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity.The IE SOGI also works to minimize anti-LGBTQ human rights abuses by visiting areas where anti-LGBTQ discrimination is reported to be happening, addressing violence and discrimination faced by LGBTQ people — including extrajudicial executions, torture, and “enforced disappearance” — advocating for the repeal of laws that criminalize LGBTQ people, informing people of the damage of conversion therapy, and denouncing attempts to forcibly change sexual orientation and gender identity, including so-called “corrective” rape.In the human rights organizations’ statement, which was circulated by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, the 1,117 signatories call for the renewal of the IE SOGI, arguing that its existence gives some protection to those targeted for violence or discrimination.The ILGA said in a press release that a large amount of supporters for the IE SOGI is “evidence of [its] critical importance,” in helping support LGBTQ rights “both at international human rights fora and at the grassroots level.”Just two people have held the role of Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender.

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