Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
- MANDATE OF THE INDEPENDENT EXPERT ON PROTECTION AGAINST VIOLENCE AND DISCRIMINATION BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY
- COMPOSITION AND WORKING METHODS
- SUBMITTING INFORMATION OR COMPLAINTS
MANDATE OF THE INDEPENDENT EXPERT ON PROTECTION AGAINST VIOLENCE AND DISCRIMINATION BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY
The Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is one of the thematic special procedures overseen by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The mandate holder works to overcome violence and discrimination that individuals experience due to their sexual orientation or gender identity by raising awareness of the issues, identifying gaps in the current international human rights framework, developing best practices, and supporting national and international efforts to address the underlying causes of such violence and discrimination. The current mandate holder is IJRC Board of Directors member Victor Madrigal-Borloz.
COMPOSITION AND WORKING METHODS
The mandate of the Independent Expert lasts for a period of three years and is filled by one highly qualified individual.
The UN Human Rights Council established the Independent Expert position in 2016 with Resolution 32/2. In fulfilling the mandate, the Independent Expert makes country visits, reviews complaints, and reports annually to the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council.
One important function of the Independent Expert is to conduct country visits. Country visits allow the Independent Expert to examine the general state of human rights in the country and the national legislation, policies, regulatory frameworks, and institutions and practices in the State. The Independent Expert then reports the findings to the Human Rights Council and proposes ways in which the right to be free from violence and discrimination due to one’s sexual orientation or gender identity can be better protected in the visited nation.
More than 100 countries have extended standing invitations to country visits by all thematic special procedures. View the list of countries that have extended standing invitations here.
Receiving Information & Complaints
The Independent Expert receives information and complaints regarding alleged instances of violence or discrimination against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Anyone with knowledge of a violation can submit information.
The Independent Expert then connects with States on these matters by presenting them with “communications,” which can detail past, ongoing, or imminent human rights violations. Communications generally explain the allegations, identify applicable human rights standards, state any concerns or questions, and make a call to action. Communications may address individual cases, overall patterns of violations, or proposed or enacted legislation or policies not considered to be in conformity with international human rights standards.
The State involved need not have ratified any particular human rights instrument to be the subject of intervention by the Independent Expert, and alleged victims need not have exhausted domestic remedies prior to seeking such intervention.
Reports to the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council
The Independent Expert reports annually to the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council on all activities related to its mandate. Past reports are available on the Independent Expert’s webpage.
SUBMITTING INFORMATION OR COMPLAINTS
Complaints should be submitted to the Independent Expert using the online submission form. In order for a submission to be assessed, the following information is required:
- Identification of the alleged victim(s)
- Identification of the alleged perpetrator(s) (if known)
- Identification of the person(s) or organization(s) submitting the communication
- The date and place of the incident(s) or violation(s)
- A detailed description of the circumstances of the incident(s) or violation(s)
After submitting a complaint, it is important to keep the Independent Expert up-to-date on any developments in the case.
The Independent Expert may also be contacted by:
Independent Expert on the protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
c/o Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
- Telephone: +41 22 917 9188
- Fax: +41 22 917 9034
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org