Human Rights Council: Develop institutional response to violations of LGBTI rights


States must ensure full commitment to ensuring that the human rights of all persons are protected, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and sex characteristics, stated the International Service for Human Rights.

(Geneva) - Human rights defenders have been assaulted, arbitrarily detained and even killed for their work to promote and protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex persons. The UN Human Rights Council must develop an urgent institutional response to these systematic attacks, ISHR has said.

In a statement to the Human Rights Council, ISHR highlighted that, since June 2015, the Special Procedures had responded to several allegations of violations perpetrated against human rights defenders and organisations working on the rights of LGBTI people.

ISHR called on governments to honour their obligations under the Vienna Declaration and Platform for Action (VDPA) which states ‘Human rights and fundamental freedoms are the birthright of all human beings; their protection and promotion is the first responsibility of Governments’. It also recommends actions on ‘strengthening of a pluralistic civil society and the protection of groups which have been rendered vulnerable’.

The allegations of violations against defenders of LGBTI rights range from vandalism, to arbitrary detention, to murder.

In the Kyrgyz Republic, the office of Labrys, an NGO working to protect the rights of LGBTI people was subjected to attempted arson.

In Ukraine, Mr Nick Carter, a human rights defender working on the rights of LGBTI people, received threats in connection with his advocacy and was brutally assaulted by unidentified men.

The Special Procedures also responded to a seemingly systematic trend of targeting LGBTI activists in Honduras, raising the cases of Angy Ferreira, Juan Carlos Cruz Andara, Violeta Rivas and Francisco Mencia.  

‘We recognise the important and valuable work of LGBTI rights defenders, particularly given the climate of social exclusion to which LGBTI people are often subjected to in a great number of countries,’ said Ms Pooja Patel, LGBTI Defenders Programme Manager at ISHR.

ISHR welcomed the call by the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, as well as the joint statement by Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay, for the Council to maintain its attention on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity.

‘However, we stress that the violations and abuses are systematic, and therefore reiterate the urgent need for an institutionalised response by this Council,’ said Ms Patel.

A video of ISHR's statement is here

A full text of ISHR's statement to the Human Rights Council is here. 

Contact: Pooja Patel, LGBTI Defenders Programme Manager, on


  • Human rights defenders
  • LGBT rights
  • NGOs
  • United Nations
  • Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council
  • UN Human Rights Council
  • Honduras
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Ukraine