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Groundbreaking principles on sexual orientation and human rights released

Groundbreaking international legal principles on sexual orientation, gender identity, and international law have been released by 29 international human rights experts, led by University of Nottingham academic, Professor Michael O'Flaherty.

The "Yogyakarta Principles" call for worldwide action against violence, discrimination and abuse, by governments, the UN human rights system, national human rights institutions, non-governmental organisations, and others.

The 29 principles contained in the Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in Relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity establish the first ever set of principles on sexual orientation and gender identity, and are based upon a comprehensive analysis of current international human rights laws.

The principles identify the legal obligations of all States to ensure the universal reach of human rights protections. They were launched to coincide with the UN Human Rights Council's session in Geneva, where, in 2006, 54 States called for the Council to act against egregious violations of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

"States have the primary obligation to respect, protect, and promote human rights," said Professor O'Flaherty, who is also a member of the UN Human Rights Committee, "Ending violence and abuse against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity must become a global priority for governments."

The Yogyakarta Principles address a broad range of human rights standards. They were developed in response to well-documented patterns of abuse targeted toward persons because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.

Worldwide, human rights defenders point to violations including extrajudicial executions, violence and torture, repression of free speech and assembly, and discrimination in work, health, education, access to justice, and im
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Contact: Michael OFlaherty
michael.oflaherty@nottingham.ac.uk
University of Nottingham
13-Apr-2007


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