The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, will present the 2012 annual report of her office on May 24, 2013 in Geneva. The report provides an assessment of the current state of human rights with respect to six thematic priorities and reviews efforts by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) over the last year to promote human rights in those areas.
The thematic priorities covered are: discrimination; impunity and the rule of law; poverty and social, economic, and cultural rights; migration; violence and insecurity; and human rights mechanisms. Beyond providing information on these human rights issues, the report can also help civil society actors increase their awareness of the OHCHR’s programmatic activities. Continue reading »
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, celebrated annually on May 17, serves as an opportunity to call attention to the challenges, stigma, and rights violations experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) individuals around the world. Today, many of the major human rights monitoring bodies released statements calling on governments to initiate or increase efforts to put an end to discrimination against sexual minorities and to ensure the protection of their human rights.
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a video entitled “The Riddle” (below) which highlights the persistent criminalization of being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, as is the case in 76 countries. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, emphasized three areas of particular concern for the protection of LGBTI persons’ rights: 1) hate crimes, 2) criminalization of homosexuality, and 3) pervasive discriminatory practices. [OHCHR] More information on these problems, the relevant international legal protections, and the OHCHR’s work to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is available on its website.
The U.S. Department of State recently released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012. The annual reports cover nearly every country besides the United States and address various human rights topics, such as freedom of speech and press, arbitrary arrest or detention, and workers’ rights. Drawing on a variety of resources, including U.S. consular staff and civil society reports, the country reports provide a wealth of information both in terms of details on selected victims and human rights violations, as well as an overview of each country. Continue reading »