Brief Time Line

Brief Time Line

Sexual Rights at the United Nations: Creating a Global Common Ground though Social Movements


2012: General Assembly passed resolution A/C.3/67/l.36 condemning arbitrary and extrajudicial executions – and this included both ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’ within its orbit. (This is part of a long struggle over terminology) Opposed by the usual lobbies (many of whom walked out of the debate), the full resolution passed with 108 votes in favor, 1 against, 65 abstentions, and 19 absent.

2011: South Africa requested the General Assembly to draft a report detailing the situation of LGBT citizens worldwide ( Vienna Declaration). It was passed (23 to 19) and the report was published in December. It documented violations of the rights of LGBT people, including hate crime, criminalization of homosexuality, and discrimination.

2010: The Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, expressed his concern in a speech on Human Rights Day when he “rejected discrimination in general, and in particular discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity”

2007:   The UN Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (GIFT) established 2006-7:The Yogyakarta Principles presented as universal principles relating to human rights and sexual orientation & gender identity – standards with which all States must comply.

2004-5: The Brazil Proposal brought a backlash in 2004 and 2005. Languages and ideas of sexual orientation and even HIV were under attack.

2003-4: Resolution entitled, Human Rights and Sexual Orientation, and modeled on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is proposed by Brazil, without consulting other potential international supporters! It failed.

?2001: Amnesty International: publishes Crimes of Hate. Conspiracy of Silence: Torture and Ill Treatment based on Sexual Identity 2001

2000: Women in Balkans and Rwanda claimed that systematic rape is a form of genocide. International Court comes to see it as a crime against humanity.

1997: WHO issued a joint statement with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) against the practice of FGM.

1996: ILGA Europe Established, which can play a more prominent role in the UN as it is not excluded

1995: The Beijing Fourth World Conference on Women, resulting in global Platform for Action for women’s equality, empowerment and justice 47,000 people attend. A group of 35 women from the Lesbian Caucus unfurled a large banner from a balcony. The banner read: Lesbian Rights are Human Rights. It was also the ‘ Year of the Muslim Woman”

1994: ILGA recognized briefly in UN – but dropped because of presumed links with paedophilia

Cairo:   International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) put sexual rights and sexual health on the table

1994-6 UNAIDS established by the UN for a global and expansive response to HIV/AIDS

1993: The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women affirms that violence against women violates their human rights. The World Conference on Human Rights issues a Programme of Action for women’s rights to be included in all human rights programmes.

1989:Convention on the Rights of the Child (and which starts to raise the public debate of age of consent

1985:The Third World Conference on Women, Nairobi outlines the ‘Forward-Looking’ strategy

1980:The Second World Conference on Women. Copenhagen

1979: General Assembly Resolution 34/180 leads to Adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the only international treaty on women’s human rights
1978: ILGA established in Coventry (originally as IGA: lesbians added in 1968). Regionalization later takes place and ILGA –Europe become the most developed in 1996

1975:The First U.N.World Conference on Women, Mexico – with 2,000 delegates from 133 different countries


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