The Yogyakarta Principles were introduced in 2006 to outline human rights law pertaining to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics. The Yogyakarta Principles +10 supplements the original 2006 document. It adds nine additional principles (to the original 29) and 111 additional state obligations.
The Right to State Protection:
States must protect all persons from violence, discrimination and other harm irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics. This is regardless of whether this harm is committed by an individual, group or government official. States are called to exercise due diligence to prevent such harm and taking appropriate and effective measures to eradicate violence.
The Right to Legal Recognition
All people are entitled to legal recognition. Legal recognition cannot be based on or require that persons disclose their sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics. Further, it provides that all persons have the right to obtain identity documents, including birth certificates, and the right to change gendered information in such documents. States are called on to ensure only relevant information is included in these documents.
The Right to Bodily and Mental Integrity
All people have the right to autonomy, self-determination, freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics. Further, it states that no one shall be subjected to invasive/irreversible medical procedures that modify sex characteristics unless they freely give their informed consent. States are obliged to protect these rights.
The Right to Freedom from Criminalisation and Sanction on the Basis of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression or Sex Characteristics
Everyone has the right to be free from criminalisation and any form of sanction arising directly or indirectly from that person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics. States are obliged to comply.
The Right to Protection from Poverty
Everyone has the right not to suffer from poverty and social exclusion as a result of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics. States are obliged to take measures to ensure that poverty is slowly reduced and marginalised persons are included in the economy.
The Right to Sanitation
This principle provides that everyone has the right to safe and secure sanitation and hygiene without discrimination. States must ensure that such public facilities are accessible.
The Right to Enjoyment of Human Rights in relation to Information and Communication Technologies
This principle provides that everyone has the right to access and use information and communication technologies without any form of discrimination. It further provides that digital communications, including the use of encryption and anonymity, are essential for the full realisation of human rights. States are obligated to take measures to ensure that online spaces remain open and accessible.
The Right to Truth
All persons who have faced human rights violations on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics have the right to know the truth about the violation. Furthermore, they also have the right to an effective, independent and impartial investigation into it. States are obliged to provide effective access to remedies, redress to victims and implement effective procedures to facilitate such obligations.
The Right to Practise, Protect and Revive Cultural Diversity
This principle recognises the right to practise, protect, preserve and revive cultures, traditions, languages, rituals and festivals, and protect cultural sites of significance, associated with sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics, where these practices, cultures etc. are consistent with international human rights law. States are obliged to ensure this right.
ADDITIONAL STATE OBLIGATIONS
The 2017 supplementary document also places more obligations on states with regard to a number of principles that were outlined in the 2006 Yogyakarta principles.
The document recommends that national human rights institutions take action on human rights issues relating to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics and that sporting organisations incorporate the Yogyakarta Principles, both the 2006 originals and the 2017 additions, as well as all relevant human rights norms and standards.
- From India: Ajit Prakash Shah, Chief Justice (2008-2010), High Court of Delhi; Meena Saraswati Seshu, General Secretary, Sampada Grameen Mahil Sanstha (SANGRAM); Arvind Narrain, Geneva Director of ARC International, Alternative Law Form (2000-2014); and Pooja Patel, LGBT & Women’s Rights Programme Manager, International Service for Human Rights.
- From Nepal: Sunil Pant, Member of Parliament (2008-2012), Nepal.
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