Yesterday, the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on sexual orientation. This is what the press release says:
Regarding human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, the Council requested the High Commissioner to commission a study to be finalised by December 2011 to document discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, in all regions of the world, and how international human rights law could be used to end violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It also decided to convene a panel discussion during the nineteenth session of the Human Rights Council, informed by the facts contained in the study commissioned by the High Commissioner.
It is a significant inroad for equal rights based upon sexual orientation within the United Nations system. We have some decisions of bodies like the Human Rights Committee, but nothing at the political level until yesterday.
The text was presented by South Africa. It was adopted by 23 countries in favour, 19 against with 3 abstentions. According to news reports, Russia voted against and China abstained. Delegations from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Bangladesh spoke against the resolution. Nigeria criticised South Africa for aligning itself with 'Western countries'.
Here is the text of the Resolution.
The Council also adopted a draft protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child providing for a petition procedure.
Thanks to Caroline Sweeney.