Updated international Human Rights Principles for the Treatment of LGBTI People Released

International human rights experts today released a supplement to the groundbreaking Yogyakarta Principles, a universal guide to human rights related to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics which applies to all United Nations member states.

The original Yogyakarta Principles were drafted by human rights experts in 2006 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in response to documented human rights abuses against LGBT people worldwide. They have been translated into 30 languages and have been cited by judges, legislators and government officials around the world as well as the U.N.

The Yogyakarta Principles Plus 10 (YP+10) include nine new principles and 112 additional state obligations that address developments in international human rights law and changes in society on issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC).

“The document issued today is destined to become one of the most important touchstones in the development of LGBTI rights globally,” said Andrew Park, Williams Institute International Program Director, who served as secretariat for YP+10.

Key additional recognitions and obligations in YP+10 include:

  • A broader recognition of characteristics upon which governments are barred from discriminating. The original Yogyakarta Principles focused on sexual orientation and gender identity, or SOGI. YP+10 provide guidance on human rights based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics, or SOGIESC.
  • The rights of intersex people. YP+10 state that no one should be subjected to invasive or irreversible medical procedures, including those done for sex conditions, without free, prior and informed consent. This includes children, in a manner consistent with their evolving capacity.
  • The rights of refugees. A well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of SOGIESC is acceptable ground for the recognition of refugee status, and all asylum seekers have the right to protection from violence and discrimination during the determination of their claims.
  • Personal information. Governments should only record personal information, including gender, when that information is relevant, reasonable and necessary. When gender is recorded, governments should establish mechanisms to allow individuals to change gender designations to match their gender identity.
  • Sanitation. All people have the right to sanitation, including access to bathrooms, without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity or sex conditions.
  • Information technology. All people have the right to use information and communication technologies without discrimination and to employ encryption, anonymity and pseudonymity tools.
  • Truth. All people have the right to the truth, including the right to know what medical procedures have been conducted on them.

“The Yogyakarta Principles are not about aspiration,” said Park. “They detail exactly what governments should be doing to comply with current international standards under today’s human rights treaties. When countries appear before the U.N. to have their human rights record reviewed, they are asked if they comply with the Yogyakarta Principles.”

The Williams Institute and international human rights groups will host a series of webinars with YP+10 signatories to give more detail about the principles and their implications.

RSVP for the webinar on January 16, 2018 here: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/br7t74fuxb08&eom

RSVP for the webinar on February 15, 2018 here: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/gx45ipcwxe7u&eom

The Yogyakarta Principles Plus 10 can be found here: http://www.yogyakartaprinciples.org/principles-en/