UNHRC adopted first Resolution of its kind for Intersex Rights

News Excerpt:

Recently, The United Nations Human Rights Council voted to adopt a resolution designed to protect the rights of intersex people, the first initiative of its kind that diplomats and rights groups described as an landmark moment for human rights.

UN Human Rights Council:

  • The Human Rights Council is an intergovernmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and making recommendations on them. 
  • It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. 
  • It meets at the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).

Important Points:

  • The resolution also calls on Member States to address the root causes, such as stereotypes, spread of misconceptions and inaccurate information, stigma and taboo, and to work to fulfill the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health for persons with innate variations in sex characteristics.
  • Twenty-four countries voted in favour, twenty-three abstained and none voted against the resolution, which was spearheaded by Finland, South Africa, Chile and Australia.
  • The resolution calls on states to "combat discrimination, violence and harmful practices against persons with innate variations in sex characteristics and address their root causes," as well as help intersex people "realize the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health."
  • It also requests that the Office of the U.N. The High Commissioner for Human Rights publishes a report "examining in detail discriminatory laws and policies, acts of violence and harmful practices against persons with innate variations in sex characteristics, in all regions of the world."
  • The adoption of the first-ever resolution on the Rights of Intersex Persons at HRC55 marks a landmark advancement in human rights.
  • Human Rights Watch, which described the initiative as groundbreaking, said it signaled "growing international resolve to address rights violations experienced by people born with variations in their sex characteristics."
  • This resolution marks yet another milestone in how international bodies are looking at the rights of intersex persons.
  • Intersex persons are born with a wide range of natural variations in their sex characteristics that don’t fit the typical definition of male or female, including sexual anatomy, reproductive organs or chromosome patterns. 
  • It’s estimated that up to 1.7 percent of the population is born with intersex traits, according to UN data. 
  • Working with civil society and intersex rights defenders, UN Human Rights has led several initiatives to promote the visibility and rights of intersex people and issued a Technical Note in 2023 for States and other stakeholders on UN recommendations on the rights of intersex people and good practices in their implementation.

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