For the first time, the United Nations acknowledges a need for protections from executions on the basis of gender identity.
The UN has approved a draft resolution urging member states to protect LGBT people from executions and other murders.
The resolution is meant to hold states accountable to investigating all extrajudicial executions, and for the first time pressures states to properly address crimes committed on the basis of people’s ‘gender identity’.
Introduced by Sweden and co-sponsored by 34 states, the resolution passed by a vote of 108 to 1, with 65 abstentions and Iran as the only country opposed.
According to the United Nations press release, Sweden’s assembly representative said the sad reality was that sexual orientation and gender identity had often been behind extrajudicial killings, and the proposed amendment could help keep countries from looking the other way when such incidents occurred.
Ali Jernow of the the International Commission of Juris told GSN: ‘I think it is very significant the draft resolution is including gender identity because it acknowledges that transgender people are vulnerable and for the UN to say that is very important’.
The resolution has included clauses against crimes of ‘sexual orientation’ for the past 12 years, which were temporarily removed two years ago because of a push by a group of African states.
The UN resolution could prove useful in protecting LGBT communities in UN member countries like Uganda, where the ‘Kill the Gays Bill’ could diminish government prosecution of crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.