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The Yogyakarta Principles have just been updated for the first time in 10 years

The Yogyakarta Principles have just been updated for the first time in 10 years

The team of experts behind the crucial update to the Yogyakarta Principles in Geneva

Ten years after they were released the the Yogyakarta Principles have been updated with new principles added.

The Yogyakarta Principles are a set of principles relating to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC). The Principles help guide human rights laws for governments, organizations and any other relvant bodies.

They ‘promise a different future where all people born free and equal in dignity and rights can fulfil that precious birthright’.

After a meeting of SOGIESC experts in Geneva the Yogyakarta Principles plus 10 (YP+10) were released.

YP+10’s open consultations were led by the International Service for Human Rights and ARC International.

How LGBTI discrimination has changed

The new principles were needed to reflect significant developments both in international human rights law and in the understanding of violations affecting LGBTI people.

YP+10 also recognized  the distinct violations affecting persons on grounds of ‘gender expression’ and ‘sex characteristics’.

‘The YP+10 introduce new language which arises from rights violations that were occurring at the time of the original YPs and since,’ said Mauro Cabral Grinspan, who was on the YP+10 Drafting Committee.

‘By naming and articulating them across the entire Yogyakarta Principles, we hope to address previous gaps and contribute not only to the eradication of violations, but also the reparation of the damages they cause around the world.’

The YP+10 have been added to the original 29 Yogyakarta Principles released in 2007. It includes nine Additional Principles covering a range of rights dealing with information and communication technologies, poverty, and cultural diversity.

There are also 111 Additional State Obligations, a number of which have arisen over the past decade with regards to the original 29 Principles. Including in areas such as torture, asylum, privacy and health and the protection of human rights defenders.

Addressing global discrimination

‘It is unacceptable that LGBTI people still face discrimination, including in health care settings, leading to detrimental impact on the realization of their right to health’, said Dainius Pūras.

Pūras is the UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health. They are also a professor of child psychiatry and public mental health at Vilnius University, Lithuania.

‘Discrimination on the grounds of SOGIESC needs to be addressed globally, in the spirit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, ensuring there is no-one left behind. YP+10 is a very important step in this direction.’

The Principles call for action from states, UN bodies and agencies, national human rights institutions, mass media, non-governmental organizations, professional organizations, and others. Their aim is to end discrimination of all kinds against SOGIESC people.

‘The YP+10 released today will help civil society and other stakeholders hold governments accountable for fulfilling their obligations under international human rights law’, said the Drafting Committee’s Julia Ehrt.

‘In the context of violence against LBGTI persons, this accountability includes protection, support for victims, investigation of crime, and holding perpetrators to account, along with tackling structural violence.’