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Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation

Relevant Resolutions

Commission on Human Rights Resolution on Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions: 2004/37 (par.6)
2002/36 (par.6)



Special Procedures
Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences

-Rape and sexual assault. Report E/CN.4/2005/72 (para.27)
-Violence, stigmatization and discrimination against women with HIV. Report E/CN.4/2005/72 (para.58)

Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

Violations of the right to life of persons because of their sexual orientation. Report E/CN.4/2003/3 (paras. 66-67)

Violations of the right to life of sexual, ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities. Report A/57/138 (paras. 37-40)

Special Representative of the Secretary General  on Human Rights Defenders

The Special Representative noted that "Greater risks are faced by defenders of the rights of certain groups as their work challenges social structures, traditional practices and interpretations of religious precepts that may have been used over long periods of time to condone and justify violation of the human rights of members of such groups. Of special importance will be women’s human rights groups and those who are active on issues of sexuality, especially sexual orientation and reproductive rights. These groups are often very vulnerable to prejudice, to marginalization and to public repudiation, not only by State forces but by other social actors." Report E/CN.4/2001/94 (pag.24)

Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers

Delays and lack of access to justice
Discrimination against or further victimization of social groups within the judicial system. Report E/CN.4/2005/60/Add.3 (para.24-29)

Special Rapporteur on torture

Torture and discrimination against sexual minorities Report A/56/156 (paras. 17–25)
Torture and discrimination against sexual minorities (pag.11) E/CN.4/2002/76

The Special Rapporteur highlighted the issue of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the context of torture related to HIV/AIDS. "Attitudes and beliefs stemming from myths and fears associated with HIV/AIDS and sexuality contribute to stigma and discrimination against sexual minorities. In addition, the fact that members of these minorities are perceived as transgressing gender barriers or challenging predominant conceptions of gender roles seems to contribute to their vulnerability to torture as a way to “punish” their unaccepted behaviour." Report E/CN.4/2004/56 (para. 64)


Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

Groups discriminated against and exposed to higher risks. Report E/CN.4/2004/9 (paras. 118-125)

Visit to Brazil Report E/CN.4/2004/9/Add.2 (para. 41, 48)

Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

The Working group in Opinion N.7/2002 found that the detention of persons prosecuted "on the grounds that, by their sexual orientation, they incited “social dissention” constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of liberty, being in contravention of the provisions of article 2, paragraph 1, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and articles 2, paragraph 1, and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights". E/CN.4/2003/8/Add.1 (pag. 68)

Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health

Vulnerability, discrimination and stigma. Report E/CN.4/2004/49 (paras. 32, 38, 54)




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