Historic UN Panel on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (March 2012)


On 7 March 2012, an historic panel discussion took place at the Human Rights Council on violence and discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. This was the first time an inter-governmental body of the United Nations held a formal debate on the topic.

Facilitate dialog, share experiences and best practices

The objective of the panel was to hold a constructive, informed and transparent discussion on discriminatory laws, practices and acts of violence LGBT persons. An additional goal was to find common ground among States on the best way forward to overcome these challenges.

During the panel, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, presented her report on discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity (A/HRC/19/41). She urged States to take the measures set out in her report, such as steps to improve responses to homophobic violence; decriminalize consensual, same-sex relationships; and institute public education programmes to tackle discriminatory attitudes.

Four panellists from different parts of the world discussed the findings and recommendations of the report. Delegates shared their experiences and good practices around combating bias-motivated violence against LGBT persons.

Summary of HRC panel on sexual orientation and gender identity (2012)
PDF: English

Concept note on HRC panel on sexual orientation and gender identity
PDF: English