Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity

Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

Purpose of the mandate

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, without distinction of any kind. Yet in all regions of the world, there are acts of violence and discrimination committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  

To address this concern, the UN Human Rights Council created the mandate of Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (also referred to as the Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, or the "IE SOGI").  

About the mandate

Created through Human Rights Council resolution 32/2 in June 2016 for an initial period of three years, the mandate was renewed in June 2019 under resolution 41/18.

Learn more about the mandate.

Current mandate holder

Victor Madrigal-Borloz, UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. © UNVictor Madrigal-Borloz was appointed as UN Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity in late 2017. His initial three-year term started on 1 January 2018. He is the second Independent Expert to serve in this capacity.

A Costa Rican jurist, Mr. Madrigal-Borloz is a senior visiting researcher at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program, in residence at Harvard Law School from July 2019 to December 2020. Read Victor Madrigal-Borloz’s full biography.

Key Documents

Impact of COVID-19 on LGBT persons – key findings (2020)
PDF: English | Français | Español | Portuguese Português

ASPIRE Guidelines on COVID-19
PDF: English | Français | Español | Portuguese Português

So-called conversion therapy practices – key findings (2020)
PDF: English | Français | Español | Portuguese Português

Socio-cultural and economic inclusion – key findings (2019)
PDF: English

Gender identity – key findings (2018)
PDF: English

Latest thematic reports

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the human rights of LGBT persons: Drawing on anecdotal input from over 1000 individuals from more than 100 countries, this report discusses the detrimental impact of the pandemic on LGBT populations worldwide. The Independent Expert urges States to create measures that ensure that pandemic responses are free from violence and discrimination against LGBT persons. View report page | View easy-to-read summary | View document A/75/258.

So-called conversion therapy: The Independent Expert examines these harmful practices, their human rights implications and their connection with violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. He concludes that conversion therapy practices lead to psychological and physical pain and suffering, and he calls for a global ban. View report page | View key findings | View document A/HRC/44/53.

Latest country visits

Mission to Ukraine (30 April to 10 May 2019)
View document A/HRC/44/53/Add.1

Mission to Mozambique (3 to 10 December 2018)
View document A/HRC/41/45/Add.2

Latest news


More press releases and statements...

Calls for input

Upcoming visit to Tunisia
Deadline: 26 October 2020

Activities

Virtual Consultation for the IE SOGI’s 2021-2023 Work Plan (in English) Friday 20 November 2020 at 15:00 - 18:00 (CET) / 09:00 – 12:00 (EST) Registration required. Concept note (English, French, Spanish) and draft work plan (English only)

Webinar: launch of the report on the impact of COVID-19 on LGBT persons (in English/French and Spanish/Portuguese)
10 November 2020

Webinar: launch of ASPIRE Guidelines
19 June 2020

ASPIRE Guidelines for an LGBT-inclusive COVID-19 response (English | Français | Español | Portuguese Português)
18 June 2020

First Joint Consultation on inclusion in the Caribbean
2 October 2019

Inter-American, African and UN human rights experts dialogue on sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics
23 March 2018

More activities

Video

2 June 2020
Mandate and work of the Independent Expert explained in English, with subtitled versions
Watch the video (العربية | 中文 | English | Français | русский | Español)
Watch the short version (العربية | 中文 | English | Français | русский | Español)

Former mandate holder

Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn (Thailand) 
August 2016 - October 2017