SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY IN HUMAN RIGHTS LAW References to Jurisprudence and Doctrine of the United Nations Human Rights System

posted on 09.14.2010 by

SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY IN HUMAN RIGHTS LAW References to Jurisprudence and Doctrine of the United Nations Human Rights System


Fourth updated edition

The ICJ is pleased to publish this fourth edition of references to sexual orientation and gender identity within the United Nations human rights system. The fourth edition is a comprehensive collection of jurisprudence, general comments, concluding observations, and reports from human rights treaty bodies and independent experts (also known as Special Procedures) of the UN Charter-based system. In addition, it includes speeches and press releases from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; the Joint Statement on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, signed by 66 States and presented to the General Assembly in December 2008; and excerpts from the UNHCR Guidance Note on Refugee Claims Relating to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. This UN compilation covers the time period January 2007 through March 2010.


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UN Human Rights Coucil Periodic Review

posted on 08.10.2010 by

The 33rd Annual Colloquium took place at the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and  International Affairs in Vienna, Austria. Agenda topics included developments in the Universal Periodic Review, the evolving regional implementation of Human Rights, and options for dealing with alleged war crimes and acts of terrorism. Find out about the Review, what it entails, and what the outcome has been: Human Rights Council Periodic Review.

U.N.|Nine Steps States must take against Secret Detention Worldwide

posted on 07.15.2010 by Chloe M

(1 June 2010)

United Nations human rights experts are scheduled to present their joint
study on global practices of secret detention in the context of countering
terrorism, on Wednesday 2 June 2010, at the UN Human Rights Council in
Geneva, Switzerland.

Amnesty International, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) call on all delegations to the Council to engage in serious substantive discussion
of how to bring an end to this worldwide practice and ensure accountability
of those responsible.

Read about the Nine Steps here.

ICC pushes UN for arrests of Sudanese suspects

posted on 06.15.2010 by Chloe M

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor has urged the UN Security Council to push for the arrest of two Sudanese men indicted for war crimes in Darfur.

Sudan, whose President Omar al-Bashir is also wanted by the ICC, is refusing to co-operate with the court.

read the full article at –

Stay informed on  AAICJ and ICJ involvement in the protection of human rights in Sudan: Amici Curiae Brief on petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is available  here.

UN | Republic of Korea grants refugee citizenship for the first time

posted on 03.23.2010 by

23 March 2010 – For the first time since it adopted the 1951 Refugee Convention almost two decades ago, the Republic of Korea (ROK) has granted a recognized refugee citizenship, in a move hailed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today.

read more>> UN NEWS CENTER

more on this issue

U.S.| Control of US special forces in Afghanistan a step toward accountability

posted on 03.18.2010 by Chloe M

From Amnesty International, 17 March 2010: New US military measures to control the activities of US Special Operations forces in Afghanistan are a welcome step but more needs to be done to improve accountability for civilian casualties of military operations, said Amnesty International.


“Putting most Special Operations under the regular chain of command is a crucial step toward improving security for ordinary Afghans, but it doesn’t resolve the threat to civilians until all forces, regular as well as Special Operations, are subject to a proper, transparent accountability process,” said Sam Zarifi, director of Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific programme.

“A major part of the problem is that even regular US and NATO forces in Afghanistan have a very poor record of accountability. For far too long Western forces, especially US forces, have operated as if they’re above the law in Afghanistan. If there is a breach of the laws of war during a military operation, then there should be a credible, transparent investigation and those involved in carrying out or ordering the operation should be brought to justice and punished if found guilty.”

Special Operations forces in Afghanistan have been operating according to their own rules of engagement, leading to allegations that they are not taking enough precautions to avoid civilian casualties.


UNAMA says that International Forces and the Afghanistan National Security Force (ANSF) were responsible for nearly 600 civilian deaths – 359 of which were caused in air strikes and 98 in night raids and search operations carried out by Special Operations forces.


On 4 March 2010, General McChrystal issued a new Tactical Directive with guidelines for the conduct of night raids by all ISAF forces operating in Afghanistan.

The killing of two brothers in Kandahar in the middle of the night in January 2008 is a notable example of the lack of accountability of international forces. Amnesty International documented their case, and the wider problem of impunity for special operations forces in Afghanistan, in a February 2009 report, Getting Away with Murder? The impunity of international forces in Afghanistan.

Amnesty International’s research in Kandahar indicates that Abdul Habib and Mohammed Ali, who were unarmed, were shot at home at point blank range by international forces in camouflage uniforms.

No one has admitted responsibility for the killings despite enquiries by Amnesty International, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, and the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

There are currently military personnel from more than 40 countries operating in Afghanistan, most of them under the mandate of the ISAF, provided by NATO, and a smaller number as part of the counter-terrorism mandate of the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom.


“International forces, and in particular the US, should ensure that special forces, intelligence agencies, and civilian contractors are also governed by the rule of law; most Afghans do not recognize the distinctions between these forces, and at any rate, the victims are entitled to justice regardless of which branch of the military was responsible,” said Sam Zarifi.

U.S.| “Costs of War: Institutionalizing the War on Terror”

posted on 02.03.2010 by

From ISN Security Watch: The first budget written by the Obama’ administration institutionalizes spending on the war he inherited – not just in the Department of Defense, but across the US government. In effect, the new budget request is a spending plan for endless conflict, Shaun Waterman writes for ISN Security Watch.

More here.

U.S.| UN calls on U.S. to “stop secret detention and abuse” ahead of report to Human Rights Council

posted on 01.28.2010 by

The United Nations has called on the U.S. and others to put an end to secret detention policies and human rights abuses in their “war on terrorism”, IDN reports. Read more

U.S.| Obama administration urged to renew pledge to close Guantanamo, ensure accountability

posted on 01.21.2010 by

Ahead of the one-year anniversary of Obama pledging to close Guantanamo Bay, human rights watchdogs have urged the administration to redouble its efforts to close the prison and ensure accountability for “war on terror” abuses. Read more

Event| “One Year and Counting: When and How Will Guantanamo Close?”

posted on 01.21.2010 by

Location: New York City
Event Date: January 22, 2010
Event Time: 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Contact: The Constitution Project – [email protected]

The Open Society Institute, the Consitution Project, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund sponsor a lunchtime panel discussion to mark President Obama’s deadline for closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, which he set by Executive Order one year earlier, on his second day in office.

The discussion will examine the obstacles preventing the president from fulfilling his promise, when and how Guantánamo is likely to close, and the impact of the attempted Christmas Day airline bombing on the politics of closing the detention facility. The discussion will illuminate why it is essential that America comply with the rule of law as it continues its efforts to close Guantánamo.

A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. The discussion will begin promptly at noon.

Confirmed participants include the following, with a representative of the U.S. government to be announced shortly:

* Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker (moderator)
* Stephen Abraham, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.), U.S. Army Intelligence Corps (Reserves)
* Honorable John Coughenour, Federal District Court, Seattle, WA, who presided over the 2005 trial of Ahmed Ressam, known as the Millennium Bomber
* Talat Hamdani, September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
* Shane Kadidal, Senior Managing Attorney, Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative, Center for Constitutional Rights
* Celeste Koeleveld, Chief of the Criminal Division, Chief Appellate Attorney, and Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York (1991-2008)

Rockefeller Brothers Fund
475 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10115

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is located in the Interchurch Center. Please enter at 61 Claremont Avenue and 120th Street. The event will take place in the Interchurch Center’s first-floor conference room, the Sockman Lounge.

More here from Open Society Institute.

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