Trans activists from 5 continents met with the newly-appointed UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (IE SOGI), Dr. Vitit Muntarbhorn, on 26 January 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland to bring special attention to the issues facing trans and gender diverse people and communities around the world. This was a historic meeting. It was the first discussion convened specifically by and for trans-led organisations in order to interact with UN Special Procedures. The IE SOGI mandate has experienced significant challenges since it was created by the Human Rights Council in June 2016, surviving three close votes in the UN General Assembly aiming at deferring it indefinitely.
“This meeting, the first of its kind focused only on trans issues and gender identity with a UN Special Procedure, is a vital step in the global movement for trans rights”, says Mauro Cabral, Executive Director of Global Action for Trans Equality. Ricky Nathanson, from the Southern Africa Trans Forum adds, “We are encouraged by the Independent Expert’s engagement and look forward to continued interactions as he works to fulfill his mandate.”
The undersigned attended the meeting with the Independent Expert and are committed to continued support of the mandate to help ensure that Gender Identity is holistically addressed in the Expert’s work equally alongside Sexual Orientation. We encourage our partners, trans activists, and trans communities to continue to be vocal in contacting the UN IE SOGI – our voices count!
Mauro Cabral, Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE)
EriKa Castellanos, Collaborative Network of People Living with HIV (C-NET+)
Zhan Chiam, International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)
Julia Ehrt, Transgender Europe (TGEU)
Micah Grzywnowicz, Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights (RFSL)
Aizhan Kadralieva, Labrys (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organization)
Ricky Nathanson, Southern Africa Trans Forum
Kemal Ordek, Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association (Kırmızı Şemsiye)
Cianán B. Russell, Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN)
Amets Suess, International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization (STP)