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UN Human Rights Council 56: UK Statement for Independent Expert on SOGI

Thank you, Madam Vice President.

Let me begin by extending our gratitude to the Independent Expert’s predecessor Mr Victor Madrigal-Borloz for their visit to the United Kingdom last year. These country visits are crucial to the effective operation of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, and our collective endeavour to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms, including for individuals from the LGBT community.

During the Independent Expert’s visit to the United Kingdom, we were particularly pleased that he was able to engage with a broad range of stakeholders across the United Kingdom. Meetings were held in London, Manchester, Cardiff, Belfast, and Edinburgh where the Independent Expert met with senior officials from across the devolved administrations and the Northern Ireland Civil Service. In England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, the Independent Expert also met with a number of civil society organisations and representatives. We believe that it is important for all mandate holders to be able to meet with a diverse range of stakeholders to listen to different perspectives.

We welcome the recognition in the Independent Expert’s report that the United Kingdom maintains one of the most comprehensive legislative frameworks to safeguard the human rights of LGBT individuals and protect them from violence and hate.  This framework is reinforced by robust institutional and policy structures, strong evidence and data collected on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and – as highlighted in the report – the commendable efforts of public authorities.

The UK’s approach is monitored by robust and independent National Human Rights Institutions in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, all with A status accreditation. These institutions adhere fully with the Paris Principles and are adequately resourced to fill their essential mandate to protect human rights.

We reaffirm our strong commitment to this mandate and emphasise its vital importance in ending human rights violations experienced by LGBT people around the world.

We look forward to sharing our views on the current mandate holder’s important, new thematic report in a separate intervention later in this debate.

Thank you.

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