The UN Human Rights Council, the primary UN body dealing with human rights, is in its 34th session between February 27 and March 24. It is a body composed of 47 member states from all regions of the world. Among different issues discussed during the Council session, there are a few elements on the agenda relevant for LGBTQ issues. RFSL was there to bring our voices to the forum!
The UN Human Rights Council, the primary UN body dealing with human rights, is in its 34th session between February 27 and March 24. It is a body composed of 47 member states from all regions of the world.
Among different issues discussed during the Council session, there are a few elements on the agenda relevant for LGBTQ issues. One of them was an annual full-day meeting addressing rights of children with a special focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), known also as Agenda 2030.
The Agenda 2030 outlines a broad range of development issues, including combatting poverty, achieving gender equality, providing access to education, health care, as well as addressing climate change. These goals are to be achieved by the year 2030. The guiding principle of this development agenda is “to leave no one behind”.
The session explored ways in which achieving children rights can contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, and the importance of integrating a child rights-based approach in all aspects of its implementation, follow-up and review, identifying good practices and challenges in this respect.
Micah Grzywnowicz, RFSL’s International Advocacy Advisor, participated in the session and delivered an oral statement emphasizing the importance of including LGBTQI children and youth in the implementation of the Agenda 2030. The full statement can be watched and read below.
Annual full-day meeting: Rights of the Child
Statement by: the Swedish Federation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights – RFSL
Joined by: International Lesbian and Gay Association
delivered by Micah Grzywnowicz
Thank you Mr. President,
As recalled by the High Commissioner in his report, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming and intersex children are left out from the Agenda 2030 and therefore are at a heightened risk of being overlooked in the implementation.
We would like to uphold the principle of “leaving no one behind” and urge it to be used not only in words but also in action. We invite this panel to name those children who have been left out from the implementation so far so it can be mitigated in the future. We still have 13 years left and the business cannot continue as usual.
The Agenda states that children should have access to life-long learning opportunities that help them to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to exploit opportunities and to participate fully in society. Not all children can benefit from this promise. LGBTI children often fall in the cracks of the system because they suffer from multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination. LGBTI children are often victims of bullying and violence in schools. Transgender and gender non-conforming children are frequently denied access to bathrooms and this, among others, has a direct impact on their meaningful and active participation in education. Without receiving quality education promised by the SDGs they won’t be able to access labor market, making it impossible to break the cycle of poverty.
All children are critical agents of change. Agenda 2030 should also be their platform for development, growth and contribution. This will only be possible, if States include LGBTI children in their national programs and policies and see all children as valuable resource and hope for the future.
Finally, what do the panel think should be the first 3 steps for states to ensure that LGBTI children are not left behind in the implementation of the Agenda?
I thank you.
To find out more about the Human Rights Council, visit the website: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/HRCIndex.aspx