Experts Release Much Anticipated Expansion of the Yogyakarta Principles


“Yogyakarta Principles plus 10” Call for Renewed Action Worldwide Against Violations and Discrimination

November 27, 2017, Geneva: An anticipated set of new principles on international human rights law relating to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) —released today by a group of 33 international human rights experts—charts a way forward for both the United Nations, governments, and other stakeholders to re-affirm their commitment to universal human rights. A full list of signatories is attached.

The Yogyakarta Principles plus 10 (YP+10) were adopted by the experts following a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland in September 2017. This meeting followed a period of open consultations, led by the International Service for Human Rights and ARC International, the formation of an expert Drafting Committee, who synthesized the feedback, and the establishment of a Secretariat who supported the process. The new principles reflect significant developments both in the field of international human rights law and in the understanding of violations affecting persons of ‘diverse sexual orientations and gender identities’, as well as a recognition of the often distinct violations affecting persons on grounds of ‘gender expression’ and ‘sex characteristics’.

“The YP+10 introduce new language which arises from rights violations that were occurring at the time of the original YPs and since,” said Mauro Cabral Grinspan of Argentina, who was part of the Drafting Committee “By naming and articulating them across the entire Yogyakarta Principles, we hope to address previous gaps and contribute not only to the eradication of violations, but also the reparation of the damages they cause around the world.” Cabral Grinspan is the Executive Director of GATE, an international organization working on gender identity, sex characteristics and, more broadly, on bodily diversity issues. He was also a signatory to the original Yogyakarta Principles.

The Yogyakarta Principles plus 10 supplement the original 29 Yogyakarta Principles and set out nine Additional Principles covering a range of rights dealing with information and communication technologies, poverty, and cultural diversity, to name a few. There are also 111 Additional State Obligations, a number of which have arisen over the past decade with regards to the original 29 Principles, including in areas such as torture, asylum, privacy, health and the protection of human rights defenders.

“It is unacceptable that LGBTI people still face discrimination, including in health care settings, leading to detrimental impact on the realization of their right to health,” said Dainius Pūras of Lithuania. “Discrimination on the grounds of SOGIESC needs to be addressed globally, in the spirit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, ensuring there is no-one left behind. YP+10 is a very important step in this direction.” Pūras is the UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and is a professor of child psychiatry and public mental health at Vilnius University, Lithuania.

The principles call for action from states, UN bodies and agencies, national human rights institutions, mass media, non-governmental organizations, professional organizations, and others. They have been endorsed by UN independent experts, members of treaty bodies, judges, academics, parliamentarians, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and others, including the UN’s first Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand.

“The Additional Principles launched today, along with the original 29 principles, articulate basic political, social and economic rights enshrined in international law, yet many in our communities have yet to actually exercise and enjoy these rights due to discrimination ,” said Sanji Mmasenono Monageng of Botswana. “We implore the international community to pledge its commitment to protect human rights for all, especially those governments that continue to allow and even promote discrimination towards LGBTI persons.” Monageng is a judge of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and former chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. She was also a signatory to the original Yogyakarta Principles.

The Yogyakarta Principles plus 10 reflect some of the key issues and developments relating to the specific forms of rights violations experienced by persons on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression  and sex characteristics. They respond to well-documented patterns of abuse, ranging from discrimination in the workplace to violence and torture, and are an affirmation of existing international legal standards.

“The YP+10 released today will help civil society and other stakeholders hold governments accountable for fulfilling their obligations under international human rights law,” said Julia Ehrt of Germany, who was part of the Drafting Committee. “In the context of violence against LBGTI persons, this accountability includes protection, support for victims, investigation of crime, and holding perpetrators to account, along with tackling structural violence.” Ehrt is the Executive Director of Transgender Europe (TGEU). In 2009, TGEU started Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM), a pioneering project in the collecting, monitoring, and analyzing of reports of murdered trans people worldwide.

For more information on the Yogyakarta Principles plus 10, and to download your copy, please consult the website: Currently, the online version is in English. French, Spanish and Chinese versions will follow in the coming weeks, while Arabic and Russian versions will be rolled out in the early part of 2018.

There are numerous regional and global launch activities and seminars/webinars being planned in the coming months, including one on December 13, 2017 in Geneva. In addition, there will be two upcoming webinars offered on January 16, 2018 and February 15, 2018. More details can be found using the following links:


February 15th:


For more information:

Phil Lynch, Executive Director, International Service for Human Rights (Switzerland) + 41 76 708 47 38

Kim Vance, Executive Director, ARC International (Canada) +1 (902) 488-6404



Ajit Prakash Shah (India), Chief Justice (2008-2010), High Court of Delhi

Alecs Recher (Switzerland), Head legal advice service, Transgender Network Switzerland; Researcher, Swiss

Centre of Expertise in Human Rights

*Arvind Narrain (India), Geneva Director, ARC International *Drafting Committee member

*Chris Sidoti (Australia), International human rights specialist; Australian Human Rights Commissioner (1995-

2000) *Drafting Committee member

Cianán B. Russell (United States of America and Thailand), Human Rights & Advocacy Officer, Asia Pacific

Transgender Network

Dainius Puras (Lithuania), UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest

attainable standard of health

David Kaye (United States of America), UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to

freedom of opinion and expression

Deborah Brown (United States of America), Association for Progressive Communications

Edwin Cameron (South Africa), Constitutional Court of South Africa

Eleonora Lamm (Argentina), Human Rights Director at the Supreme Court of Justice of Mendoza; Member of the

National Committee on Ethics in Science and Technologies

Eszter Kismodi (Hungary and Switzerland), International human rights lawyer

Frans Viljoen (South Africa); Professor of International Human Rights Law and Director, Centre for Human Rights,

Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria

Ilze Kehris Brands (Latvia and Sweden), Member, UN Human Rights Committee; Senior research fellow, Raoul

Wallenburg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

*Julia Ehrt (Germany), Executive Director, Transgender Europe (TGEU) *Drafting Committee member

Kamala Chandrakirana (Indonesia), Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights – Asia-Pacific; member of the

UN Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and practice (2011-2017)

Kimberly Zieselman (United States of America), Executive Director, interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth

Macarena Saez (United States of America), Centre for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law, American University

Washington College of Law

Maina Kiai (Kenya), InformAction and Human Rights Defender; UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of

peaceful assembly and association (2011-2017)

*Mauro Cabral Grinspan (Argentina), Executive Director, GATE *Drafting Committee member

Meena Saraswati Sheshu (India), General Secretary, Sampada Grameen Mahila Sanstha (SANGRAM)

Monica Mbaru (Kenya), Judge, Employment and Labour Relations Court

*Monica Tabengwa (Botswana), Executive Director, Pan-Africa ILGA *Drafting Committee member

*Morgan Carpenter (Australia), Founder, Intersex Day Project; Co-executive director, Organisation Intersex

International Australia; Consultant, GATE *Drafting Committee member

Paul Dillane (United Kingdom), Executive Director, Kaleidoscope Trust

Philip Alston (Australia), UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights

*Pooja Patel (India and Switzerland), LGBT & Women’s Rights Programme Manager, International Service for

Human Rights (ISHR) *Drafting Committee member

Sanji Mmasenono Monageng (Botswana), Judge, International Criminal Court, The Hague; Commissioner,

International Commission of Jurists

*Sheherezade Kara (United Kingdom and Zimbabwe), International Human Rights Law Expert, Advocate and

Consultant *Drafting Committee member

Sonia Onufer Corrêa (Brazil), Research Associate, Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association (ABIA); Co-chair,

Sexuality Policy Watch

Sunil Pant (Nepal), Member of Parliament (2008-2012), Nepal

Sylvia Tamale (Uganda), Makerere University Law School

Victor Madrigal-Borloz (Costa Rica) Secretary-General of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture

Victims (IRCT)

Vitit Muntarbhorn (Thailand), Professor Emeritus, Chulalongkorn University; UN Independent Expert on protection

against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (2016-2017)