Mar 30, 2007
Quickie Link: Righting Wrongs --by Brian Whittaker
Earlier this week, largely unnoticed by the world's media, an international panel of experts - judges, professors and the like - presented a document to the UN human rights council, which is currently in session in Geneva. The document, known as the Yogyakarta Principles (after the place where the experts met to draft it), was immediately hailed by Human Rights Watch as "groundbreaking" and "a milestone". In a way, its contents were both simple and obvious but also, in another way, almost revolutionary.
The document listed a series of well-established human rights standards and then spelled out in some detail what should be done to apply them in connection with sexual orientation and gender identity.
"These principles establish basic standards for how governments should treat people whose rights are too often denied and whose dignity is too often reviled," said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Programme at Human Rights Watch. "Firmly grounded in law and precedent, they enshrine a simple idea: human rights do not admit exceptions."