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Proudly Pushing the Global Sexual Rights Agenda

by Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights-- pour la sante et les droit sexuels
Proudly Pushing the Global Sexual Rights Agenda
Proudly Pushing the Global Sexual Rights Agenda
Proudly Pushing the Global Sexual Rights Agenda
Proudly Pushing the Global Sexual Rights Agenda
Aug 15, 2016

SRI at the 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council

 

The 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council took place from the 13th of June to the 1st of July 2016.  

In this report, you will find information on some of the key sexual rights related: 
all of which the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) was engaged with during the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council (HRC32). 

 

Sexual Rights-related Resolutions

Accelerating efforts to eliminate violence against women: Preventing and responding to violence against women and girls, including indigenous women and girls A/HRC/32/L.28

 

For the first time in UN history, Comprehensive Sexuality Education is referenced without being qualified by a footnote.

The annual resolution led by Canada focused on Indigenous women this year and sought to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences.

While the resolution lacked specificity in relation to the context in which Indigenous women and girls experience violence and their exposure to different forms of violence, the negative impact of colonialism and access to culturally acceptable services, the resolution did make advances in other areas. For the first time in UN history, comprehensive sexuality education is referenced without being qualified by a footnote. The resolution also references intimate partner violence and women human rights defenders as well as sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, emergency contraception, prevention of adolescent pregnancy, safe abortion where permitted by national law, and women’s rights to have control over all matters related to their sexuality. 

The resolution was adopted by consensus, however, Russia introduced 11 amendments (7 of which were withdrawn), to remove references to the Security Council, intimate partner violence, human rights defenders and comprehensive sexuality education. All amendments were defeated. Reservations were noted by Paraguay, Saudi Arabia (on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council), Togo and China.

AMENDMENT VOTING


Removal of reference to Security Council
YES 12 / NO 22 / ABSTAIN 13
L36 Rejected
 
Removal of reference to Intimate Partner Violence
YES 15 / NO 22 / 9 ABSTAIN
L37 Rejected
 
Removal of reference to Human Rights Defenders
YES 14 / NO 23 / ABSTAIN 10
L42 Rejected
 
Removal of reference to Comprehensive Sexuality Education 
YES 10 / NO 24 / ABSTAIN 12
L43 Rejected

Click here to read the resolution

Discrimination Against Women in Law and Practice A/HRC/32/L.7

The annual resolution led by Colombia and Mexico focused on discrimination against women with regard to the right to health and safety, the theme of the most recent report of the Working Group on Discrimination Against Women in Law and Practice. The main ask of the resolution was for the extension of the mandate of the Working Group on Discrimination Against Women for a further three years.

 
The resolution contains strong language on sexual and reproductive health and rights including repealing discriminatory laws such as third party authorization for health services; eliminating legal, administrative, financial and social barriers that hinder women’s right to health; reaffirming women’s rights to bodily autonomy and to have control over all matters related to their sexuality; recognizing that women’s health care is often deficient in relation to privacy and confidentiality and informed choice; and calls upon States to promote a human rights based approach to women’s health.
 
The resolution was adopted by consensus, however, Russia introduced three amendments to remove references to human rights defenders, the Security Council and a human rights based approach. All amendments were defeated. In addition, reservations were noted by Paraguay, Ecuador, El Savador, Russia, Saudi Arabia (on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council) and China.

AMENDMENT VOTING


PP4 Removal of reference to the Security Council
YES 16 / NO 20 / ABSTAIN 11
L67 Rejected
 
OP7 Removal of Human Rights Based Approach
YES 16 / NO  21 / ABSTAIN 9
L69 Rejected
 
OP18   Removal of Human Rights Defenders
YES 14 / NO 23 / ABSTAIN 9
L70 Rejected

Click here to read the resolution

Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation A/HRC/32/L.31/Rev.1

Led by South Africa on behalf of the Africa Group, the goal of the resolution is to intensify efforts to eliminate female genital mutilation (FGM). The resolution was adopted by consensus. 


The resolution recalled FGM as a discriminatory practice and reaffirmed that the practice constitutes a serious threat to women and girls’ health. FGM is noted as a human rights violation and abuse of the rights of women and girls and expressed concern over the increasing medicalization of FGM. The resolution highlights that FGM has no relevant religious or cultural basis. There is also a consistent emphasis throughout the text of including men and boys in the process of eliminating FGM. 

States are encouraged “to develop, support and promote education programmes, as appropriate including on sexual and reproductive health, that clearly challenge the negative stereotypes.”

Click here to read the resolution

Protection against violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity A/HRC/32/L.2/Rev.1

Presented by Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia, the resolution establishes a new Independent Expert to assess the status of implementation of international human rights law to overcome violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, research and report to the Human Rights Council on the root causes of violence and discrimination on this basis and to engage with States and other stakeholders on this issue. 

 
Saudi Arabia put forward a No Action motion on the whole resolution which was defeated. Russia and Pakistan (on behalf of the OIC except for Albania) put forward 11 amendments to essentially change the whole focus of the resolution and remove reference to SOGI. 4 amendments were defeated and 7 were adopted including troubling language on sovereignty, preservation of cultural values and morals, and rejection of interference by the human rights system on social matters including private individual conduct and national level “sensitivities”.  Further voting was called on individual paragraphs which were defeated. 

The resolution was adopted by a vote of 23 in favour, 18 against and 6 abstentions.

 

Click here to read the resolution

Addressing the impact of multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and violence in the context of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance on the full enjoyment of all human rights by women and girls A/HRC/32/L.28

The core group for this resolution consisted of  Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The resolution was adopted by consensus. 


The resolution calls for awareness of the multiple factors that might make women and girls more vulnerable to racial discrimination. Gender was removed from the title and discrimination in the context of gender is not mentioned, although there is mention of the need to integrate and mainstream a gender perspective into relevant policies and comprehensive gender-responsive, multisectorial policies and programmes.
 
The resolution calls for a panel to share practices to combat multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and violence experienced by women which will take place during HRC 36 (Sept 2017). A summary report of the panel will be made by OHCHR.

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Organization Information

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights-- pour la sante et les droit sexuels

Location: Ottawa, ON - Canada
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @action_canada
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights-- pour la sante et les droit sexuels
Tara Henderson
Project Leader:
Tara Henderson
Director of Fundraising and Operations
Ottawa, ON Canada

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