Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE)

ARROW was one of the first organizations to develop indicators on sexual rights during the ICPD+15 review process. Sexual rights cover a wide spectrum of issues including Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE). Through our work, we have shown that although some governments reject sexual rights in their entirety saying they don't work on them, they are in fact doing so, given the wide spectrum of sexual rights. We recognize and advocate to the end that marginalised communities including people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities face additional vulnerability, and effective anti-discriminatory laws and policies must therefore be enacted and implemented.

Sexuality is an integral and natural part of life, and is intertwined with the most fundamental of human rights. WHO recognizes “the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right of every human being,” and if this right to health is to be achieved, human beings have to be able to exercise choice in their sexual and reproductive lives and be able to safely and confidently express their own sexual identity.

The past few years have witnessed some breakthroughs for SOGIE, including the Yogyakarta Principles that state, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Human beings of all sexual orientations and gender identities are entitled to the full enjoyment of all human rights.” However, eighty-one jurisdictions in the world criminalize same sex relations which amounts to almost 70% of the world population.

quotation-marksAs of 2012, at least 40% of UN Member States have legislations criminalising same-sex sexual acts.

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