General debate on the follow-up to and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. JST SOGI (29.03.2023)

52º Session - Human Rights Council

ITEM 8 General Debate – March 29th

Mr. President,

I deliver this statement on behalf of a cross-regional group of XX States.

Thirty years after the adoption of the Vienna Declaration, we reaffirm that human rights derive from the dignity and worth inherent in the human person, and are universal, inalienable and indivisible. As such, each person’s self-defined gender identity is integral to their personality and a manifestation of self-identification, dignity and freedom.

Legal recognition of the gender identity of transgender persons is key to their enjoyment of human rights. We must ensure the respect, protection and fulfilment of transgender persons’ all human rights and protect them from discrimination and violence, especially in relation to freedom from torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. It is the key for addressing the overwhelming barriers that they face in relation, inter alia, to their rights to the highest attainable standard of health, education, work, social security, the right to an adequate standard of living, including housing, participation in public affairs, and freedoms of movement, expression, peaceful assembly and association.

We note with appreciation that many UN, as well as regional human rights mechanisms, have recognized that self-identification is fundamental to safeguarding one’s autonomy and dignity and that it is in line with international human rights standards on gender recognition[1].

We see with concern over recent years the rise in disinformation activity and anti-trans rhetoric. This activity overlooks the disproportionate level of violence against trans persons, especially trans women.

In the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (VDPA), the international community committed to achieve the full respect of the equal condition and human rights of all women. We strongly support all policies that combat violence and discrimination against all women, and we reiterate that these policies should be based on an intersectional approach, protecting women who are subjected to multiple forms of discrimination, including trans women.

We call on states to develop and implement laws and policies that allow the recognition of gender identity based on self-identification and to redouble efforts to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence and discrimination, including against women in all their diversity.