Persons who do not conform to gender norms are facing increased risk of persecution due to a steep rise in the propagation of exclusionary narratives and practices.
Victor Madrigal-Borloz, United Nations Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Harvard Law Human Rights Program Senior Visiting Researcher, conducted an investigation on the incorporation of and backlash against gender and gender identity in international human rights law.
His research included several consultations and the record number of submissions ever received by a mandate holder in a call for inputs, with contributions from states, civil society organizations, academia, global and regional entities, and persons with lived experiences. His reports were recently presented to the United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Council.
Join Victor Madrigal-Borloz in a virtual launch event hosted by the Human Rights Program of Harvard Law School where he will elaborate on his findings. A panel of renowned human rights experts will also discuss key aspects of his investigations and examine what can be done to counter exclusionary trends and practices. The event will also include a Q&A section with the live audience.
* Interpretation will be available in French and Spanish.
Victor Madrigal-Borloz (he/him) is the UN Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity since January 2018. He is also a Senior Visiting Researcher with Harvard’s Human Rights Program. Until June 2019 he served as the Secretary-General of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), and was a member of the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture from 2013 to 2016, where he oversaw a draft policy on the torture and ill-treatment of LGBTI persons. Prior to this he led technical work on numerous cases, reports and testimonies as Head of Litigation and Head of the Registry at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and has also worked at the Danish Institute for Human Rights (Copenhagen, Denmark) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (San José, Costa Rica).
Melissa Upreti (she/her) is the Chair of the UN Working Group on discrimination against women and girls. A human rights lawyer and women’s rights advocate, she has spent nearly two decades advocating for the recognition and fulfilment of women’s rights through the use of national, regional, and international law and mechanisms. She actively facilitated and participated in the first CEDAW Special Inquiry in Asia in 2012 and worked closely with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to strengthen regional commitments to end child marriage. She has written and lectured about women’s reproductive rights and the importance of legal accountability. Ms. Upreti is a Fellow in the University of Toronto Law Faculty’s International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program and currently Senior Director of Program and Global Advocacy at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University in the United States.
Njeri Gateru (she/her/they/them) is a queer feminist human rights lawyer working on the protection of minorities in Kenya including asylum seekers, internally displaced persons and LGBTIQ communities. She is founding member and the Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in Kenya, an organization that provides legal aid and engages in strategic litigation towards equal rights and protection of LGBTIQ persons in Kenya. NGLHRC has successfully litigated for registration of LGBTIQ organizations and ending forced anal examinations. Currently, the organization is litigating towards decriminalization of homosexuality in Kenya. Njeri has previously worked with Human Rights Watch in New York, the Red Cross in Kenya and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.
Julia Ehrt (she/her) is the Executive Director at ILGA World, assuming the role as of November 2021. She previously served as the organization’s Director of Programs, developing ILGA World ‘s programmatic work and managing the Programmes team. She is a widely respected LGBTI activist and community leader. Before joining ILGA World she was the Executive Director of Transgender Europe where she contributed significantly to how trans issues are perceived and debated today in Europe and beyond. She served as a founding Steering Committee member of the International Trans Fund (ITF) until 2019, is a board member of the Association for Womens’ Rights in Development (AWID) and a signatory to the Yogyakarta Principles plus 10. Julia holds a PhD in mathematics and lives with her partner and child in Berlin and in Geneva.
Alice M. Miller (Moderator)
Alice M. Miller is an Associate Professor of Law at Yale Law School and the Co-Director of the Global Health Justice Partnership. She is also an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Yale School of Public Health and a Lecturer in Global Affairs at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. An expert in gender, sexuality, health and international human rights, Miller previously taught at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where she was faculty director of the Women’s Institute for Leadership Development, and at Columbia University, where she was co-director of the Center for the Study of Human Rights. She holds a B.A. from Harvard and a J.D. from University of Washington School of Law.
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You can find the complete recording of the discussion below.