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United Nations Human Rights Council Panel on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (March 2012)

On 7 March 2012, a panel discussion took place at the Human Rights Council on violence and discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. The discussion, which was organized pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 17/19, marked the first time that an inter-governmental body of the United Nations had held a formal debate on the topic.

The objective of the panel was to facilitate constructive, informed and transparent dialogue on the issue of discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity and generate greater agreement among States on the way forward. Four panelists from different regions were invited to discuss the findings and recommendations of the report of the High Commissioner on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (document ref. A/HRC/19/41).

The panel also provided an opportunity for States to share their national experiences and examples of good practice, and to consider how the Human Rights Council can ensure that in future it is kept adequately informed about and able to respond effectively to human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.