IE SOGI’s forthcoming report addressed to the General Assembly on socio-cultural and economic inclusion


Discriminatory laws and socio-cultural norms continue to marginalize and exclude lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse persons from education, health care, housing, employment and occupation, and other sectors. The marginalization and peripheralization are part of a vicious cycle that give rise to a host of other problems; in a context where access to economic, social and cultural rights is hampered, a series of negative impacts on individuals, their families, groups  and communities can be observed, resulting in poverty  and exclusion,  lower socioeconomic status, and limiting access to assets that are essential to enjoy the full range of human rights. The excluding environment inevitably lends themselves to violence and discrimination, as it hampers access to their rights, creates inequality of opportunity and access to resources.

A joint statement released by 12 UN entities in 2015 expressed concern about these issues:

“Children face bullying, discrimination or expulsion from schools on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, or that of their parents. [...] Discrimination and violence contribute to the marginalization of LGBTI people and their vulnerability to ill health including HIV infection, yet they face denial of care, discriminatory attitudes and pathologization in medical and other settings. [...] The exclusion of LGBTI people from the design, implementation and monitoring of laws and policies that affect them perpetuates their social and economic marginalization.”

Some important steps are already being taken at the international, regional and national levels to address these issues. For example, UNESCO convened an international consultation on homophobic bullying in educational institutions in 2011, bringing together education ministries, UN agencies, NGOs and academia from more than 25 countries around the world.  The World Bank is managing a project aimed at filling the LGBT data gap, focused on inclusion in markets, services, and other spaces. UNDP is leading and partnering in the development of the LGBTI Inclusion Index, which will measure inclusion of LGBTI people in health, civic and political participation, personal safety and security, education, and economic empowerment. Together with the World Bank, civil society, governments and academics UNDP has developed a proposed set of 51 indicators for the LGBTI Inclusion Index, aligned with the framework of the SDG with a view to identifying who is “left behind” and why. Trade unions and employers’ organisations have worked to promote the meaningful inclusion of LGBT people in the workplace, and around 240 businesses have expressed support to the Standards of Conduct for Business in tackling discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. States have passed legislation explicitly protecting LGBT people from discrimination in housing and access to social security.

A glance at these issues quickly affirms the interdependence and inter-relatedness of all human rights. Addressing the social and economic rights of LGBT people is critical to any efforts to address violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the international community committed to leaving no-one behind. In order to lift LGBT people from cycles of exclusion and abuse, we must critically examine these issues as well as emerging good practices. With my report I further seek to highlight the unique role of leaders in different fields, which will allow to break the cycle of exclusion and which can have a positive impact on misconceptions, fears and prejudices that fuel violence and discrimination.


To inform his report, the Independent expert has been seeking inputs from relevant stakeholders (Member States, National Human Rights Institutions, civil society organizations, United Nations agencies, regional institutions, corporate entities, etc.), both through written submissions and through a public consultation held in Geneva.

Submissions received


Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations at Geneva
8-14 avenue de la Paix
CH-1211 Geneva 10

Fax: (+41) 22 917 90 06
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