During the past year, Kuwait and tiny Kiribati were urged to improve their treatment of LGBTI citizens.
That advice came when each of those countries’ human rights records came in for review by other United Nations members. Such reviews focus on dozens of countries each year as part of the U.N.’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, which scrutinizes each country’s human rights record every four years.
Excerpts below were compiled from the 21st UPR session by the U.N. Human Rights Council:
Five nations urged Kuwait to revise its policies toward LGBTI people.
Only Iceland and Uruguay bothered asking Kuwait to repeal its anti-homosexuality law. Iceland said that Kuwait should stop arresting individuals based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or appearance and repeal legislative measures that criminalize consensual homosexual conduct. Uruguay advised adopting “the necessary measures to eliminate in the legislation and in practice the crimes motivated by the sexual orientation of persons.”
Three other nations proposed anti-discrimination laws:
- Adopt a general law that sanctions discrimination for any reason, in particular against women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons (Chile).
- Prepare and adopt legal and administrative measures with a view to investigating and prosecuting acts of discrimination, stigmatization and violence against LGBTI persons (Argentina).
- Guarantee personal autonomy and individual rights, as enshrined in the Constitution, by a prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as by allowing a medical gender change to be reflected in a person’s identity documents (Netherlands).
Kuwait did not respond to those recommendations.
France, Slovenia and Chile urged the tiny island nation of Kiribati to decriminalize homosexuality. The Kiribati delegation made no response to those recommendations.
The delegation did say that Kiribati is considering Uruguay’s advice to adopt legislation prohibiting all forms of discrimination of individuals, based on race, skin color, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, aesthetic aspect, gender, sexual identity or orientation.
For more information, read:
- The statement of the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights “Combatting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
- The High Commissioner’s report to the Human Rights Council on discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity (May 2015) (Summary or full report)
- An analysis by ARC International of recent proceedings at the Human Rights Council titled “Denying the Rights of persons based on sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status is challenging the universality of human rights”
- Excerpts of outcomes of the 21th UPR session compiled by the U.N. Committee on Conferences.