Submitted by crinadmin on
May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia. It marks the day, in 1991, when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses
In 2006, in response to well-documented patterns of abuse, a group of international human rights experts, including a member of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, met in Yogyakarta, Indonesia to outline a set of international principles relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.
The result was the Yogyakarta Principles: a universal guide to human rights which affirm binding international legal standards with which all States must comply. They promise a different future where all people born free and equal in dignity and rights can fulfil that precious birthright.
In November 2017, ten years after the principles were adopted, they have been reviewed in order to take stock of jurisprudential and policy developments over the past decade. Additional principles and State obligations have been added to complement the Yogyakarta Principles.
The following is an extract of the references to child rights in the Principles.
Observing that international human rights law affirms that all persons, regardless
of sexual orientation or gender identity, are entitled to the full enjoyment of all human
rights, that the application of existing human rights entitlements should take account of
the specific situations and experiences of people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, and that in all actions concerning children the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration and a child who is capable of forming personal views has the right to express those views freely, such views being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
Principle 13 on the right to social security and to other social protection measures:
B. States shall ensure that children are not subject to any form of discriminatory treatment within the social security system or in the provision of social or welfare benefits on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, or that of any member of their family;
Principle 15 on the right to adequate housing
D. States shall establish social programmes, including support programmes, to address factors relating to sexual orientation and gender identity that increase vulnerability to homelessness, especially for children and young people, including social exclusion, domestic and other forms of violence, discrimination, lack of financial independence, and rejection by families or cultural communities, as well as to promote schemes of neighbourhood support and security
Principle 16 on the right to education
C. States shall ensure that education is directed to the development of respect for human rights, and of respect for each child’s parents and family members, cultural identity, language and values, in a spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance and equality, taking into account and respecting diverse sexual orientations and gender identities;
I. States shall ensure inclusion of comprehensive, affirmative and accurate material on sexual, biological, physical and psychological diversity, and the human rights of people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and sex characteristics, in curricula, taking into consideration the evolving capacity of the child;
J. States shall ensure inclusion of comprehensive, affirmative and accurate material on sexual, biological, physical and psychological diversity, and the human rights of people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and sex characteristics, in teacher training and continuing professional development programmes.
Principle 18 on protection from medical abuses
B. States shall take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to ensure that no child’s body is irreversibly altered by medical procedures in an attempt to impose a gender identity without the full, free and informed consent of the child in accordance with the age and maturity of the child and guided by the principle that in all actions concerning children, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration;
C. States shall establish child protection mechanisms where by no child is at risk from, or subject to, medical abuses
Principle 24 on the right to found a family
C. States shall take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to ensure that in all actions or decisions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration, and that the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child or of any family member or other person may not be considered incompatible with such best interests;
D. States shall in all actions or decisions concerning children, ensure that a child who is capable of forming personal views can exercise the right to express those views freely, and that such views are given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
Principle 32 on the right to bodily and mental integrity
Everyone has the right to bodily and mental integrity, autonomy and self-determination irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics. Everyone has the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics. No one shall be subjected to invasive or irreversible medical procedures that modify sex characteristics without their free, prior and informed consent, unless necessary to avoid serious, urgent and irreparable harm to the concerned person.
A. Guarantee and protect the rights of everyone, including all children, to bodily and mental integrity, autonomy and self-determination;
B. Ensure that legislation protects everyone, including all children, from all forms of forced, coercive or otherwise involuntary modification of their sex characteristics;
C. Take measures to address stigma, discrimination and stereotypes based on sex and gender, and combat the use of such stereotypes, as well as marriage prospects and other social, religious and cultural rationales, to justify modifications to sex characteristics, including of children;
D. Bearing in mind the child’s right to life, non-discrimination, the best interests of the child, and respect for the child’s views, ensure that children are fully consulted and informed regarding any modifications to their sex characteristics necessary to avoid or remedy proven, serious physical harm, and ensure that any such modifications are consented to by the child concerned in a manner consistent with the child’s evolving capacity;
E. Ensure that the concept of the best interest of the child is not manipulated to justify practices that conflict with the child’s right to bodily integrity;
F. Provide adequate, independent counselling and support to victims of violations, their families and communities, to enable victims to exercise and affirm rights to bodily and mental integrity, autonomy and self-determination;
G. Prohibit the use of anal and genital examinations in legal and administrative proceedings and criminal prosecutions unless required by law, as relevant, reasonable, and necessary for a legitimate purpose.
Iran: Gay teenager faces return to persecution (7 March 2008)
UK: Homophobia rife in schools, landmark equality survey finds (1 April 2008)
Chile: Rights for homosexual and transexual children (18 July 2007)
Poland: Children's Commissioner targets 'gay' Teletubbies (29 May 2007)