One UN human rights expert’s fight to eliminate ‘conversion therapies’
February 22, 2022
Some 69 States around the world currently criminalise homosexual relations between consenting adults. This means that in just this one area of human rights violations, two billion people are being discriminated against on a daily basis – a third of the world's population. This criminalisation has measurable consequences in terms of public health and access to education, says Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the UN’s independent human rights expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Conservative backlash threatens global gender justice efforts
December 9, 2021
People who do not conform to gender norms are at an increased risk of persecution and violence due to a steep rise in exclusionary rhetoric, according to Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the United Nations independent expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and a senior visiting researcher at the Harvard Law School Human Rights Program. This is due in part, he explained at a recent HLS event, to a growing conservative backlash against efforts to recognize gender and gender identity — especially the rights of transgender individuals — in various nations’ laws and policies. Opposition to this recognition, he said, is often framed as a resistance to the imposition of a so-called “gender ideology,” a concept, which he said has long been used to create moral panic and suggest there is “a global conspiracy aimed at destroying the political and social order.” ... Madrigal-Borloz shared his views at a virtual event last month hosted by the HLS Human Rights Program that focused on his year-long investigation into incorporation of gender and gender identity into international human rights law. He had presented his findings in two reports, The Law of Inclusion and Practices of Exclusion, to the United Nations Human Rights Council and General Assembly this year.
US Supreme Court ruling ‘extremely positive’ for LGBT community, says UN Rights Expert
June 18, 2020
Victor Madrigal-Borloz, UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, called the ruling a “very significant step towards breaking the cycle of discrimination that often condemns lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender-diverse persons to social exclusion, and ultimately, to poverty." The ruling clarifies that Title VII of the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 – which bans discrimination based on sex – is applicable to sexual orientation and gender identity...In most UN Member States, national laws do not provide adequate protection from employment-related discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, Mr. Madrigal-Borloz said. In the absence of such laws, employers may fire or refuse to hire or promote people, simply because they are – or thought to be – gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or gender-diverse... “The judgement will have an extremely positive impact in addressing stigma, promoting sociocultural and economic inclusion, and furthering legal recognition of gender identity – all of which have been identified by my mandate as fundamental to address the root causes of violence and discrimination,” Madrigal-Borloz said. The case also illustrates the vital role that victims can play in furthering justice. “It is sad to note that two of the victims in these cases did not live to see the outcome of their struggle, but uplifting to know that their resolve, their resilience and their determination will now benefit millions of LGBT persons,” he added. Victor Madrigal-Borloz (Costa Rica) assumed the role of UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity on 1 January 2018, for a three-year term. He is a senior visiting researcher at the Harvard Law School Human Rights Programme.
How do you protect against indirect discrimination?
May 13, 2020
A recent Harvard Law School Human Rights Program (HRP) workshop convened a group of experts for a discussion on indirect discrimination on the basis of religion.
Human Rights Program hosts UN-expert consultation on so-called ‘conversion therapy’ practices
March 13, 2020
The Harvard Law School Human Rights Program welcomed government officials, medical experts, legal scholars, and human rights activists from around the world to Cambridge on Feb. 28 for a global consultation on practices of so-called “conversion therapy” to which lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse persons are subjected around the world.
A global look at LGBT violence and bias
October 23, 2019
Costa Rican magistrate Victor Madrigal-Borloz has served for the past 21 months as the U.N. independent expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. He will present his report on how laws and cultural norms adversely affect LGBT individuals to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday. The Gazette interviewed Madrigal-Borloz, who is the Eleanor Roosevelt Senior Visiting Researcher with the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School, to talk about his work and his hopes for the future.