All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. All human rights are universal, interdependent, indivisible and interrelated. Sexual orientation and gender identity are integral to every person’s dignity and humanity and must not be the basis for discrimination or abuse.”
Opening lines of The Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
The Yogyakarta Principles mark a significant step in the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in a human rights context.
We strongly encourage the UNCHR and other worldwide human rights organisations to build upon the groundbreaking work of the delegates at Yogyakarta and incorporate these principles into all human rights discourse.
In November 2006, at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, the International Commission of Jurists and the International Service for Human Rights, on behalf of a coalition of human rights organisations, brought together 29 distinguished human rights experts from 25 countries to develop a set of international legal principles on the application of international law to human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Below is a brief summary of the Yogyakarta Principles:
The Yogyakarta Principles address a broad range of human rights standards and their application to issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Principles affirm the primary obligation of States to implement human rights. Each Principle is accompanied by detailed recommendations to States. The experts also emphasise, though, that all actors have responsibilities to promote and protect human rights. Additional recommendations are addressed to other actors, including the UN human rights system, national human rights institutions, the media, non-governmental organisations, and funders.
“The experts agree that the Yogyakarta Principles reflect the existing state of international human rights law in relation to issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. They also recognise that States may incur additional obligations as human rights law continues to evolve.”
“The Yogyakarta Principles 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.”
Download the Yogyakarta Principles here (English)
To go to the Yogyakarta Principles website, where you can download the principles in several other languages, click here.