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U.N. considers sexual orientation resolution

U.N. considers sexual orientation resolution

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission on Monday called on other groups worldwide to support the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Human Rights. The resolution will be considered between March 15 and April 25 at the U.N.'s 60th session on human rights in Geneva, Switzerland. The landmark motion--the first of its kind in U.N. history--makes clear that abuses on the basis of sexual orientation are human rights violations. The resolution encourages governments to take a more active role to prevent discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation such as murder, torture, and arbitrary arrest and detention. It also works to ensure the protection of victims and help bring perpetrators of violence against sexual minorities to justice. "This resolution would be the first United Nations Commission on Human Rights resolution to connect the full range of human rights to sexual orientation and to condemn discrimination on its basis," said Paula Ettelbrick, IGLHRC's executive director. Last April the Brazilian delegation to the commission introduced this historic--and unexpected--resolution. After prolonged debate, the commission voted to postpone further discussion on the resolution to the 2004 commission session. According to Susana Fried, IGLHRC program director, the resolution is "a key building block in the global understanding of human rights. It could be invoked to call on states to end all discrimination based on sexual orientation in economic and social rights, such as access to health, education, and housing."

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