How Ireland supports the international advancement of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender (LGBTI) rights
How Ireland supports the international advancement of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender (LGBTI) rightsThe work of Ireland to promote the rights of LGBTI people is a key element of our international human rights policy which is focussed on ensuring individual human rights and non-discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation.
Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that everyone is entitled to the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Ireland considers that the principle of non-discrimination is the cornerstone of human rights protection and that all states have an obligation to promote it.
In June 2011, Ireland cosponsored and was a member of the group of states which negotiated, the historic Resolution on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. This was the first time that a UN resolution explicitly acknowledged human rights protection as covering sexual orientation, and was a significant moment in the advancement of LGBTI rights internationally.
Ireland supports the unwavering commitment of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to the principle of non-discrimination and considers that the challenge is to move beyond the debate on whether all human beings have rights, to securing the climate for full implementation of these rights.
LBGTI rights are included as part of Ireland's dialogue with third countries on human rights issues. In particular Ireland has raised LGBTI issues through the United Nations Universal Periodic Review - under which all state’s human rights records (including our own) are publically reviewed - and at other international fora, especially the Council of Europe.
Ireland contributes actively to the work of the EU to secure the advancement of LGBTI rights within the EU itself and globally. This takes the form of dialogues with third countries, direct support for human rights defenders, and proposing and supporting initiatives in multilateral fora.
Ireland promotes respect of LGBTI rights in all EU members and as part of the EU accession process. Several of our Embassies abroad provide support to local LGBTI events.
During Ireland’s Presidency of the EU in 2013 we want to see new public EU Guidelines on the rights of LGBTI people developed and adopted. These new Guidelines will replace the EU Toolkit to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by LGBTI People which was agreed in 2010. The Guidelines will help all branches of the Union, including institutions, Member States, Delegations, Representations and Embassies react proactively to violations of the human rights of LGBTI people and to identify and address structural causes behind these violations.
Ireland, through Irish Aid, Ireland’s official overseas development assistance programme, is also working with local NGOs to advance LGBTI rights in the developing world. In 2012 €75,000 was provided to support LGBTI organisations tackling discrimination within the East and Southern African region. Over the last three years Irish Aid has significantly increased its funding and support at country level through partner governments and civil society organisations in the fight against HIV and AIDS.