The Yogyakarta Principles
Focus on human rights for LGBTI people
In 2006 a distinguished group of international human rights experts launched the Yogyakarta Principles at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The “Principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity” have a normative aim: to set out a common understanding of how to apply international human rights law specifically to the situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex people. The principles were the first document of its kind at the time.
We have talked to some of the co-authors of the Yogyakarta Principles about the significance of the document, what impact it has had, and how it could be updated and improved in the future.
The drafting and adoption of the Yogyakarta Principles was prompted by documented human rights violations targeted toward people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
These included, among others, extra-judicial killings, torture and ill-treatment, sexual assault and rape, and serious discrimination in relation to the enjoyment of other human rights. Although key human rights mechanisms of the United Nations have affirmed states’ obligation to protect all persons from violence, the international response to such violations was fragmented and inconsistent. It was therefore necessary to develop a consistent and comprehensive framework for applying international human rights norms to sexual orientation and gender identity.