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“Nor can we stay quiet when people are denied fundamental rights – whatever their race or faith or age or gender or sexual orientation. It is unfortunate that laws that criminalise people on the basis of their sexual orientation exist in some countries. They should be reformed”.United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Around the world, people face human rights violations because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, including killings, criminal sanctions, torture, rape, arbitrary detention, violations of freedom of expression, and discrimination in accessing economic, social and cultural rights. On Friday 17 September, in an event hosted in Geneva, a high-level panel will consider how these urgent matters can best be addressed by the Human Rights Council and other human rights mechanisms.

The new Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights, Ms Farida Shaheed, presented her first report to the Human Rights Council on Monday 31 May 2010. The presentation was followed by an interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert, which took place in the morning of 1 June. The report presents the Independent Expert's preliminary views on the conceptual and legal framework of the mandate on cultural rights and the priority issues she plans to focus on in the future.

Dans les salles du bureau des Nations Unies à New York, les fonctionnaires ont examiné la proposition de regrouper en une seule « entité des genres » les nombreuses organisations de l'ONU qui encouragent l'égalité des sexes et les droits des femmes. Cette entité verrait son budget considérablement augmenté – De combien exactement? La question est encore débattue – et aurait à sa tête un responsable au rang de Sous-Secrétaire général.

On March 10, the Global Campaign To Stop Killing and Stoning Women (SKSW Campaign) hosted a forum to introduce the Women Re-claiming and Redefining Cultures (WRRC) programme and a screening of two video documentaries on violence against women and girls justified in the name of ‘culture’.

On March 3rd, a panel discussion on violence against women and girls justified in the name of culture was held by the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning women (SKSW Campaign) during the 54th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).The aim of the event was to present an overview of the diverse contexts the Campaign is active in, focusing on the frontline work of our partners in their local contexts, and to expand the Campaign’s outreach through the distribution of Campaign materials and networking.

Margot Wallström, the recently appointed Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, voiced concern about the “lingering assumption that sexual violence is a tradition, rather than a tactic of choice” by groups engaged in war.Sexual violence during conflicts is all too often downplayed and treated as part of local cultural traditions instead of being viewed as a war crime, a senior United Nations official has warned as she called for much greater international action to defeat the scourge.

“Prevailing op

The United Nations has invited a newly established group of independent experts to advise on ways to better protect women in conflict situations, and to ensure that their voices are heard in peace processes and that they are included in post-conflict reconstruction and governance structures.

The Beijing Conference on Women was an extraordinary moment in the history of transnational women’s movements, and its outcome document, the Platform for Action, has become a watershed in the lives of countless women and girls the world over for the past 15 years. Women’s rights advocates all over the world including us in the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women, continue to draw part of the legitimacy for our cause from the Beijing Platform for Action which states that … “

The Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women said Friday that “any agreement reached with the Taliban in Afghanistan should include a clear commitment to respect and protect women’s human rights.” The Committee urged the Afghan government and its international allies “to ensure that women representatives are included in the upcoming peace and development dialogues and negotiations with the Taliban,”

In April 2005, the Commission on Human Rights, in resolution 2005/80, decided to appoint, for a period of three years, a special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. Like other Special Procedures, this mandate was assumed by the Human Rights Council (General Assembly resolution 60/251), and extended for one year, subject to the review to be undertaken by the Council (Human Rights Council decision 2006/102).

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