Statement of Support for the UN Independent Expert on SOGI

Statement of Support for the UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, and his mandate, on the occasion of his visit to the UK, April 24 – May 5, 2023

We, the undersigned British academics, warmly welcome the visit to the UK (April 24 to May 5) of the UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz. Victor is an eminent Costa-Rican jurist and an expert in international human rights law, currently in residence at Harvard Law School. The mandate of the Independent Expert, created by the UN Human Rights Council in 2016, is to explore ways to better protect people who suffer violence and discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

International human rights law is universal. It is inclusive of all human beings in all their diversity, including those who are same-sex attracted, transgender and gender non-conforming. Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in the enjoyment of all human rights is clearly prohibited. Despite this, shocking reports of killings, violence, stigmatisation, bullying and marginalisation, because of a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, continue to emerge from all parts of the world, including in the UK.

This dire situation highlights the fundamental importance and urgency of the Independent Expert’s mandate. He has worked hard to dismantle the harmful social and cultural prejudices that have helped normalise the inhumane treatment of sexual and gender minorities in the past. In international human rights law, the antiquity of such prejudices is no justification for their continuation. The Independent Expert has called for the immediate decriminalisation and depathologisation of non-heteronormative sexual orientations and gender identities, including banning so-called conversion therapies. In addition, towards fully realising the humanity of sexual and gender minorities, he has urged the legal recognition of same-sex relationships and families, and of self-determined gender identity.

We fully endorse all these aspects of the Independent Expert’s work and welcome any recommendations he makes following his visit to the UK.

Cosponsors and Signatories:

  1. Dr Abeera Khan (SOAS University of London)
  2. Professor Alex Sharpe (Warwick University)
  3. Dr Alexander Powell (Oxford Brookes University)
  4. Professor Alison Phipps [cosponsor] (Newcastle University)
  5. Dr Andrew Delatolla (University of Leeds)
  6. Professor Emerita Anne Phillips (London School of Economics)
  7. Professor Aoife O’Donoghue (Queen’s University Belfast)
  8. Dr Aeyal Gross (SOAS University of London)
  9. Dr Bee Hughes (Liverpool John Moores University)
  10. Professor Catherine O’Rourke (Durham University)
  11. Professor Clare Hemmings [cosponsor] (London School of Economics )
  12. Dr Damian Gonzalez-Salzberg (University of Birmingham)
  13. Dr Daragh Murray (Queen Mary University of London)
  14. Professor Davina Cooper (King’s College London)
  15. Dr Dean Cooper Cunningham (University of Sheffield)
  16. Professor Emerita Didi Herman [cosponsor] (University of Kent)
  17. Professor Eddie Bruce-Jones (SOAS University of London)
  18. Dr EJ Gonzalez-Polledo (Goldsmiths University of London)
  19. Dr Emily Jones (Newcastle University)
  20. Professor Fiona de Londras (University of Birmingham)
  21. Dr Flora Renz (University of Kent)
  22. Dr Francesca Romana Ammaturo (Coventry University)
  23. Professor Gina Heathcote [cosponsor] (SOAS University of London)
  24. Dr Grietje Baars (Citu University London)
  25. Dr Henry Jones (Durham University)
  26. Dr Jamie J. Hagen (Queen’s University Belfast) 
  27. Dr Jane Rooney (Durham University)
  28. Dr Jess Gifkins (University of Manchester)
  29. Professor Jessica Ringrose (University College London)
  30. Professor Jo Winning (Birkbeck University of London)
  31. Dr Kate Davison (University of Edinburgh)
  32. Dr Kay Crosby (Newcastle University)
  33. Dr Kay Lalor (Manchester Metropolitan University)
  34. Dr Koen Slootmaeckers (City University London)
  35. Dr Lena Holzer (Goldsmiths University of London)
  36. Dr. Loveday Hodson (University of Leicester)
  37. Dr Lucia Kula (SOAS University of London)
  38. Professor Máiréad Enright (University of Birmingham)
  39. Dr Maria-Adriana Deiana (Queen’s University Belfast)
  40. Dr Maria Moscati (University of Sussex)
  41. Professor Mark Walters (University of Sussex)
  42. Professor Matthew Waites [cosponsor] (University of Glasgow)
  43. Dr Mayur Suresh (SOAS University of London)
  44. Dr Meghan Campbell (University of Birmingham)
  45. Dr Melanie Richter-Montpetit (University of Sussex)
  46. Dr Michelle Staggs-Kelsall (SOAS University of London)
  47. Dr Monish Bhatia (University of York)
  48. Professor Natasa Mavronicola (University of Birmingham)
  49. Professor Nicola Barker (University of Liverpool)
  50. Professor Nicola Carr (University of Nottingham)
  51. Dr Nikki Godden-Rasul (Newcastle University)
  52. Professor Nuno Ferreira (University of Sussex)
  53. Professor Pam Alldred (Nottingham Trent University)
  54. Dr Patricia Palacios Zuloaga (University of Essex)
  55. Professor Phillip Ayoub (University College London)
  56. Professor Rachel Thomson (University of Sussex)
  57. Dr Rahul Rao (University of St Andrews)
  58. Retracted
  59. Dr Ruth Fletcher (Queen Mary University of London)
  60. Dr Safet HadžiMuhamedović (University of Cambridge)
  61. Professor Sally Hines (University of Sheffield)
  62. Dr Samuel Ritholtz (University of Oxford)
  63. Dr Sarah Lamble (Birkbeck)
  64. Dr Senthorun Raj (Mancester Metropolitan)
  65. Professor Shakuntala Banaji (LSE)
  66. Dr Sheri Labenski (Goldsmiths)
  67. Dr Silvia Posocco (Birkbeck University of London)
  68. Dr Sophie Chamas (SOAS University of London)
  69. Professor Emeritus Stephen Whittle (Manchester Metropolitan University)
  70. Professor Sumi Madhok (London School of Economics)
  71. Professor Tanya Aplin (King’s College London)
  72. Dr Tanya Serisier (Birkbeck University of London)
  73. Dr Thiago Alves Pinto (University of Oxford)
  74. Professor Toni Haastrup (University of Stirling)
  75. Professor Vanita Sundaram (University of York)
  76. Dr Vanja Hamzić [cosponsor] (SOAS University of London)
  77. Dr Xanthe Whittaker (University of Leeds)
  78. Dr Yassin Brunger (Queen’s University Belfast)
  79. Dr Yvette Russell (University of Bristol)
  80. Dr Louise Arimatsu (LSE)

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