Journal Article

Freedom of Religion or Belief and Sexuality: Tracing the Evolution of the UN Special Rapporteur’s Mandate Practice over Thirty Years

Michael Wiener

in Oxford Journal of Law and Religion

Volume 6, issue 2, pages 253-267
Published in print June 2017 | ISSN: 2047-0770
Published online May 2017 | e-ISSN: 2047-0789 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ojlr/rwx005
Freedom of Religion or Belief and Sexuality: Tracing the Evolution of the UN Special Rapporteur’s Mandate Practice over Thirty Years

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ABSTRACT

This article examines how the four UN Special Rapporteurs on freedom of religion or belief have dealt in their reports from 1986 to 2016 with issues concerning sexuality, gender, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons. While the initial mandate resolution did not explicitly refer to these issues, the mandate has since 1996 been called upon to apply a gender perspective in the reporting process. The first mandate-holder did not refer to the terms sexuality, gender, or LGBTI, but he addressed cases of forced marriage, intercommunal violence, rape of women, and male circumcision (1986–93). The second mandate-holder focused on the status of women in the light of religion and traditions, eg discussing female genital mutilation, ritual slavery, rape, sexual assault, and honour killings (1993–2004). The third mandate-holder highlighted discriminatory practices against women within their religious community and she addressed legislation against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (2004–10). The fourth mandate-holder advocated for a holistic human rights approach, eg discussing education on sexual and reproductive health issues and the gender dimension of violence committed in the name of religion (2010–16). Since 1996, the Special Rapporteurs have implemented a holistic understanding of human rights, all of which are seen as mutually reinforcing each other.

Journal Article.  7099 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Law ; Human Rights ; Law and Society

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