(NEW YORK – C-FAM) A week after nations criticized a United Nations (UN) special rapporteur for exceeding his mandate in order to push a redefinition of the term “gender” and a controversial “gay rights” document known as the Yogyakarta Principles, a second special report – this time on health – is sparking similar concern.
Presented to the UN General Assembly late last month, "The Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health" by special rapporteur Anand Grover references not only the Yogyakarta Principles, but also a hotly-disputed "General Recommendation" by the Committee monitoring compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. [General Recommendation 20]("http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cescr/docs/gc/E.C.12.GC.20.doc") would read a new non-discrimination category based on "sexual orientation and gender identity" into that treaty, even though UN member states have repeatedly rejected inclusion of such a category in any binding international law document. Critics see a coordinated push to promote the Yogyakarta Principles, injecting it into the UN system via repeated reference and thus create an impression that a "soft law" norm exists. The Yogyakarta Principles purport to "reflect the existing state of human rights law" with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity, yet merely reflect the policy predilections of the roughly 30 self-selected experts, activists and UN bureaucrats who crafted them. Indeed, terms such as "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" are not defined in any binding international law document and would likely never be accepted by UN Member States.