The UN recognizes sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI) as being grounds on which discrimination is prohibited.  A resolution on SOGI was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in July 2011.  In December the same year, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights published a report collating evidence of discriminatory laws and practices as well as acts of violence against individuals based on SOGI, and recommended all Member States to “[e]nact comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation that includes discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity among the prohibited grounds and recognizes intersecting forms of discrimination; ensure that combating discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity is included in the mandates of national human rights institutions.”

International human rights obligations and treaty body actions have contributed to the promotion of more active actions against discrimination on the basis of SOGI in Hong Kong.

In 2013, the Human Rights Committee, the treaty body that reviews State Parties’ adherence to their obligations under the ICCPR, recommended the Hong Kong Government to “consider enacting legislation that specifically prohibits discrimination on ground of sexual orientation and gender identity, take the necessary steps to put an end to prejudice and social stigmatization of homosexuality and send a clear message that it does not tolerate any form of harassment, discrimination or violence against persons based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”  (see U.N. Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations on the Third Periodic Report of Hong Kong, China, March 11-28, 2013, 23, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/CHN-HKG/CO/3 107th Sess. (Apr. 29, 2013).

This project is supported by the HKU Knowledge Exchange Fund granted by the University Grants Committee.