Since the Yogyakarta Principles were adopted in 2006, they have developed into an authoritative statement of the human rights of persons of ‘diverse sexual orientations and gender identities’. The period since then, has seen significant developments both in the field of international human rights law and in the understanding of violations affecting persons of ‘diverse sexual orientations and gender identities’, as well as a recognition of the often distinct violations affecting persons on grounds of ‘gender expression’ and ‘sex characteristics’.
The Yogyakarta Principles Plus 10 (YP+10) aims to document and elaborate these developments through a set of Additional Principles and State Obligations. YP+10 should be read alongside the original 29 Yogyakarta Principles. Together, these documents provide an authoritative, expert exposition of international human rights law as it currently applies to the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics.
The YP+10 document supplements the original 29 Yogyakarta Principles and, in fact, derives its raison d’être from preambular paragraph 9 of those Principles:
ACKNOWLEDGING that this articulation must rely on the current state of international human rights law and will require revision on a regular basis in order to take account of developments in that law and its application to the particular lives and experiences of persons of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities over time and in diverse regions and countries.
This set of nine Additional Principles and 111 Additional State Obligations cover a range of rights whose articulation has emerged from the intersection of the developments in international human rights law with the emerging understanding of violations suffered by persons on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity and the recognition of the distinct and intersectional grounds of gender expression and sex characteristics.
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Yogyakarta Principles, the International Service for Human Rights and ARC International in consultation with experts and civil society stakeholders, established a Drafting Committee tasked with developing the YP+10 document.
The entire process was aided by a Secretariat comprised of civil society representatives and institutions. The Drafting Committee, once constituted, put out an open call for submissions in order to ensure that the output would be informed both by developments in international human rights law and by lived experience. Drawing both on the submissions received, as well as relevant research and expertise, the Drafting Committee prepared a Draft Document which was then discussed, substantially elaborated and adopted following an Experts’ Meeting held in Geneva from 18-20 September 2017. The experts included persons from all regions, from multiple legal traditions, and of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and sex characteristics.
The YP +10 document was thus informed by an open consultation among multiple stakeholders in the field and hence reflects some of the key issues and developments relating to the specific forms of rights violations experienced by persons on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics.
The YP+10 document is an affirmation of existing international legal standards as they apply to all persons on grounds of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics. States must comply with these principles both as a legal obligation and as an aspect of their commitment to universal human rights.
Members of the Drafting Committee
Mauro Cabral Grinspan