United Nations Treaty Bodies: References to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics: Annual Report 2020-2021


This report is a compilation and analysis of SOGIESC references made by nine United Nations Treaty Bodies in 2020-2021 (CESCR, HRCtee, CEDAW, CRC, CRPD, CERD, CMW and CED). It examines the Concluding Observations and Lists of Issues/Lists of Issues Prior to Reporting in country periodic reviews, Treaty Bodies’ General Comments and decisions on Individual Communications.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the nine Treaty Bodies covered in this report, comprising postponements, cancellations and reduced activities.
  • In 2020-2021, nine Treaty Bodies made 139 SOGIESC references6 in 87 Concluding Observations7 on 159 different States. This included six follow-up recommendations to six countries made by three Committees.
  • Compared to the indicators achieved by Treaty Bodies in 2019, the actual number of SOGIESCinclusive Concluding Observations and references significantly dropped in 2020 and 2021
  • However, the rate of SOGIESC-inclusive references per Concluding Observation was the highest ever (2.7) in 2021.
  • The percentage of SOGIESC-inclusive Concluding Observations decreased in 2020. However, it increased again in 2021 to levels seen in 2019


Download the ILGA World
Annual Treaty Bodies Report 
2020 - 2021

full report (in English) | report summary in English | en español
| compilation of references: 2020 - 2021


This seventh edition of United Nations Treaty Bodies: References to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics was published by ILGA World. The report is published under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license.

This report provides an analysis of references to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics made by nine Treaty Bodies in 2020 and 2021. An additional compilation of references with keywords is provided. The report also contains a section with an analysis of developments related to sexual orientation, gender identity,
gender expression and sex characteristics in Treaty Bodies between 2014 and 2021.

Author Lara Goodwin
Coordinator and editor Kseniya Kirichenko
Research assistants Andrea M. Ayala, Alma Aguilar Betancurt, Amira Eid, Jose Guillermo Ricalde Perez and Aigerim Kamidola
Design and layout Lukas Berredo and Dragiša Mioč