Robert Blitt

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William and Mary Law Review Online


This article critically assesses a recent study on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) prepared by the Organization for Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC). The first two parts review the establishment of the IPHRC and the norms governing regional human rights mechanisms (RHRMs). Following this, the article demonstrates that the methodology and conclusions evidenced in the IPHRC’s SOGI study diametrically oppose substantive international human rights law, and furthermore undermine the intended purpose of RHRMs within the human rights system. The article concludes by recommending that human rights advocates and others clearly and publicly call out these incompatibilities, set baselines for necessary corrections, and work to develop meaningful, binding standards for RHRMs. Among other things, these standards should ensure that similar bodies orient their activities to promoting and protecting international human rights rather than undermining them.

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