The Yogakarta Principles are an application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity. As such, the principles are a highly important step forward in the movement towards establishing basic human rights for all people.
In response to the lack of implementation of basic human rights for LGBT people, a group of internationally renowned human rights experts from 25 countries came together in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in 2006, and formulated 29 principles with the aim to provide a consistent understanding about the application of international human rights law to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Each principle includes detailed recommendations to states, the United Nations, national institutions, the media, NGO’s and aid organizations. The principles address a broad range of international human rights standards, that can be summed up as follows:
- Rights to Universal Enjoyment of Human Rights, Non-Discrimination and Recognition before the Law (Principles 1 to 3)
- Rights to Human and Personal Security (Principles 4 to 11)
- Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Principles 12 to 18)
- Rights to Expression, Opinion and Association (Principles 19 to 21)
- Freedom of Movement and Asylum (Principles 22 and 23)
- Rights of Participation in Cultural and Family Life (Principles 24 to 26)
- Rights of Human Rights Defenders (Principle 27)
- Rights of Redress and Accountability (Principles 28 and 29)
The principles have not been adopted by States in a treaty, and are thus not by themselves a legally binding part of international human rights law. However they serve as an interpretive aid to the human rights treaties, and have been influential in UN work within the area.
The Yogyakarta principles in a Kenyan interpretation
"My way, your way, or the right way?" is an interpretation of how the Yogyakarta principles are applicable in a Kenyan context including case stories of LGBTI people. The GKT (Gay Kenyan Trust) has reformulated the legal language of the Yogyakarta principles into a language that is easy for every Kenyan to understand. The document explains in simple and clear terms, what LGBTI rights are.: that they are neither "Special Rights", nor are they "New Rights", but basic human rights.
GKT have urged the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) to endorse the Yogyakarta Principles and/or this local presentation of the Principles in public forums and to sponsor training and awareness‐raising activities to promote the contents.