Rome Newsroom, Jul 9, 2020 / 08:15 am America/Denver (CNA).
A Holy See diplomat raised concern at the United Nations in Geneva this week over the use of the term “gender identity” within the UN’s refugee protection categories.
“The categories ‘sexual orientations’ and ‘gender identity,’ used in the text, find no clear and agreed definition in international law and risk the introduction of new forms of discriminatory categories within the international humanitarian community,” Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič told the UN High Commissioner for Refugees executive committee July 7.
“The inclusion of these terms is not necessary to ensure that anyone seeking protection because of persecution, for any reason, receives protection,” he said.
Jurkovič serves as the Holy See’s permanent observer to the UN and other international organizations in Geneva. He told the UN refugee committee that the Holy See delegation wished to place on record its disagreement with an assertion within the UNHCR’s “Note on International Protection” which stated: “refugee law now recognizes that those facing persecution on the grounds of age, gender and sexual orientation or gender identity may be refugees.”
The Holy See has repeatedly raised this concern for more than a decade regarding the use of the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in UN statements, arguing that they have no “clear and agreed definition in international law.”