Victor Madrigal-Borloz was appointed as the new United Nations Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (IE SOGI). The Human Rights Council formally confirmed his position as the IE SOGI in a plenary.
This Independent Expert position was mandated by the passing of resolution A/HRC/RES/32/2 on June 30, 2016. A campaign of 628 nongovernmental organizations from 151 countries advocated for the adoption of the resolution and for the establishment of the SOGI Independent Expert position.
The SOGI Independent Expert position is a six-year term.
Madrigal-Borloz follows Thai Vitit Muntarbhorn in this position, as Muntarbhorn stepped down earlier in the year for health reasons.
Madrigal-Borloz is a Costa-Rican jurist based in Copenhagen. His expertise lies more broadly in torture prevention, accountability and rehabilitation, having been a lawyer with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Madrigal-Borloz has worked with civil society advocates to investigate allegations of State non-compliance and international human rights violations. He currently serves as the Secretary-General of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT).
Madrigal-Borloz is expected start on January 1, 2018.
In his new position, Madrigal-Borloz will be assessing the implementation of existing international human rights law, raising awareness of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, engaging in dialogue and consultation with States and other stakeholders, and providing advisory services and technical assistance to help address violence and discrimination against LGBTI people.
Madrigal-Borloz was chosen out of an original list of 11 candidates, which was shortlisted to three. It is worth noting that among the candidates, only one of the 11 candidates was female.