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Ireland will work to make transgender rights an international issue – Gilmore

The Tánaiste tells a European forum in Dublin that it will use its chairmanship of the OSCE to highlight trans issues.

Tiernan Brady of the ILGA organising committee greets Eamon Gilmore as he arrives at the ILGA conference in Ballsbridge today.
Tiernan Brady of the ILGA organising committee greets Eamon Gilmore as he arrives at the ILGA conference in Ballsbridge today.

TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE has said Ireland will use the remainder of its time as the chair of an international security group to tackle any violation of the rights of transgender people.

The commitment came as the Tánaiste spoke at the International Gay and Lesbian Association’s annual European conference in Dublin, taking place in Dublin this weekend.

Gilmore said Ireland was using its term as chair of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe – an international security body of which Ireland is the head for 2012 – to prioritise the “human dimension of the OSCE, which addresses human rights, democratisation and the rule of law”.

Ireland has been unable to engineer a specific commitment about discrimination on the grounds of gender identity or sexual orientation at OSCE level, however, because of “consistent opposition from a number of participating States and the requirement for decisions to be taken by consensus”.

However, Gilmore affirmed that Ireland would continue to raise the issue at OSCE meetings along with other EU members, and would work so that OSCE agreements on tolerance and non-discrimination were “as inclusive as possible”.

“I think it is our responsibility not to lose sight of the universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated nature of human rights,” he said.

“I encourage the LGBTI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex] movement to stay active in the struggle of all rights for all people.

“Because of their historical experience, LGBTI persons have a unique insight into the importance of rights, and the human cost of their not being realised.”

Gallery: Ireland’s first ever public rally for transgender rights

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