29 Mar 2019 by Ludwig Boltzmann

Human Rights in Numbers: Collecting statistical data on the status of (in)equality and discrimination

The recent issue of the journal for human rights focuses on Human Rights in Numbers (Menschenrechte in Zahlen) and addresses the empirical assessment of the human rights situation using data, indicators and numbers. Monika Mayrhofer has written an article on the collection of equality data in the field of sexual orientation and gender identity, characteristics and expression.

Collecting statistical data on the status of (in)equality and the prevalence of discrimination is considered to be an important part of monitoring the implementation of and the compliance with international and regional human rights law. Statistical equality data is also crucial for advocacy work and it can be necessary in court cases dealing with indirect discrimination.

The collection of data on sexual orientation and gender identity, characteristics and expression (SOGICE) is a rather new area in the field of collecting equality data. The article focuses on specific challenges and experiences of collecting data on SOGICE from a queer perspective.

A queer perspective on human rights law and on the collection of statistical data on SOGICE aims at making visible the way sexuality and binary gender norms become effecting within and through these norms and processes. The article Collecting Statistical Data on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Characteristics and Expression firstly, focuses on the emerging inclusion of SOGICE in human rights law and policies and, secondly, discusses the role of statistical data in this context, including the role of states and international and regional institutions when collecting data on SOGICE. The article, thirdly, analyses the challenges of data collection in this field from a queer perspective, focusing on issues associated with categorization, the risk of reproducing practices of heteronormativity and cisnormativity and the explicit and implicit stories told on SOGICE by current practices of collecting and using this data.

Klick here for the publication.

a. zeitschrift für menschenrechte: Human Rights in Numbers