Who is Victor Madrigal-Borloz?
And why is he telling Scottish Parliament what to do?
On December 19th, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the UN Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity (IE SOGI) addressed the Scottish Parliament Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee about the Gender Recognition Reform bill ahead of its final debate.
If passed, the bill will grant gender recognition certificates on the basis of self-identification.
Madrigal-Borloz, a Costa Rican Lawyer, has served in the IE SOGI role since January 1, 2018. Notably, he is a signatory of the Yogyakarta Principles plus 10, a supplementary document to the Yogyakarta Principles that was adopted on November 10, 2017.
The Yogyakarta Principles are a set of 29 guidelines published in 2006 that argue a person’s self-defined gender identity should trump biological sex in all contexts.
The Yogyakarta Principles plus 10 provide additional principles and state obligations to be read alongside the original document.
Under Principle 31, the document says that “while sex or gender continues to be registered” states shall “ensure a quick, transparent, and accessible mechanism that legally recognises and affirms each person’s self-defined gender identity.”
This is exactly the position that Madrigal-Borloz takes in regard to Scotland’s Gender Recognition Reform bill, and it is in direct opposition to the position of Reem Alsalem, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women who also addressed the committee.
Alsalem expressed strong concerns about the risks that self-ID poses to safeguarding for women and children.
“Violent males who can take advantage of any loopholes will do so in order to get into women’s spaces and have access to women,” she said. “Our experiences as women born female tells us this.”
Madrigal-Borloz has no such concerns for women and children. He was far more concerned about driving home the idea that transwomen are not men in dresses, nor predatory men, nor any kind of men at all. In fact, he said it was “horrific language” to refer to men in dresses as… men in dresses.
These sentiments echo a column that Madrigal-Borloz wrote for The Scotsman just a few days ago, “Scotland should not deny trans women's human rights because of predatory men.”
“The United Nations Human Rights System has for a long time held a consensus view that legal recognition of gender identity is a duty of the state,” Madrigal-Borloz writes.
He continues with the strikingly bold claim that “in the 13 countries and dozens of regions that already have self-identification — whose populations together add up to some 350 million people — there are no administrative or judicial findings that validate the idea that the risk of abuse is a material one.”
The stipulation that “findings” about the risk of abuse caused by self-ID must be administrative or judicial is underhanded. It allows Madrigal-Borloz to simply handwave away evidence unless it comes from the governments that introduced this legislation in the first place — and therefore won’t want it to reflect negatively on themselves.
In Canada, for example, incarcerated women are being terrorized by male rapists, murderers, and pedophiles, but the Canadian government doesn’t see this as a problem. Like Madrigal-Borloz, it simply considers these men to be women, which means that, on paper, they are women causing issues in women’s prisons, where they belong.
In essence, gender ideology is unfalsifiable. It doesn’t matter when people like Reem Alsalem raise the issue of abusive men taking advantage of self-ID to enter women’s spaces. By virtue of self-ID, those men automatically become women. Any abuse they perpetuate is done by women, so, of course, you’re not going to see any “administrative or judicial findings” that show self-ID opened the door to abusive men.
Madrigal-Borloz plays with language to ensure that he can’t lose. By insisting that men who claim to be women are women, he effectively excuses himself from having to consider the harms that his position might cause to women and children. It’s not even a blip on his radar.
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