UN agencies call for end to violence and discrimination against LGBTI community
Sept.30, New York: Twelve UN agencies on Monday called for an end to violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) adults, adolescents and children, and set out specific steps to protect these individuals.
“This is the first time that so many members of the UN family have joined forces in defence of the basic rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people,” said Charles Radcliffe, the Chief of Global Issues for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
“It’s both an expression of commitment on the part of UN agencies, and a powerful call to action for Governments around the world to do more to tackle homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination and abuses against intersex people,” he added in a news release.
At a high-level event on LGBT rights, held in New York on the margins of the annual debate of the General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon applauded the agencies for “speaking in one voice” on this critical issue.
“When the human rights of LGBT people are abused, all of us are diminished. Every human life is precious – none is worth more than another,” he stated.
There are 17 sustainable development goals all based on a single, guiding principle: to leave no one behind. Ending marginalization and exclusion of LGBT people is a human rights priority – and a development imperative, he continued.
In at least 76 countries, discriminatory laws criminalize private, consensual same-sex relationships, exposing millions of individuals to the risk of arrest, prosecution and imprisonment – and even, in at least five countries, the death penalty.
The joint statement outlines how laws are used to harass, detain, and discriminate against LGBTI people, while laws that criminalize cross-dressing are used to arrest and punish transgender people. These discriminatory laws perpetuate stigma and discrimination, police abuse and torture, and negatively affect public health by hampering vital access to health and HIV treatment and services.
In addition, the statement sets out steps for Governments to stop violence and discrimination against the LGBTI community, including measures to improve the monitoring, reporting and investigation of hate crimes.
The Oslo Times