World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

LGBT people suffering “crucible” of rights violations


LGBT people suffering “crucible” of rights violations around the world, UN expert warns


NEW YORK (27 October 2017) – People around the world are suffering horrific violations of their human rights based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression and immediate action is needed to stop it, a UN rights expert has warned in a landmark address to the UN General Assembly in New York.

“It is unconscionable that people with an actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression different from a particular social norm, are targeted for violence and discrimination in many parts of the world,” said the UN’s first Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Vitit Muntarbhorn.

“LGBT people are suffering a crucible of egregious violations, including killings, rape, mutilation, torture, arbitrary detention, abduction, harassment, physical and mental assaults. They are subjected to lashings and forced surgical interventions, bullying from a young age, incitement to hatred and pressures leading to suicide.

“More than 70 countries around the world today still criminalize same-sex relations, and in some of them the death penalty may be applied,” he added, presenting his full report on the global challenges and the action needed.

“Even where there is no law criminalizing consensual same-sex relations, laws on public decency, public order and social peace are used in some countries to incriminate people under the umbrella of sexual orientation, gender identity and related gender expression.”

Mr. Muntarbhorn said all laws criminalizing same-sex relationships should be removed from the statute books, and no other legal measures should be used to target sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression for the purpose of consolidating power and suppressing dissent.

It was also imperative to remove the death penalty for all cases related to the criminalization of sexual orientation, gender identity and related gender expression, he stressed.

“There is a need for effective anti-discrimination measures covering both the public and private spheres. Not only formal but substantive, not only de jurebut also de facto, in addition to the building of a community open to understanding and respecting sexual and gender diversity,” the expert added.

“To be effective, anti-discrimination frameworks should provide for effective measures to investigate alleged violations, redress for victims and accountability for alleged perpetrators.”

Human rights defenders were being increasingly targeted for their work in raising issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, the expert said, adding that this was another area of great concern.

“Non-governmental organizations, human rights defenders and activists, as well as independent national human rights institutions, play a crucial role in the advancement of an inclusive agenda for all without discrimination and distinction, including through the promotion of understanding of and respect for human rights and gender diversity,” Mr. Muntarbhorn said. “They are agents of change which can activate significant reform processes.”

Mr. Muntarbhorn said the establishment last year of his mandate to promote action against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity was a major step forward.

“It is anchored in international human rights law, and it is a momentous commitment to multilateralism,” he said. “It is an invitation to be forward looking and an incentive to move forward together.”

Mr Muntarbhorn said the “universal umbrella of human rights” offered a blueprint for the respect of diversity and appreciation of our common humanity.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 




UN Agriculture: Helps Protect Against Threat Of Locust In Yemen

Following heavy widespread rains in Yemen, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) remains on high alert... More>>

UNFCCC: Simon Stiell Appointed New Executive Secretary
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Simon Stiell as the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat based in Bonn, Germany...
More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Europe Dries Up
Scenes and pictures have been circulating of broken earth, lacking moisture, cracked and yearning. But these are not from traditional drought-stricken parts of the planet, where the animal carcass assumes near totemic power... More>>

Afghanistan: One Year On From Regime Change And Children Face An Unimaginable A Crisis
On the one-year anniversary of regime change in Afghanistan, a new World Vision report highlights the grave risk the country’s children face from starvation, forced child marriage, and child labour... More>>


Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>