United Nations sends clear message to the world: LGBT rights are human rights
The Kaleidoscope Trust has welcomed a major new report published today by the Office of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights.
The report details examples of discriminatory laws and punishments, including the death penalty, and makes clear that LGBT people are entitled to the full range of human rights. For the first time the United Nations Commissioner has set out a clear set of recommendations to counter discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The report says:
Governments and inter-governmental bodies have often overlooked violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
All countries should investigate promptly reported killings and other serious incidents of violence perpetrated against individuals because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
No one fleeing persecution on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity should be returned to a territory where his or her life or freedom would be threatened.
Laws used to criminalise individuals on grounds of homosexuality for engaging in consensual same-sex sexual conduct should be repealed.
Criminal laws should not be used to harass or detain people based on their sexuality or gender identity and expression.
The death penalty for offenses involving consensual sexual relations should be abolished in all cases.
Lance Price, Director of the Kaleidoscope Trust, said:
"The UN Commissioner for Human Rights has made it clear that there can be no ifs and no buts. The rights of LGBT people are not special rights. They are the same basic human rights to which everybody is entitled.
"This report makes shocking reading. Lesbian and gay people are more likely to suffer torture, harassment and abuse. They suffer discrimination in health care, employment and education. They are threatened by discrimination not only in the law but also from the communities and families that should be there to support them. They are at a higher risk of suicide. And too often governments stand back and do nothing or, worse, encourage their persecution.
"The powerful recommendations set out today set a clear agenda for action and mark a major step forward in a global campaign for justice that gathers momentum every day."
Charles Radcliffe, Chief, Global Issues Section
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
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