2017 Theme: LGBTI Rights
The Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Intersex persons
United Nations Secretary General ( 2012 to 2016)
Protecting LGBT people from violence and discrimination does not require the creation of a new set of LGBT-specific rights, nor does it require the establishment of new international human rights standards. The legal obligations of States to safeguard the human rights of LGBT people are well established in international human rights law on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequently agreed international human rights treaties. All people, irrespective of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, are entitled to enjoy the protections provided for by international human rights law, including in respect of rights to life, security of person and privacy, the right to be free from torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, the right to be free from discrimination and the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.
The core legal obligations of States with respect to protecting the human rights of LGBT people include obligations to:
- Protect individuals from homophobic and transphobic violence.
- Prevent torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
- Repeal laws criminalizing homosexuality and transgender people.
- Prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Safeguard freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly for all LGBT people.
For more information on applicable international human rights standards in this context, please refer to the Born Free and Equal booklet published by OHCHR in September 2012.
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United Nations Resolutions - Sexual orientation and gender identity
Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (adopted 30 June 2016) - A/HRC/RES/32/2
Human Rights Council resolution - Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity (adopted 17 June 2011) - A/HRC/RES/17/19
Human Rights Council resolution - Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity (adopted 26 September 2014) - A/HRC/RES/27/32
- General Assembly resolution - Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions - A/RES/69/182
Joint UN statement on Ending violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people
On 29 September 2015, 12 UN entities (ILO, OHCHR, UNAIDS Secretariat, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNODC, UN Women, WFP and WHO) released an unprecedented joint statement calling for an end to violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.
The statement is a powerful call to action to Governments to do more to tackle homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination and abuses against intersex people, and an expression of the commitment on the part of UN entities to support Member States to do so.