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24th Session of the Human Rights Council – Item 4: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) read the Oral Statement. Read by André du Plessis, ILGA UN Programme and Advocacy Manager, 17 September 2013

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

5th December 2013 11:44

Alessia Valenza

Watch it HERE

Thank you Madame Chair

Many human rights situations require the Council’s attention. One is the human rights situation of LGBTI people.

LGBTI people have existed and indeed exist everywhere, in all countries, among all ethnic groups, at all socioeconomic levels and in all communities. They are your fellow-citizens, your co-workers, your friends, your family, and your children.

Acts of violence and discrimination committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity occur in all regions of the world. These include such acts against LGBTI persons. Here are some examples:

Lesbians, often made invisible, face discrimination in all areas of life and are at risk owing to entrenched gender inequalities that restrict autonomy in decision-making about sexuality and family life.

Gay men live in fear of homophobic hate crimes, police abuse and torture, both in those countries where same-sex relations remain illegal and those where it is not.

Bisexuals also face discrimination. Some schools discriminate against bisexual young people, sometimes leading to their being refused admission or expelled.

Trans people are unable to obtain legal recognition of their preferred gender on identity documents and so face difficulties when applying for employment, housing or loans, or when travelling.

Intersex people – those born with sexual anatomy, reproductive organs, and/or chromosome patterns that do not fit the typical definition of male or female – are often forgotten. They also face discrimination and are subject to human rights violations. As children, they are often subjected to medically unnecessary surgery, performed without their informed consent, or that of their parents, in an attempt to fix their sex but in violation of their human rights.

L-G-B-T-I persons – each one a human being born free and equal in dignity and human rights – continue to struggle to be who they are and to live free from discrimination, fear and violence. This Council must, therefore, remain committed to protecting and promoting their human rights.

Thank you