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Ivan Šimonović
Conference on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

in WORLD, 15/04/2013

Statement by Ivan Šimonović United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Oslo, 15-16 April 2013 -

Excellencies,
Distinguished delegates,

It is a privilege to be part of this, may I say, historic gathering here in Oslo.

We are here – as the Secretary-General put it a moment ago – to right some wrongs. Wrongs that have been perpetrated – often with impunity and sometimes even licensed by State authorities – against millions of people all over the world just because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex.

Just over a year ago, at the request of the Human Rights Council, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) produced a report documenting violence and discriminatory laws and practices affecting individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. That slim, 25-page report, based on empirical evidence, made it clear beyond doubt that violence and discrimination against LGBT people are so serious and so widespread that they warrant the active attention of the United Nations, and that they fall within the framework of States’ legal responsibilities.


Affirming that existing treaties obligate States to protect the rights of everyone – LGBT people included – the report catalogued a pattern of appalling human rights violations directed at individuals specifically because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. At the request of the organizers, I am going to focus on the report’s principal findings, before saying a few words about how we can best respond.

The report’s first finding was that hate-motivated violence against LGBT people is taking place in all regions of the world. (...)

The report’s second finding concerned criminalization. (...)

The third key finding of our report concerned the prevalence of discriminatory practices affecting LGBT people, and the lack of legal protection available under national laws. (...)


Read the full statement by opening the Word document attached

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