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1 July 2016

Front Line Defenders Welcomes Creation of UN Expert on LGBT Rights


The U.N. Human Rights Council voted on Thursday to appoint an independent expert to monitor LGBTI rights around the world. Front Line Defenders welcomes the new Special Rapporteur post, and offers congratulations to the many organisations who fought hard for the creation of the position.

There exist strong attempts to criminalize the LGBTI community in a number of countries, and LGBTI rights defenders work in incredibly dangerous circumstances as a result of social, political, and legal discrimination. In 2015, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) reported 75 countries that criminalize same-sex relationships, and attacks against sexual and gender minorities have been reported in all countries. Those defending their rights are at particular risk – Front Line Defenders has documented reports of physical attacks, defamation campaigns, killings, and judicial harassment against HRDs peacefully defending the rights of LGBTI people.

But around the world, these defenders continue their struggle, and Front Line Defenders welcomes the creation of a U.N. expert to build on the work of local LGBTI rights defenders.

“Special Rapporteurs are a key part of the international community's response to human rights violations. LGBT rights defenders are targetted around the world for their work, and the creation of an SR to support their work is a very welcome step.”
- Mary Lawlor, Executive Director, Front Line Defenders

To learn more about the threats facing LGBTI rights defenders around the world, see #LGBTI.