Last week, Vitit Muntarbhorn made a landmark address at the U.N. highlighting LGBT human rights issues around the world. Muntabhorn is the first-ever independent expert to investigate discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
In the address, Muntabhorn said that LGBT individuals are facing mounting human rights violations mentioning the recent crack downs on LGBT individuals in the past months in Chechnya, Egypt, Indonesia, Tanzania, and many other nations.
Saying in his address:
LGBT people are suffering a crucible of egregious violations, including killings, rape, mutilation, torture, arbitrary detention, abduction, harassment, physical and mental assaults. They are subjected to lashings and forced surgical interventions, bullying from a young age, incitement to hatred and pressures leading to suicide.
Muntabhorn also called for all laws criminalizing same-sex relationships to be removed from statute books and called for the end of using legal matters to crack down on LGBT individuals.
Jessica Stern, executive director of global LGBTQ human rights organization OutRight Action International, praised the address saying it was a success and a turning point in LGBT rights and international law.
Some nations opposed the mandate. Egypt lead the charge along with Russia and Isome slamic nations that said they would not adopt the mandate for these country's governments do not think sexual orientation and gender expression should be part of international human rights protections.
Sadly, there may always be opposition to our LGBTQ community, but to see the issue of our suppression addressed on an international level, that the U.N is addressing the issue, is always a step in the right direction. If more countries work to adopt the mandate, it may put pressure on other countries to adopt it as well. As we continue to see crackdowns on LGBTQ communities around the world, hopefully Nuntabhorn' address has shed light on the issue and will cause the tide to turn.
H/T: NBC News