EU Welcomes UN’s LGBT Expertise

Yesterday, the UN Human Rights Council appointed Vitit Muntarbhorn its first independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In July, the United Nations’ Human Rights Council agreed to the creation of the post in a 23 – 18 vote.

Vitit Munthaborn, a Thai national, is Professor in International Law at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. He was co-chair of the 2006 Yogyakarta Principles on the application of international human rights law based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Munthaborn is appointed for an initial period of three years. His role will be to assess the implementation of existing international human rights instruments regarding lesbian, gay, bi and transgender people. Furthermore, he will raise awareness of violence and discrimination suffered by LGBT persons and engage in dialogue with states to implement measures.

Ulrike Lunacek MEP

Ulrike Lunacek MEP

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, reacted: “All around the world LGBTI people continue to face discrimination and violence, sometimes explicitly legislated or encouraged by the state. These are severe breaches of human rights.”

“I am glad the Human Rights Council has reinforced its commitment to end these breaches by creating this position, and look forward to working with Mr Munthaborn in his new position.”

Daniele Viotti MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, added: “Earlier reports by the United Nations Human Rights Council have shown it clearly: homophobia and transphobia literally kill. We urgently need to up the pressure to end the unnecessary and extreme violence that our community faces across the globe.”

“I call on all states to cooperate with the independent expert so it can fulfil its full potential in fighting for the human rights of LGBTI people.”

It’s good to hear about the United Nations moving forward on gender and sexuality equalities engagement: but as too often, to judge by their comments, the European Parliament’s “LGBTI” group only seems to know about the L, G and T.