Zeid's message on Zeid's message on International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia


Colleagues,

What does it mean to be an ally?

As High Commissioner, I'm proud to stand up for the human rights of everyone, including all lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex people. Many LGBTI people face violence and discrimination every day – they look to the United Nations and to our Office to uphold their fundamental rights.

Today, millions of people around the world and many OHCHR and UN field presences are observing the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Together, we are marking the many advances and reflecting on the many remaining challenges in combating discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Office's UN Free & Equal campaign is marking the day by releasing a new video, www.unfe.org/bethere, calling on all of us to stand up and be allies to the LGBTI community. It reminds us that being an ally is not something you are, but something you do – from small acts of friendship and solidarity to bravely standing up to bullies and injustice. Please watch and share the video and the many other videos, fact sheets and infographics from the campaign, accessible in 7 languages at www.unfe.org

On this occasion, I will be delivering remarks by video for an event organised by the LGBTI core group of Member States at UN HQ in New York, featuring LGBTI community members and allies from the world of culture, sports and business – watch it live at 3pm New York time today at http://webtv.un.org/.

Along with our continuing engagement with States, NHRIs and civil society, the Office has also focused efforts on broadening the global constituency to advance protection of the rights of LGBTI people. The Standards of Conduct for Business on tackling discrimination against LGBTI people (http://unfe.org/standards) launched in September 2017 have received support from more than 110 of the largest companies in the world and have become a reference for LGBTI civil society organisations in their engagement with the private sector. Please use the Standards in your work, as appropriate, to expand the range of stakeholders involved in advancing respect for the rights of LGBTI people.

The UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, has joined forces with other UN and regional human rights mandate holders to urge States to adopt all necessary measures to overcome the exclusion of LGBT people in efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. You can see the statement here: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/SexualOrientationGender/Pages/Index.aspx

Should you have any questions or suggestions on our work please email Michael van Gelderen (mvangelderen@ohchr.org). In relation to the work of the Independent Expert, please contact Catherine de Preux De Baets (ie-sogi@ohchr.org).

To find out more, visit the OHCHR website: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Discrimination/Pages/LGBT.aspx

UN-GLOBE, a staff group which works towards equality and non-discrimination for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex staff members of the UN system, can also be contacted here:ohrm_globe@un.org/ www.unglobe.org.

I would like to end by thanking the many colleagues, particularly in the field, who are supporting our work in this area.

With best wishes,

Zeid