Born Free and Equal

From the UN:

The United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) has released a 60-page booklet on sexual orientation and gender identity in international human rights law. The publication, “Born Free and Equal,” sets out the source and scope of State obligations to protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people under international human rights law. Drawing on almost two decades’ worth of UN research, guidance and jurisprudence, the booklet focuses on five core areas where State action is urgently required: protecting people from homophobic violence; preventing torture; decriminalizing homosexuality; prohibiting discrimination; and safeguarding freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

“The case for extending the same rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender (LGBT) persons as those enjoyed by everyone else is neither radical nor complicated. It rests on two fundamental principles that underpin international human rights law: equality and non-discrimination. The opening words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are unequivocal: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Nevertheless, deeply embedded homophobic attitudes, often combined with a
lack of adequate legal protection against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, expose many LGBT people of all ages and in all regions of the world to egregious violations of their human rights. They are discriminated against in the labour market, in schools and in hospitals, and
mistreated and disowned by their own families. On the streets of towns and cities
around the world, they are singled out for physical attack – beaten, sexuallyassaulted, tortured and killed. And in some 76 countries, discriminatory lawscriminalize private, consensual same-sex relationships – exposing individualsto the risk of arrest, prosecution and imprisonment.”
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