The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has published a report documenting discrimination of sexual minorities and proposing measures to combat violence and discrimination against this group. Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre commented, “The report is a milestone in international efforts to stop discrimination of sexual minorities.”
The report, which is the first of its kind, documents serious human rights violations against sexual minorities all over the world. Homosexual relationships are prohibited in 76 countries, and five impose a death penalty. In her report, the UN High Commissioner shows how discriminatory laws and practices lead to killings, rape, torture and other serious forms of harassment and discrimination of sexual minorities. Such laws and practices are in violation of international human rights.
Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim commented, “Human rights apply to everyone. It is therefore important to work together with other countries, and with organisations that promote gay, lesbian and bisexual rights, to ensure that this group enjoys the same rights that many of us take for granted.”
“We are looking forward to taking part in the important debate on the report, for example in the UN Human Rights Council in March. We would like to see an inclusive debate with the broadest possible participation of countries from all regions. I would also like to highlight South Africa’s leadership on this issue in the Human Rights Council,” said Mr Støre.
The report makes effective recommendations, such as decriminalisation, holding perpetrators of killings and other serious abuses accountable, systematic registration of such crimes, and information and awareness-raising campaigns targeted at the police, the judiciary and the education sector. The Norwegian Government’s action plan for improving quality of life among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transpersons has been highlighted as an example of a broad approach to discrimination.