UN issues groundbreaking report on GBLT Human Rights

Dr. Kent Kille, of Wooster’s Department of Political Science, sent this information to CDGE, which we wanted to pass further on to our readers.  


The United Nations released it’s first-ever report on the human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people around the world, which details laws pertaining to the GLBT community, ranging from full marriage rights in some countries to imprisonment and the death penalty for those caught engaging in homosexuality in other countries.

The report, released by the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights “outlines “a pattern of human rights violations… that demands a response,” and says governments have too often overlooked violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”  The report details these patterns of violence against the GLBT community, finding that “violence against LGBT persons tends to be especially vicious compared to other bias-motivated crimes.”  Unfortunately, a large number of these crimes go unreported because victims do not trust local police or governments, or are afraid of being identified as GLBT and encountering further discrimination and violence.

“In the report, Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, calls on countries to repeal laws that criminalize homosexuality, abolish the death penalty for offences involving consensual sexual relations, harmonize the age of consent for heterosexual and homosexual conduct, and enact comprehensive anti-discrimination laws.  In 76 countries it remains illegal to engage in same-sex conduct and in at least five countries – Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen – the death penalty prevails.”

This map from 2009 shows the different levels of acceptance and rejection of GLBT human rights around the world, ranging from the death penalty and imprisonment to full marriage rights.

The release of this report also follows unprecedented announcements from the President and Secretary of State, Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton, directing United States agencies and departments to promote the rights of the GLBT community in diplomatic actions and foreign assistance around the world.  Click here for video of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s landmark speech to diplomats in Geneva.

For further information about GLBT rights and issues around the world, check out ILGA (International Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) website for information and graphics that further explain the global situation.





About Joel P.

Joel P. is the Program Coordinator for the Center for Diversity and Global Engagement. He studied history at Texas A&M and student affairs at Ohio State, and is an avid coffee drinker and soccer watcher. His eventual research interests include GLBT issues on an international scale and amongst international students, international relations and the First Amendment on campus.
This entry was posted in News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *