UN launches LGBT awareness campaign: Free and Equal

The office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights launched a new public information campaign to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination and to promote respect for the rights of LGBT people. The campaign will focus on the need for legal reforms and public education.

The campaign was launched by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Justice Edwin Cameron, alongside the High Commissioner Navi Pillay on Friday 26 July 2013. “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights promises a world in which everyone is born free and equal in dignity and rights – no exceptions, no-one left behind,” said High Commissioner Pillay. “Yet it’s still a hollow promise for many millions of LGBT people forced to confront hatred, intolerance, violence and discrimination on a daily basis.”

Consensual adult same-sex activity is still a crime in over 70 countries and is punishable by death in five. In many countries where legal protections exist, homophobic and transphobic violence can still be a daily reality for many.

The campaign has also released a series of new fact sheets. The fact sheets deal with:

  • criminalisation;
  • equality and non-discrimination;
  • homophobic and transphobic violence;
  • LGBT rights in international law; and
  • FAQs on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The campaign website can be accessed here: https://www.unfe.org/en

A piece by Justice Cameron on the campaign can be found here: http://ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/?p=2371

The fact sheets can be found here: https://www.unfe.org/en/fact-sheets.