Report on diversity in humanity, humanity in diversity

19 April 2017
Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
To the HRC at its 35th session, 6-23 June, 2017


In June 2017, Independent Expert Vitit Muntarbhorn presented his inaugural report titled “diversity in humanity, humanity in diversity” to the Human Rights Council.

In it, he presents his approach and methodology, provides an overview of the situation of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and identifies six underpinnings for the mandate on protection from violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity:

  • the decriminalization of consensual same-sex relations and of gender identity and expression;
  • effective anti-discrimination measures
  • the legal recognition of gender identity
  • destigmatisation linked with depathologisation
  • sociocultural inclusion; and
  • education with empathy.


“Diversity in humanity” means the diversity of individuals on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity should be recognized. “Humanity in diversity” means it is essential to harness and reinforce—from a young age—mutual respect, tolerance and understanding; compliance with human rights; and a sense of humanity and inclusivity inherent in that diversity to accord protection for all and to all.

The phenomenon of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is both local and global, requiring strong national and international countermeasures to promote respect for sexual and gender diversity under the umbrella of international human rights law.

Everyone has some form of sexual orientation and gender identity. Regrettably,  some groups and persons are affected by violence and discrimination precisely because they are viewed as having a sexual orientation and gender identity that is different from a particular societal norm. The report offers a window through which to gauge the approach and methodology of the Independent Expert.

Watch the interactive dialogue with Member States at the 35th Human Rights Council: 1st meeting | 2nd meeting


In January 2017 in Geneva, the Independent Expert held a public consultation on the mandate to engage in dialogue with Governments, non-governmental organizations, international organizations and other actors. During the consultation, participants exchanged views with the Independent Expert on his work, priorities, and effective strategies. Discussions informed the Independent Expert’s reports to the Human Rights Council and General Assembly in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Watch the consultation:  
The following hashtag was used on social media: #UNSOGI

For more information see the concept note, programme and guiding questions.

The Independent Expert received almost a hundred submissions from a wide range of stakeholders. These submissions were used to inform the 2017, 2018, and 2019 reports of the mandate.

Breakdowns of inputs received