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International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia - 17 May 2021

Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet

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Geneva, 14 May 2021

The COVID- 19 pandemic has put in stark relief how, as a result of exclusion, discrimination and violence, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) people remain among those who are most often left behind.

Young LGBTIQ+ people, in particular, face disproportionate levels of family rejection, bullying online and offline, homelessness and restrictions on access to information, which have all been exacerbated in the context of the pandemic. I am particularly concerned by recent attempts to further exclude, discriminate and marginalize young trans persons.

My Office will continue to speak up for the human rights of LGBTIQ+ people and to work with States, civil society, national human rights institutions, the private sector and the United Nations family to take concrete steps towards decriminalization, the adoption of comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation and policies, addressing hate speech and bullying online and offline and effectively preventing and combating violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.

Our UN Free & Equal Campaign is partnering with the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth to launch a new thematic campaign* celebrating the leadership of young LGBTIQ+ people and calling on everyone to help create a world where all young people are included, have their fundamental rights respected and are safe to be their true selves, no matter who they are or whom they love.

To young LGBTIQ+ people everywhere, let me say: You are not alone. You are worthy. You are loved and valued for who you are. The United Nations will continue to stand with you and advocate for the respect and protection of your rights and dignity.


* The UN Free & Equal campaign promotes equal rights, and fair treatment for the human rights of LGBTIQ+ people around the world. The campaign engages with the public and policymakers to advance social acceptance and positive changes in laws and policies. A thematic campaign was launched on 14 May on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with a video highlighting how young LGBTIQ+ people are leading us into a fearless future where all young people are respected and included.