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Tunisia: UN experts to assess human rights of LGBT people

GENEVA (7 June 2021) –The UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, will visit Tunisia from 8 to 18 June 2021.

“The visit provides an important opportunity to assess the implementation of human rights standards to combat violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender-diverse people in the country,” said Madrigal-Borloz.

“During my visit I will assess the progress towards the elimination of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and highlight remaining gaps and challenges, and provide recommendations to relevant stakeholders.
“I will also explore root causes of violence and discrimination, including the impact of the criminalization of same-sex relationships between consenting adults and social prejudice,” the expert said.

“I look forward to engaging with Government authorities, religious leaders, civil society representatives and others.”
Victor Madrigal-Borloz, mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, is visiting the country at the invitation of the Government. He will travel to Tunis, Sousse and Sfax to meet representatives of the executive, legislative and judicial branches, religious leaders, civil society organisations working on issues related to the human rights of LGBT people, and others.

A press conference will be held in Tunis on Friday 18 June 2021 at 11 a.m. at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Les Côtes de Carthage Gammarth, to share preliminary findings with the media. Access to the conference room will be limited to journalists.

The expert will present his findings and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2022.


Mr. Víctor Madrigal-Borloz (Costa Rica) assumed the role of UN Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity for a three-year period starting on 1 January 2018. Victor Madrigal-Borloz is a senior visiting researcher at the Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program. Until June 2019, he served as the Secretary-General of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT). A member of the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture from 2013 to 2016, Mr Madrigal-Borloz was Rapporteur on Reprisals and oversaw a draft policy on the torture and ill-treatment of LGBTI persons. Prior to this, he led technical work on numerous cases, reports and testimonies as Head of Litigation and Head of the Registry at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and has also worked at the Danish Institute for Human Rights (Copenhagen, Denmark) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (San José, Costa Rica).

The Independent Experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights country page: Tunis

For inquiries and media requests, please contact: In Tunisia (during the visit): Omar Fassatoui (+21698745081 - ofassatoui@ohchr.org); In Geneva (after the visit): Catherine de Preux De Baets (+41 22 917 93 27 - cdepreuxdebaets@ohchr.org)

Follow the IE SOGI during his visit on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter

Follow news related to the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts

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