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UN rights expert to assess LGBT situation in Ukraine

26 April 2019


GENEVA (26 April 2019) – The UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, will visit Ukraine from 30 April to 10 May 2019.

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

“During my visit I will identify progress towards the elimination of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, 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 social prejudice and the rise of intolerance among extreme right wing groups,” the expert said.

“I would also like to learn more about the Human Rights Action Plan 2015-2020 and how its component related to sexual orientation and gender identity is implemented at the national level.”

Victor Madrigal-Borloz, mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, is visiting the country at the invitation of the Government. He will travel to Kyiv, Lviv and Kharkiv to meet government representatives, non-governmental organisations and others working on LGBT rights issues.

A press conference will be held in Kyiv on Friday,10 May at 1 p.m. local time at the press center of the Information agency “Ukrainski Novyny” at Esplanadna str. 20 (1st floor), to share preliminary findings with the media. The conference will be streamed live on You Tube and Facebook. Access to the building will be limited to journalists.

The expert will present his findings and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2020.


Mr. Victor 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. He serves as the Secretary-General of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), a global network of over 150 rehabilitation centres with the vision of full enjoyment of the right to rehabilitation for all victims of torture and ill treatment. 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.

For inquiries and media requests, please contact:

In Ukraine (during the visit): Iryna Yakovlieva (+38 050 386 80 69 [email protected])
In Geneva (after the visit): Catherine de Preux De Baets (+41 22 917 93 27 - [email protected])
For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+41 22 917 9383 / [email protected])

UN Human Rights country page: Ukraine