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LGBT persons must be included in UN peace and security agenda: UN expert

31 October 2022

NEW YORK (31 October 2022) – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender-diverse (LGBT) persons are facing differentiated and disproportionate impact in armed conflict situations, a UN human rights expert told the General Assembly.

“Sexual orientation and gender identity are relevant factors at the origin of conflict-related violence and discrimination in the case of LGBT persons,” said Victor Madrigal-Borloz, Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. “This conclusion must motivate the inclusion of these categories in the formulation, execution and evaluation of the United Nations peace and security agenda.”

In the presentation of his latest report, Madrigal-Borloz highlighted that discriminatory and violent dynamics on gender and sexuality were always exacerbated in armed conflicts. His report underlined the structural nature of conflict-related violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity – that “some acts are connected to larger discriminatory patterns as a result of criminalisation and/or exclusionary social norms”.

“The absence of reference to sexual orientation and gender identity in the global peace and security frameworks, including the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, leads to an absence of broader analysis, monitoring, inclusion and understanding that will make the connected efforts incomplete and leave the situation of LGBT persons during conflict unaddressed,” the expert said.

The report analyses the obligations of States and non-State actors under international humanitarian law, international human rights law, international criminal law and refugee law – as well as the Women and Peace and Security agenda. It also identifies and catalogues forms of violence to which LGBT persons are subjected during armed conflict and recommends measures to ensure their effective participation in transitional and peacebuilding processes.

“This body of research aims to provide States, the UN and non-State actors with advice about measures that, in public policy, legislation and access to justice, may be adopted to eradicate the acts of conflict-related violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity documented in evidence.”


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.

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: Manon Beury (+41 22 917 1185 / [email protected]) or [email protected].

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact Renato Rosario De Souza ([email protected]) or Dharisha Indraguptha ([email protected])

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

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