Posted by: ajtzotzo | December 16, 2010

International Human Rights Day

By Anne Poulos

Just a quick note…

Last Friday, International Human Rights Day,  marked 62 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly. To mark the event the United Nations held a landmark high level panel discussion on ending violence and criminal sanctions on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The panel included UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Each of them called for a greater understanding of LGBT issues and for an end to discrimination and violence  on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition civil society speakers from a number of countries provided region specific narratives, illuminating the range of challenges currently facing  LGBT communities across the globe. A number of states also contributed, outlining their progress in promoting the human rights of LGBT individuals and groups.

For an introduction to these issues a webcast of the panel discussion is available here and makes for fascinating viewing. Otherwise a summary of the event is available here.

As the representative for the Netherlands noted, “The case is simple: human rights apply to all people in all places and at all times. And surely they apply to gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people too. No one can be excluded. Yet reality is harsh…” The discussion revealed this harsh reality but also provided an insight in to how LGBT human rights challenges are being addressed…

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