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From Press Release
The United Nations Human Rights Council announced the creation of the first-ever UN position dedicated to combating violence and discrimination against LGBTQ people worldwide today. The effort to establish the independent expert post was led by the council’s Latin American member countries, and supported by more than 620 non-governmental organizations from 151 countries around the world.
“The decision to establish an Independent Expert for LGBTQ rights is a significant milestone in the global effort for LGBTQ equality,” said Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global. “This new UN role will reinforce and institutionalize a commitment to combating discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity wherever it occurs. All LGBTQ people, regardless of where they live, will soon have a dedicated watchdog at the United Nations looking out for their rights, interests, and lives.”
A plurality of countries on the 47-member UN Human Rights Council voted in favor of the resolution creating the new office, with support from diverse regions of the world. Independent experts have been referred to as the “crown jewel” of the UN’s human rights’ system. This dedicated expert will assess the state of LGBTQ human rights, liaise with LGBTQ advocates and allies around the world, and engage with governments and civil society to make recommendations for combating violence and discrimination against LGBTQ people. In addition, they will be a bridge between the UN Human Rights Council and the organization’s General Assembly, and be empowered to issue private communications to governments, including in emergency situations.
“HRC commends the governments and LGBTQ activities and allies from around the world that came together to create this potentially life-saving position,” Cobb continued.