Countries must protect LGBT citizens from violence or discrimination or they are breaking international law – the United Nations has warned.
A new video released by the UN Human Rights Office puts particular pressure on the 76 countries that still make consensual gay sex illegal.
And it highlights the many others where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are not protected from violent attacks and discriminatory treatment.
The video features Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay alongside a diverse range of individuals.
It represents a further ramping-up of pressure by the UN on homophobia and transphobia – a subject barely touched on a few years ago but now emerging as a human rights priority for the world’s most powerful international organization.
The transcript of the video reads:
‘What exists in every corner of the world, embraced and celebrated in some countries, but is illegal in 76?
‘What is hidden for fear of public shame, imprisonment, torture or in seven counties even, even the death penalty?
‘What tears families apart?
‘What makes people confront brutal violence on a daily basis?
‘What simple trait gets people treated as second-class citizens? Everybody.
‘What gets children kicked out of homes, students bullied and expelled from school. And workers fired from jobs without warning?
‘What has existed in every country throughout history that some people still consider abnormal?
‘All over the world millions of people face violence and discrimination for just being who they are.
‘Every nation is obligated by International Human Rights Law to protect all lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people from torture, discrimination and violence. [Navi Pillay]
‘The United Nations has one simple message to the millions of LGBT people around the world. [Ban Ki-moon]
‘You are not alone.
‘You are not alone. LGBT rights are human rights.
‘LGBT rights are human rights.
‘Together we will build a world; we will build a world, that is free and equal.’
Watch the video here: