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April 9, 2014

How well do you know this Northern European country sandwiched between Germany, Sweden and Norway? Home to the world’s best restaurant and cycling paths, we discuss why Denmark is topping the travel charts

Vibrant Denmark has everything your heart could desire for a Scandinavian city break.

Gastronomy? Denmark has some of the region’s most mouth-watering eateries.

Adventure? From countryside horseback rides to city tours on bicycles, Denmark has coast to coast covered. And we didn’t even get started on the amusement parks.

2014 is definitely the year of Denmark. Copenhagen has been named the European Green Capital, and the green capital city will also be in the global spotlight as the host of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest from 6 to 10 May.

March 16, 2014

Hong Kong recognizes the first non-op trans woman, while Taiwan and India look set for important changes

It has been a week of changes for transgender individuals.

In Hong Kong, a 25-year-old pharmacology scholar from Colombia has become the first non-operative trans person to change the legal gender in the city.

With the help of the UN Refugee Agency, Eliana Rubashkyn secured a gender-free temporary permit from the HK Immigration Department and permission from a hospital to be admitted to the female ward, reports Apple Daily.

March 14, 2014

Nigeria’s Justice Minister and Attorney General has made the astounding claim that the so-called Jail All The Gays Bill was passed in order to protect accused homosexuals from people taking matters into their own hands

Nigerian Justice Minister and Attorney General Mohammed Adoke has claimed his country passed a bill making same-sex marriage a crime and further criminalizing homosexuality in order to protect gay people in responding to a request by UN human rights chief Navi Pillay for the law to be suspended.

‘The government had to step in with punitive measures so as to prevent citizens from taking laws into their hands,’ Adoke said, according to This Day Live.

March 7, 2014

Nigeria Global Day of Action will see 14 cities protest against draconian new gay laws

Protestors around the world are uniting today (7 March) against Nigeria’s new laws further criminalizing LGBTI people.

Signed in January, the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill was signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan, punishing homosexuals with 14 years jail.

February 28, 2014

Launched on the eve of Zero Discrimination Day, this video features transgender men and women who tell their stories to fight for equal human rights.

‘I’ve been rejected by my family and my society’.

21 transgender men and women in Asia and across the Pacific have spoken out about their lives, health and hopes in a new touching video launched by UNAIDS.

Produced by the Asia-Pacific Transgender Network (ATPN) in partnership with UNAIDS, the video features transgender men and women as they talk about the difficulties they faced throughout their lives and their hopes for transgender rights in the future.

February 7, 2014

Read the amazing speech from the ‘gay Olympic opening ceremony’ condemning Russian hate and the IOC

An alternative Olympic ceremony has seen a Rainbow Flame lit in Berlin to be tended day and night throughout the games, as a symbol of hope for LGBTI rights in Russia.

Here is an exclusive translation of the speech made by Alfonso Pantisano at the lighting ceremony:

Dear friends, welcome to Potsdamer Platz in Berlin.

February 6, 2014

Ban Ki-moon: 'We must all raise our voices against attacks ... We must oppose the arrests, imprisonments and discriminatory restrictions they face'

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon didn't mention Russia by name but seemed clear it was one of the country's he was referring to when he spoke out Thursday (6 February) against discriminatory laws and violence against LGBTI people.

On the eve of opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Ki-moon addressed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and his remarks indirectly addressed the impact of Russia's anti-gay propaganda law.

The law makes it a crime in Russia to show any kind of public support of homosexuality.

February 6, 2014

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has condemned Russia over its so-called ban on homosexual propaganda to minors – noting its concern about the effects the law might have on young LGBTI people

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has noted its concern about Russia’s ban on ‘homosexual propaganda to minors’ which potentially bans any public discussion of LGBTI issues.

The committee, part of the United Nations Human Rights office, made public its concerns yesterday, saying the law was ill-defined and had the potential to be used against vulnerable LGBTI young people.

February 5, 2014

Catholic Church rejects a recommendation by the United Nations it should change its core teaching on homosexuality

The Vatican is being told to finally remove all pedophile priests in its ranks by the United Nations, and to change the teaching on homosexuality.

A UN human rights committee, in a report revealed today (5 February), accuses the Vatican of adopting policies allowing priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children over decades.

They also criticized the Holy See for its attitudes toward homosexuality, contraception and abortion.

The committee has also called on it to use its moral authority to condemn homophobia.

February 4, 2014

Report adopted 'strongly condemns' homophobia and transphobia in the European Union

European Parliament has voted to ensure every country in the continent must guarantee equal rights for LGBTI people today (4 February). 

The directive, put forward by the European Commission, ‘strongly condemns’ homophobia and transphobia in the EU, and is intended to reduce discrimination in the grounds of belief, age, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Despite opposition from religious and other conservative groups, a clear majority approved the report. 394 politicians voted in favour, with 176 against.

February 3, 2014

In an effort to protect children from 'Western values', Moscow Helsinki Group says Vladimir Putin is not doing what is in best interest for children

Banning gay propaganda in Russia is harming children, a Russian human rights group has said.

Moscow Helsinki Group, the oldest Russian human rights organization, has released a report on the situation of children in the country.

The report shows how Russia is disregarding the United Nations who believes countries must always act in best interest of the child.

But with the sharp rise in homophobia and anti-gay attacks in recent years, the MHG believes the quality of life for teens is at threat.

January 17, 2014

Joaquim Chissano, the former President of Mozambique, has pleaded with African leaders to show more tolerance for sexual minorities and to respect their human rights in an open letter

Joaquim Chissano, president of Mozambique from 1986 to 2005, has pleaded for African leaders to be respectful of the human rights of sexual minorities and move away from discriminating against them.

January 17, 2014

Joaquim Chissano, the former President of Mozambique, has pleaded with African leaders to show more tolerance for sexual minorities and to respect their human rights in an open letter

Joaquim Chissano, president of Mozambique from 1986 to 2005, has pleaded for African leaders to be respectful of the human rights of sexual minorities and move away from discriminating against them.

January 15, 2014

Calls for review of constitutionality of law which 'may fuel prejudice and violence'

UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday (15 January) condemned Nigeria's new anti-gay law which have already resulted in numerous arrests and 11 allegedly gay men being put on trial in an Islamic court.

A spokesperson for Moon said the Secretary-General has 'deep concern' particularly about the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act in Nigeria which is 'in breach of fundamental human rights.'

January 15, 2014

Calls for review of constitutionality of law which 'may fuel prejudice and violence'

UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday (15 January) condemned Nigeria's new anti-gay law which have already resulted in numerous arrests and 11 allegedly gay men being put on trial in an Islamic court.

A spokesperson for Moon said the Secretary-General has 'deep concern' particularly about the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act in Nigeria which is 'in breach of fundamental human rights.'

January 11, 2014

Malaysia's Home Ministry has banned and accused the country’s leading human rights coalition of pursuing gay, lesbian and transgender rights which "run contrary to Islam"

In a move that has been denounced by human rights groups including Amnesty International, Malaysia's Home Ministry on Wednesday issued a statement declaring the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) illegal because the group and 39 of its 54 member-organisations are not registered with the government.

December 31, 2013

'If signed by the President, this new law would reinforce stigma and prejudice, and institutionalize discrimination'

The United Nations has told the Uganda president to not sign the Jail All The Gays bill.

If signed into law, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will punish gays with life imprisonment.

It also requires people in authority, including persons exercising religious or social authority, gay or straight, to report offences under the act within 24 hours or else face imprisonment for three years or a fine.

The human rights office of the United Nations has pleaded with President Yoweri Museveni to not sign the bill.

December 29, 2013

Anti-gay African leader Yahya Jammeh launches fresh attacks on homosexuality and warns Gambians not to expose children to ‘alien cultures’ in annual broadcast

Yahya Jammeh, president of the Gambia, used his annual Christmas message to renew his attacks against homosexuality calling it an ‘evil and strange social cancer’.

He encouraged Gambians to reflect on the ‘pristine values’ and teachings of Christianity at this time of year, having previously warned the UN General Assembly that gay people are a threat to human existence.

December 25, 2013

Volunteers in Lebanon are helping LGBTI Syrians who have fled war and possibly being murdered because of their sexuality

Gay Syrians, who have fled to Lebanon to escape fighting, torture and possible execution, urgently need help to survive.

New organization Proud Lebanon is trying to meet the demand – but with thousands of Syrian refugees still escaping the war, is not able to reach everyone.

Those it can help are given support in accessing vital services, therapy to deal with the trauma they have faced and tutoring to get a job and build a better future.

December 16, 2013

UNAIDS says it was a backwards step for the Indian Supreme Court to recriminalize homosexuality and has called on all countries with similar laws to repeal them to aid in the global fight to eradicate the disease

The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has expressed deep concern at the Supreme Court of India's re-criminalization of adult consensual same-sex activity, overturning a 2009 Delhi High Court decision.

‘The Delhi High Court decision in 2009 had restored dignity for millions of people in India, and was an example of the type of reform we need for supportive legal environments that are necessary for effective national AIDS responses,’ said UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé.

December 16, 2013

UNAIDS says it was a backwards step for the Indian Supreme Court to recriminalize homosexuality and has called on all countries with similar laws to repeal them to aid in the global fight to eradicate the disease

The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has expressed deep concern at the Supreme Court of India's re-criminalization of adult consensual same-sex activity, overturning a 2009 Delhi High Court decision.

‘The Delhi High Court decision in 2009 had restored dignity for millions of people in India, and was an example of the type of reform we need for supportive legal environments that are necessary for effective national AIDS responses,’ said UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé.

December 12, 2013

Parliament ministers in India are considering their options on how to overturn the Supreme Court ruling that a colonial era law banning gay sex is legal

India Supreme Court banning gay sex has violated international law, according to United Nations’ human rights chief.

Navi Pillay has made her comments as the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday to make the sex lives of 17.5% of the world’s gay population illegal.

The action affects an estimated 40 million people.

‘Criminalizing private, consensual same-sex sexual conduct violates the rights to privacy and to non-discrimination enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which India has ratified,’ Pillay said.

December 11, 2013

Gay sports stars spoke at the United Nations urging the International Olympic Committee and FIFA to wake up to homophobia

Gay sports stars Martina Navratilova and former basketball pro Jason Collins has urged the International Olympic Committee to wake up when it comes to gay rights.

The two out athletes were speaking against homophobia at a United Nations International Human Rights Day event.

Navratilova said while she does not support a boycott, she said the IOC and FIFA, the world soccer body, needs to wake up and get their heads out of the sand after awarding the Winter Olympics to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

November 27, 2013

‘Same Love’ rapper Macklemore and musical collaborator Ryan Lewis have been named LGBTI Equality Champions by the United Nations Human Rights Office as part of its Free & Equal human rights campaign

Hip hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have joined the United Nations Free & Equal campaign aimed at raising awareness about the need for equality for LGBTI people around the world.

As part of their role as Equality Champions they will use their social media to spread the campaign’s messages and materials about the need to protect the human rights of LGBTI people.