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Statement by the Nordic-Baltic countries. Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI)

18.06.2018 

Clustered ID with the IE on violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI) and SR on peaceful assembly and association.

Mr. President,

I have the honour to deliver this intervention on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries [Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Denmark].

We welcome the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Mr. Madrigal-Borloz, and reiterate our strongest support to your mandate and work.

We thank the Independent Expert for the recent report and the presentation here today. It is a sad fact that violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity exist in all regions of the world. From social exclusion and harassment to torture and even arbitrary killings. The Nordic-Baltic countries remain deeply concerned that individuals cannot freely exercise the right to be who they are and love whom they want without facing discrimination or violence on the basis thereof.

Deeply entrenched stigma and prejudice against LGBTI persons, and the continued criminalization of same-sex activity in many jurisdictions, make the very mandate of the Independent Expert even more imperative. We must ensure dialogue and cooperation on the promotion and protection of the full enjoyment of human rights for all individuals - without exception and regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Everyone has the right to a live free from violence and discrimination. In all countries and regions. At all times. That is the very essence of human rights.

We applaud the report for presenting multiple ways to eradicate violence and discrimination.

Mr. Madrigal-Borloz,

Moving forward, how can the UN support States in their efforts to protect people against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity?

Thank you.