June 2, 2015 – Reported by Newsweek – A new UN report published yesterday revealed that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are victims of “pervasive abuse, violence and discrimination” worldwide.
The UN report, requested by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, recognizes efforts to extend the rights of LGBT people since the UN’s last report was released in December 2011, but cites an alarmingly high number of reported abuses, both violent and nonviolent, still occurring against LGBT people worldwide.
Yesterday’s report, only the second official UN study to address LGBT issues, contains statistical evidence of the murders of LGBT people in numerous countries such as Brazil, where authorities documented 310 murders in 2012 in which homophobia or transphobia was a motive.
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It also emphasises the updated risk of terrorist organizations to LGBT people in Syria, citing a number of images released by the group in February 2015 of men suspected of homosexuality being thrown off high buildings by Isis militants. In Chile, the report says, there is evidence of serious violence against gay men, referencing one 2012 attack on one gay man who was beaten, burned and then killed by neo-Nazis.
The report calls for governments to “ensure that police and prison officers are trained to protect the safety of LGBT detainees” after the report found evidence of 16 transgender individuals in the US who experienced torture, ill-treatment and sexual assault whilst in detention in US immigration facilities.
The end of the report includes 20 recommendations for governments to consider in order to prevent the continuation of discrimination against LGBT people living in their countries.
Some of these recommendations include, “providing legal recognition to same-sex couples and their children,” and enacting hate crime laws to tackle crime committed against LGBT people on the basis of their sexual orientation/gender identity.
The report also calls for a widespread ban on “conversion therapies” designed to cure people from homosexuality.
The report recommends that all countries “legally recognise same-sex relationships” to prevent the “continuing, pervasive, violent abuse, harassment and discrimination” that still endures for LGBT people.
On the same day that the report was released, Mozambique became the 21st African country to decriminalize homosexuality. However, while the report confirms that progress has been made it reaffirms that homosexuality still remains criminalized in at least 76 countries worldwide.