On June 6, 2017 Voice of America reported: A human rights expert is urgently appealing for an end to violence and discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. The expert has presented the first ever report to the U.N. Human Rights Council spelling out the magnitude of abuse and suffering experienced by LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people worldwide.
Controversy has followed Vitit Muntarbhorn since his appointment as the first ever independent expert on the rights of LGBT people. The Thai international law professor has come in for personal abuse and received threats from those who are opposed to the protection of gays and transgender people.
His first report to the U.N. Human Rights Council will not endear him to governments and others who shun people with a different sexual orientation. Muntarbhorn reports some 70 countries criminalize same sex relations, particularly between men. And, he says, about 40 countries criminalize same sex relations between women who have sex with women.Globally, Muntarbhorn says people perceived as having a different sexual orientation and/or gender identity from what is considered the “norm” are subject to horrific forms of violence, abuse and discrimination.
“Violations are pervasive in numerous settings. Killings, rape, mutilation, torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, lashings, abductions, arbitrary detention, harassment, physical and mental assaults, bullying from a young age, pressures leading to suicide,” said he.