UN-GLOBE marks the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia
Posted: Thursday, 17 May 2012, New York | Author: UN-Globe
Ahead of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia , marked annually on 17 May, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay released a video message in which she called on States to repeal discriminatory laws and "punish violence and hatred – not love". She also reminded us that we should all challenge homophobic attitudes.
While many have evolved recently on the issue of extending equal civil rights to everyone, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity, inequities persist. In more than 70 countries, homosexuality is criminalized and in many more same-sex unions are not recognized. This has practical implications for current and prospective lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff members, for example if they are asked to serve in duty stations located in one of these countries.
As the president of UN-GLOBE , a staff-run group that represents LGBT colleagues throughout the United Nations system, points out: "What are considered family duty stations are not family duty stations for everyone." She also notes that this should be kept in mind when planning the implementation of an across-the-board mobility policy that makes promotion contingent on staff members working at different duty stations during the course of their careers.
Since UN-GLOBE was established in 1996, staff members at all levels have contacted the group asking for help with navigating the Organization’s rules, regulations and practices affecting them.
The framework for affirming the rights of all United Nations staff members already exists, first and foremost in the core principle of respect for diversity. In addition, as Ms. Pillay has shown, there is clear support from the Organization’s high-ranking officials. And, in March this year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon once again reassured LGBT people around the world by telling them that " any attack on you is an attack on the universal values that the United Nations and I have sworn to defend and uphold ".
In connection with the Day, a
UN spokesperson said the Secretary-General “supports the simple message that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights conveyed in her video on this occasion: We are all human and we all deserve the same rights.”