High Representative Catherine Ashton on Behalf of the EU on Occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on 17 May 2013

ketrin 1On the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, I wish to reaffirm the EU’s commitment to equality and non–discrimination. In many countries, gender identity and sexual orientation continue to be used as the pretext for serious human rights violations. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people are still subject to persecution, discrimination and ill-treatment, and often extreme violence.

The EU campaigns tirelessly for the respect of human rights, irrespective of sexual orientation and gender identity. We raise the issue of LGBTI rights during our Human Rights dialogues, we speak out through public statements, and we work behind the scenes with our Delegations to argue the case for justice and human rights. Through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, the EU supports LGBTI human rights defenders across the world.

We welcome United Nations support for the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, in particular the ground-breaking June 2011 resolution 17/19 of the UN Human Rights Council. We encourage continued and strengthened efforts in this area.”

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