United Nation's ‘Free and Equal’ Campaign: Protecting the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People

Apr 30, 2014

Statement of Lise Grande, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative on ‘Free and Equal’ Campaign

The aim of the United Nations free and equal campaign is to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination and to mobilize people everywhere to stop the violence and stop the discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. LGBT people, like everyone else in the world are entitled to live their lives free from fear, violence, discrimination, persecution and inequality.

The United Nations salutes the progress being made in India to protect the rights of the LGBT community. Important steps are being taken. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that transgender persons have the right to a separate gender identity. The Supreme Court has also agreed to hear a curative petition on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

The United Nations is proud that in India we’ve been supporting partners in the campaign for LGBT rights through access to justice, and HIV law reform. We’re also proud that we’ve supported the transgender community for the past five years, convening stakeholder consultations, generating greater awareness in the legal community and strengthening community institutions.

We congratulate the organizers of the ‘Free and Equal’ campaign for this hugely important event in Mumbai which is an opportunity for us to stand together and reaffirm our commitment that human rights are for ALL people.