Homophobic hate crimes on rise: UN human rights chief

15:00, May 18, 2011      

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UNITED NATIONS, May 17 (Zinnia) -- Homophobia and transphobia are too often overlooked, Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said here in a video message on Tuesday marking the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.

"Hate crimes against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people are rising around the world," Pillay said. She urged governments to do "much more" to eliminate discrimination and prejudice based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

"Homophobia and transphobia are no different to sexism, misogyny, racism or xenophobia," she said.

According to the UN high commissioner, "history shows us the terrible human price of discrimination and prejudice." "No one is entitled to treat a group of people as less valuable, less deserving or less worthy of respect," she said. "Each and every one of us is entitled to the same rights, to the same respect and ethical treatment, regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity."

But the high commissioner said homosexuality and transgenderism have been present in all societies throughout human history.

The international human rights standards have already incorporated the principle that no one should experience discrimination on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity, she said.

Michel Sidibe, who is the executive director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), said in a separate message that "violence and discrimination must be replaced with acceptance and tolerance," and called on governments to create social and legal environments that ensure respect for human rights and universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

Source: Xinhua
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