The UN orders countries to protect LGBT+ rights despite pandemic

The United Nations instructs countries not to use COVID-19 as an excuse to avoid or circumvent LGBT+ rights issues. Countries must also be aware that LGBT people can be particularly vulnerable in this pandemic and officials are expected not to discriminate against this group. These instructions came from Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Twitter Icon Facebook Icon Share this

According to Gay Star News, Bachelet referred to Hungary, where the state of emergency would be abused to prevent transgender people from legally altering their gender in official documents. Bachelet also warns against “an increase in homophobic and transphobic rhetoric”. She says: ‘’LGBTI people have previously been blamed for disasters, both manmade and natural, and there are scattered reports of this happening in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.’’ Several religious leaders have made statements in which they blame LGBT people for the current pandemic.

She further emphasizes that domestic violence is increasing, especially against LGBT youth: ‘’Due to stay-at-home restrictions, many LGBTI youth are confined in hostile environments with unsupportive family members or co-habitants. This can increase their exposure to violence, as well as their anxiety and depression.’’

The message for all countries on behalf of the UN is clear: ‘’Given overloaded health systems, treatment of LGBTI people may be interrupted or deprioritized, including HIV treatment and testing, hormonal treatment and gender affirming treatments for trans people. Decisions about scaling back services should be medically-based and data-driven and should not reflect bias against LGBTI people.’’

Twitter Icon Facebook Icon Share this

Recommended articles