International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
17 May 2021
Today the world marks the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
On this day, we, the UN in Ukraine recall that the principle to ‘leave no one behind’ lies at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and represents the unequivocal commitment of all UN Member States to end discrimination and exclusion of all groups, including LGBTI people and those who advocate for their rights. This commitment is especially relevant during the pandemic, as crises tend to exacerbate inequalities in society and COVID-19 response measures need to be sensitive to this and ensure that there is no discrimination against LGBTI people.
In recent years, Ukraine has shown progress in addressing violence and discrimination against LGBTI people by enhancing the security of peaceful assemblies. However, LGBTI people in Ukraine continue to be physically and verbally attacked and threatened in person and online by representatives of anti-gender equality movements and groups that promote violence. Unfortunately, these attacks mostly happen with impunity.
On this day, we recall that discrimination and violence against LGBTI people can never be justified. All human beings have a right to live in dignity, no matter what their sexual orientation or gender identity. There can be public debate and different opinions expressed, but discrimination and violence are not acceptable in a society committed to uphold human rights. As recommended by the Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, following his visit to Ukraine in 2019, the Government needs to advance on taking concrete measures to address discrimination and violence, including improving anti-discrimination legislation and ensuring that homophobic and transphobic hate crimes are effectively investigated, accurately categorized and prosecuted, and that those found guilty are punished with sentences commensurate with the gravity of the offence and victims are provided with effective remedy.
Protecting and promoting the rights of LGBTI people and those who advocate for their rights is crucial to ending discrimination against them. The UN will continue to support Government efforts to make Ukraine a more tolerant and inclusive society for all without discrimination.