Documents to download

On 15 April 2013, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon denounced all forms of violence against individuals based on sexual orientation or gender identity. He spoke of the need to speak out against human rights abuses inflicted against LGBTI citizens, and committed to a global campaign addressing the issue. The United Nations first published a resolution specifically focused on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity in 2011, and published a subsequent resolution re-emphasising their stance in 2014.

The United Nations, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association have recently published findings suggesting that:

  • At least 75 UN States criminalise LGBTI citizens in some form (with around six implementing the death penalty as a potential punishment for same-sex sexual activity); and
  • The UN and HRW regularly receives reports of killings, kidnappings, sexual assault and violence or other abusive behaviour committed against LGBTI citizens throughout all regions of the world.

This Library Note looks at the protections operated by the United Nations in respect of LGBTI citizens’ human rights, and highlights the organisation’s findings as to the global extent of violence and discrimination against LGBTI individuals. It also contains information from other organisations, such as the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, and—where appropriate—briefly highlights the LGBTI rights and protections in the United Kingdom.

Documents to download

Related posts

  • UK position on foreign affairs

    In 2021 the government published an integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy. It published a refreshed review in March 2023 to take account of developments in foreign affairs over the preceding two years. The government has since published a number of policy papers and strategies to complement the refreshed review. In addition, Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton was appointed as foreign secretary in November 2023.

    UK position on foreign affairs
  • Supporting Myanmar’s health system

    A military coup in Myanmar in February 2021 has led to widespread conflict and has had a severe impact on its health care system. Many health care workers have been involved in civil disobedience and protests against the coup, including boycotts. Organisations such as the WHO and Insecurity Insight have also reported on attacks on health care in the country. Since February 2021, the UK government has provided over £120mn in humanitarian and development assistance in Myanmar.

    Supporting Myanmar’s health system