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

  • Cyclists and the law

    Currently, cyclists who drive dangerously or carelessly can be prosecuted for various offences, including those contained in the Road Traffic Act 1988 (as amended). In 2024, the government said it was introducing a new offence of causing death by dangerous cycling. This briefing summarises the existing laws and proposals for creating new offences ahead of a forthcoming debate in the House of Lords.

    Cyclists and the law
  • Questions to the foreign secretary: 21 May 2024

    Members of the House of Lords will ask Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton a series of oral questions on 21 May 2024. Topics include the government’s assessment of Israel's compliance with an International Court of Justice order regarding Gaza; the number of vessels transporting Russian oil; the UK’s priorities for cooperation with South Africa after forthcoming elections; and what the UK is doing to address conflict-induced food insecurity.

    Questions to the foreign secretary: 21 May 2024
  • Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill: HL Bill 73 of 2023–24

    The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 13 May 2024. The bill seeks to fulfil the commitment made by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on 10 January 2023 to quash the convictions of those convicted as a result of the Horizon scandal. It would extend and apply to England and Wales, and Northern Ireland. Its provisions would come into force at royal assent. During committee stage the bill was extended to Northern Ireland. There have also been calls for it to be extended to Scotland. The bill has received cross-party support but is controversial as the quashing of convictions by Parliament is unprecedented. In addition, concerns about the scope of the bill have been raised. The bill would not include individuals whose convictions were previously upheld by the Court of Appeal.

    Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill: HL Bill 73 of 2023–24