Sarah Champion reacts to UN vote on upholding role of LGBT expert
Reacting to the news that the UN has voted to uphold the position of its first independent LGBT expert, Vitat Muntarbhorn, Sarah Champion, Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, said:
I'm immensely relieved that the damaging motion to suspend the UN's first independent LGBT expert has fallen.
The role of the independent expert is important in protecting the rights of some of the most vulnerable people worldwide and I am glad that Vitat Muntarbhorn will be able to carry on his work.
At least 76 countries retain laws used to criminalise and harass people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. This includes fines, torture, hard labour, forced conversion therapy, life-long prison sentences, and the death penalty.
We must unite behind the independent expert's work to ensure that these barbaric practices against LGBT people are stamped out worldwide once and for all.
Notes to editors:
- The UN voted on a motion brought by the African Group to suspend its first independent expert today. UN member states voted 84 to 77 to uphold the appointment of the expert, Vitat Muntarbhorn
- UN Human Rights Council Report: Discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Discrimination/LGBT/A_HRC_29_23_One_pager_en.pdf
- Sarah Champion wrote to the Foreign Secretary last week outlining her concerns. The full letter can be read on: https://www.facebook.com/sarahforrotherham/posts/1820187808259022
- For a full copy of the urgent question speech Sarah Champion made to the Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on the role of the UN expert, or for more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org