A new UN Independent Expert on protaction against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). Vitit Muntabhorn, a Professor Emeritus of Law at Chulalongkorn Univeersity in Bangkok, was appointed recently to this position.
Within the mandate, five priorities have been identified: decriminalization (abolishing of existing homophobic laws, adoption of moratoria); destigmatization (prevention of stereotypes and prejudices, stop violent practices, including medical ones, on “conversion” of people into “correct” sexual orientation); cultural inclusion with gender-and-sexual diversity; emphathization (education since childhood of tolerant and friendly attitutde to people with different sexual orientation and gender identity).
Representative of ADC Memorial focused on legislative aspect of protection of LGBTI, giving examples of expanding homophobic laws to new territories (Crimea annexed by Russia and eastern parts of Ukraine affected by military conflict that are beyond Ukraine’s control; model laws proposed for CIS countries). Another challenge is shrinking space for civiil society as a whole as a result of state persecution in the framework of “NGOs – foreign agents” law.