LGBTI people facing heightened stigma during pandemic: UN

Updated: May 18, 2020, 08:04 IST | Agencies | United Nations

'Together, let us stand united against discrimination and for the right of all to live free and equal in dignity and rights.'

UN chief warns of the increasing vulnerability of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, on the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, observed.
UN chief warns of the increasing vulnerability of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, on the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, observed.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned of the increasing vulnerability of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people during the COVID-19 pandemic on the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

The UN chief said in a message marking Sunday's commemoration that the day comes at a time of great challenge when the world needs to protect the LGBTI community. Guterres said many LGBTI people who already face bias, attacks and murder "simply for who they are or whom they love...are experiencing heightened stigma as a result of the virus, as well as new obstacles when seeking health care."

He said: "There are also reports of COVID-19 directives being misused by police to target LGBTI individuals and organisations." "As the pandemic unfolds, the United Nations will continue to highlight these and other injustices, as well as the need for everyone to be protected and included in the response to the crisis," the secretary-general said.

"Together, let us stand united against discrimination and for the right of all to live free and equal in dignity and rights." The International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia is observed on May 17 to commemorate the UN World Health Organization's decision to remove homosexuality from the international list of diseases on that date in 1990. The founders urge countries around to world to take actions to raise awareness of LGBT rights and violations.

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