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United Nations in Viet Nam Statement on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

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Da Nang Embracing Diversity Essential for Realising Rights - On this international day against Homophobia and Transphobia, the United Nations (UN) congratulates the Government and people of Viet Nam for the great progress made in recent months towards eliminating stigma and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.


As the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon said yesterday “For generations, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in all regions have been subjected to terrible violence on account of their sexual orientation and gender identity.  They have been treated with contempt, derision and discrimination. They have been made to feel anything but free and equal.

For far too long, their suffering was met with silence in the halls of power.
As Secretary-General, I am committed to raising my voice.  Along with many committed partners, we are working to elevate this struggle and draw greater attention to the specific challenges facing the LGBT members of our human family.  I appreciate all those who support this effort and call on others to engage.”

Many people still face widespread bias in the workplace, in schools and colleges, and in health clinics and hospitals, simply because of their sexuality. Today, 78 out of 193 countries continue to criminalize same-sex sexual relations, with the death penalty applied in seven of those. In the context of HIV, stigma and discrimination continues to hamper HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.  The UN calls for the elimination of all forms of stigma and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Viet Nam, Pratibha Mehta said today, “The UN is very encouraged to see Viet Nam's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community engaging in stronger, more constructive dialogue with the Government, as well as the wider public. This is vital in order to be better understood, to reduce social prejudice and stigma based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and to contribute to development of relevant legislation to ensure the rights of the community are protected.”

As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.  The United Nations pledges to support Viet Nam’s efforts to ensure that all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity are removed so all Vietnamese people can enjoy their human rights. They should have equal access to the educational, social and healthcare services they need, as well as the opportunities to be able to fulfil their ambitions and aspirations.