UN works to prioritize LGBTI human rights with new appointment

United Nation’s Human Rights Council President Choi Kyonglim has announced the intended appointment of Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn of Bangkok University as the newly created UN Independent Expert on Protection Against Violence and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
“For years, civil society has been advocating for the United Nations to take more direct action to support efforts to protect the rights of LGBTI persons,” says Luis Abolafia Anguita, International Programs Director at Victory Institute. “This appointment is essential to institutionalize the UN commitment to equality, and the result of the hard work of many activists around the world. Representation matters.”
This appointment follows the Council’s June 2016 resolution to establish the position as a part of the expanding initiative to ensure the protection of the human rights of LGBTI people worldwide. Professor Muntarbhorn will be tasked with encouraging UN member states to adopt new LGBTI protective legislation, ensuring existing legislation is properly enforced, and raising awareness of violence and discrimination against LGBTI people worldwide.
Professor Muntarbhorn is a professor of law at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok Thailand. He has taught extensively on human rights migration and refugee law, child rights, international humanitarian law, and law of regional organizations. He has served on other UN watchdog commissions, reporting on human rights violations in Syria, The People’s Republic of Korea and Ivory Coast.  In 2006, he co-drafted the Yogyakarta Principles, which serve as a “legislative aid” to UN bodies for the protection of LGBTI people. The principles themselves have been rejected by the General Assembly, but continue to inform the enforcement of broader human rights worldwide.
Victory Institute welcomes and lauds the appointment of the accomplished Professor Muntarbhorn to this position, as well as the United Nations’ growing initiatives to ensure the protection of LGBTI people and their rights. We look forward to seeing him lead global efforts to address violence against trans individuals, and other LGBTI persons who may face death, imprisonment, or discrimination because of who they are.