The United National Human Rights Council has released its thorough report on laws and practices that punish LGBT people or enable violence against them. Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, made several important recommendations for how all member states should work to end the persecution of people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, including calling for an end to all laws criminalizing homosexuality:
- Promptly investigate all reported killings and serious incidents of violence, hold perpetrators accountable, and establish systems for recording and reporting such incidents.
- Take measures to prevent torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, investigate all reported incidents of such treatment, and hold those responsible accountable.
- Update asylum laws to protect those fleeing persecution and ensure none are returned to territories where their life or freedom would be threatened.
- Repeal laws criminalizing homosexuality, make sure no other laws can be used to harass or detain people for their identities, and abolish the death penalty for consensual sexual relations.
- Enact comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation that includes protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Ensure freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly without anti-LGBT discrimination.
- Implement training programs for law and safety officials and support public information campaigns to counter homophobia and transphobia.
- Facilitate legal recognition of transgender individuals’ preferred gender on relevant documentation.
These recommendations echo Sec. Hillary Clinton’s comments at the United Nations last week, calling for a worldwide end to the mistreatment of LGBT people.