New UN expert launches open consultation on sexual orientation and gender identity
(GENEVA) – The new United Nations Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual
orientation and gender identity, Vitit Muntarbhorn, will convene a public consultation
to engage with States, regional human rights mechanisms, UN agencies, civil society activists and others to discuss his
work, set priorities and develop effective strategies for the years ahead.
The expert on sexual orientation and gender identity will also discuss specific topics such as: decriminalization,
destigmatization, legal recognition of gender identity, cultural inclusion with gender-and-sexual diversity, and
empathization (more information in the concept note).
The event will take place on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 January at the UN headquarters in Geneva: Palais des Nations,
The consultation is open to the public and to the media subject to a registration and accreditation process. Interviews with the Independent Expert can be arranged (see details below).
The consultation will be streamed live on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/UNOHCHR
and can be followed on social media: #UNSOGI.
for more information on the event.
Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn (Thailand), Professor Emeritus at the Faculty of Law, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand,
is the first UN Independent Expert on the protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
. He took up the mandate on 1 November 2016.
The Independent Experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures
of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system,
is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific
country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis;
they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or
organization and serve in their individual capacity.