UN Human Rights Office Celebrates First Year of Global Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality with New Video
Sep 20, 2014 at 02:31 PM
Free & Equal, the United Nations Human Rights Office’s global public education campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, releases “UN Free & Equal: One Billion Rising” a video highlighting the campaign’s impact to date.
“In the past year, more than a billion people around the world have been exposed to Free & Equal’s message of equality and acceptance. Millions of them have watched and shared campaign videos and read and posted materials online,” said Charles Radcliffe, Chief of Global Issues at the UN Human Rights Office. “At a time when the rights of LGBT people being challenged in some countries, the campaign has helped to raise awareness of the stigma, discrimination and violence that continues to affect LGBT communities in all parts of the world.”
The ongoing campaign was launched in July 2013 at a press conference held in Cape Town, South Africa, and featuring then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Justice Edwin Cameron of the South African Constitutional Court. Since then, the campaign has released more than 50 pieces of original content, including dozens of electronic postcards and fact sheets in all UN languages, and two dozen original videos -- two of which are the most viewed UN human rights videos to date, and among the top most viewed videos ever produced by the United Nations.
The campaign’s message has reached more than one billion people around the world, and country-level campaigns have been launched in Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Paraguay and Peru, with more national launches scheduled for the coming year.
The Free & Equal campaign aims to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination, and encourage greater respect for the rights of LGBT and intersex people. The campaign, which had its global launch in South Africa in July 2013, is led by the UN Human Rights Office and has strong backing from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The campaign also benefits from the support of a several celebrity UN Equality Champions – including South African singer and “Princess of Africa” Yvonne Chaka Chaka, American hip hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin, Bollywood actress Celina Jaitly, Brazilian singer Daniela Mercury, and members of the U.S. band fun.
In December 2011, the UN Human Rights Office published the first official UN report on violence and discrimination against LGBT persons. The report documented widespread human rights abuses. More than 77 countries still criminalize consensual, same-sex relationships, while in many more discrimination against LGBT people is widespread – including in the workplace and in the education and health sectors. Hate-motivated violence, including physical assault, sexual violence, and targeted killings, has been recorded in all regions.