Statement by António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), 17 May 2015
As we get ready to mark this year's International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, I appeal to all governments and societies to promote the values of tolerance and respect for diversity, and to build a world where no one has to be afraid because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Over 40 countries worldwide now recognize, as does my Office, that persecution of LGBTI people may constitute a valid ground for asylum under the 1951 Refugee Convention. It is my hope that more and more States will adopt this approach in the future. People fleeing homophobic and transphobic discrimination and violence often experience multiple persecution, at home and in countries of asylum, including from within their own families and communities. On this day, I call on States and societies to provide them with better protection, and to eliminate all such forms of violence and discrimination.