UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has released an official video calling on states to end anti-gay laws and practices.

In the video, the South African-born Pillay says: “In some 76 States, having a partner of the same sex is a criminal offense. People are being arrested, singled out for physical attack, being tortured, even killed – just for being in a loving relationship.”

She comments that when she raises the issue some complain that she’s pushing for “new rights” or “special rights” but she says that this is not the case.

“There is nothing new or special about the right to life and security of person, the right to freedom from discrimination. These and other rights are universal, enshrined in international law but denied to many of our fellow human beings simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Pillay adds: “We cannot let these abuses stand. We know what needs to be done. States must repeal discriminatory laws and ban discriminatory practices: punish violence and hatred, not love.”

Pillay, who began her four year term as high commissioner in September 2008, has previously condemned homophobia across the world and the scourge of ‘corrective rape’ and decried Uganda’s infamous Anti-homosexuality Bill.

She was the first woman of colour to serve on the High Court of South Africa and has also served as a judge of the International Criminal Court.

Watch the video below.

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  1. Wayne van Niekerk
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