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Daniel Pruce

British Ambassador to the Philippines and to Palau

Part of FCDO Human Rights UK in Spain

16th May 2014 Madrid, Spain

17 May is IDAHOT: the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

It’s an important day for the British Government. We are working hard to uphold the rights and freedoms of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities across the world. We believe that countries must work together to address all forms of discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and to promote respect for diversity.

This is an important part of our wider international human rights work. Our global network of diplomatic missions works to combat violence and discrimination against the LGBT communities. Foreign policy has to be based on values, such as respect and tolerance, otherwise it is meaningless.

So we work with international organisations, including the UN, the Council of Europe and the Commonwealth, to promote non-discrimination. We also try to address discriminatory laws, in particular those that criminalise homosexuality.

Above all, we are committed to ensuring that all members of the LGBT communities are free to live their lives in a safe and just environment. This works span the globe. Here are just two examples:

– In the Commonwealth we are working to help uphold values of human rights, rule of law, democracy and development. We seek to increase debate on these issues, including on sexual orientation or gender identity, within and among Commonwealth countries. As the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has said: “the UK would like to see the Commonwealth do more to promote the rights of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.”

– And in Europe, during our Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, we made an overall voluntary contribution of £100,000 (£50k pa) to the Council of Europe LGBT Project for the years 2012-2013. The project aimed to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life among the LGBT communities in Europe. It supported the governments in six partner member states as they developed forceful, cross-sectoral LGBT policies, strengthening human rights for LGB&T people, and supporting the fight against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Montenegro was one of the beneficiary partner member states, along with Albania, Latvia, Italy, Poland and Serbia. The project ended in December 2013.

IDAHOT marks an important moment in the calendar to highlight these issues, but the work on them goes on every day, week in, week out, around the world. I am proud that the British Government is at the centre of this international effort.

1 comment on “17 May is IDAHOT: the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

  1. Dear Daniel,
    it ´s great to read of how hard esp. the British Government is fighting against of all sorts of discriminations against this described LGBT community. `Though I ´ve never heard of IDAHOT (only some CSD `s) you ´re right by writing that (as much as possible ) states must work together to ensure a safe (most important to me ) way of living for LGBT- People. But pls. let me add that it would be sthg like an ideal case if other minorities could / would be involved and also get the benefit to be promoted in re. of non – discrimination. But it ´s surely to early to join and become all the necessary organizations and people “under one roof”. Most notable to me was to read the statement of FS William Hague. I ´m convienced that even in the EU not very much high ranking politicians do have the courage to speak in such clear words. Congratulations.

    Best wishes & a peaceful, relaxed weekend, liebste Grüßle on d oin nettes, sonniges Wochenendle, Ingo-Steven, Stuttgart

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