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Intervention by Estonia at the UN Human Rights Council 35th Session under Item 3

06.06.2017

UN Human Rights Council 35th Session

 

 

Intervention by ESTONIA

 

 

Item 3 – Clustered ID with IE on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

 

Geneva, 6 June 2017

 

Mr. President

Estonia fully aligns itself with the statement (to be) made by the European Union. We appreciate the possibility to interact with you, Mr. Muntarbhorn, the first Independent Expert, on the protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, a mandate that is a reminder of the fact, that the existing human rights law includes the duty to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons also regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Estonia remains concerned about the discrimination, stigmatization and violence against LGBTI persons because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, and the prevailing impunity for those acts. Recent concern to us have been the allegation about the discrimination, arbitrary detention, torture and killings of members of the LGBTI community in Chechnya. To raise awareness of the LGBTI community human rights and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, Estonia will be hosting this year in July the Baltic Pride event.

In Estonia, the prohibition of any kind of discrimination on any grounds, also on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, starts at the Constitutional level and is further elaborated in several laws. Legal framework on its own is however not enough to build mutual respect, tolerance and understanding. We therefore welcome your report that shows your clear vision of the complementary steps that need to be taken in order to fight against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Thus, we call upon all States to fully cooperate with the Independent Expert, including providing all information requested and responding favourably to request for country visits, allowing the mandate holder to fulfil his mandate.

Mr. Muntarbhorn, in your report, you assess that the issue of online hate speech relating to sexual orientation and gender identity has today an exponential reach that spills over also into the future – what solutions do you see for this?

We wish the Independent Expert success in fulfilling his mandate.

Thank you.

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