Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz
24 October 2019
Statement by Iceland
I thank you Mr. Chair,
We align ourselves to the statement made by Sweden on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries.
As a member of the Human Rights Council Iceland this summer voted to extend the mandate of the Independent Expert and like many others, we were gratified to see the strong and increasing support for the mandate in that vote.
However, much work remains, which is reflected in the fact that same-sex relations remain illegal in close to 70 countries.
Iceland firmly believes that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, and we pride ourselves on valuing greatly both diversity and difference. Indeed, a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2017 showed that Iceland tops the list of social acceptance for LGBTI individuals.
Earlier this year, Althingi, the Icelandic Parliament, passed an ambitious law on gender autonomy – gender recognition.
There is still work to be done, however, to ensure full legal equality of rights. I would therefore like thank Mr. Madrigal Borloz for his visit to Iceland in September of this year, for the public lecture he gave in Reykjavík and for the meetings he took with important interlocutors. His visit has allowed us to deepen the discussion on an important topic.
To conclude, I would like to ask the Independent Expert how he feels Iceland, and others, can best support efforts to ensure decriminalization of same sex relations globally.
I thank you.