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Statement of Iceland on the rights of LGBTI persons

Þorvarður Atli Þórsson delivered on Monday a speech in the Human Rights Council on behalf of Iceland on the rights of LGBTI persons.

Iceland Statement under Item 8

24 September 2018


Mr. President,

This year we celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Iceland firmly believes that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the declaration and reinforced in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. 

As a member of the Human Rights Council Iceland will continue to support the Human Rights of LGBTI individuals, both home and abroad, and in that context I would like to hail the recent decision by the Indian Supreme Court to decriminalise same-sex relations. 

This ruling is a welcome development. Too many states still hold laws on their books that criminalise consensual adult relationships and we want to take this opportunity to encourage them, as the High Commissioner did in her Oral Update, to look to India´s example in this respect.

Mr. President,

I am proud to be able to say that Iceland currently tops the index when it comes to LGBTI social acceptance, according to a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development from 2017. Recently, domestic funding for LGBTI issues has been doubled and an ambitious law on gender identity recognition is in the pipeline.

We continue to support the historic mandate of the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as the United Nations Free and Equal campaign. Both are important in their own right as we need to address both discrimination and violence but also work to increase the social acceptance in our societies. We have seen that change can happen fast when we come out together for the dignity and rights of all. 

I thank you


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