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UK: UN view on trans rights is 'much-needed common sense'

A chalk drawing of a trans flag on a pavement (lines of blue, pink and white on top of each other)
© CC

UN expert visited the United Kingdom to assess the state of LGBTI+ rights

The visit comes amid a marked deterioration of LGBTI+ rights in the country

Preliminary observations raise concern about ‘abusive and hateful speech against LGBT persons’ and a lack of progress in banning ‘conversion’ practices

‘We are witnessing the UK backsliding on LGBTI+ rights, where we used to be proud in our world leadership’ – Sacha Deshmukh

Amnesty International welcomes the preliminary assessment made by Victor Madrigal-Borloz, UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, and his calls on the UK government to protect the rights of trans people and pass legislation to end “conversion” practices.

Amnesty UK met with Madrigal-Borloz during his visit and expressed serious concerns with the UK government’s approach to gender recognition and trans rights in the country.

Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s Chief Executive, said:

“This is a much-needed injection of common sense from the United Nations into the UK’s approach to trans and LGBTI+ rights across the country.

“The rising rhetoric on trans rights in the UK and the real impact it is having on people’s lives and on our institutions is toxic and needs to be addressed.

“There are major concerns about the impact the Government’s approach is having on the standing and credibility of the Equality and Human Rights Commission as well as the functioning of devolution, with a gender recognition bill passed with cross-party support by the Scottish Parliament now blocked by the UK Government. Meanwhile, LGBTI+ people across the UK are still waiting for a promised but undelivered end to harmful ‘conversion’ practices.

“Anti-trans rights rhetoric is steadily becoming another wedge issue in the UK that is undermining the domestic and international human rights framework. We are witnessing the UK backsliding on LGBTI+ rights, where we used to be proud in our world leadership.”

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