STATEMENT ON THE U.N. INDEPENDENT EXPERT ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY
October 24th, 2017 - 2:10pm
Randall Garrison, Member of Parliament for Esquimalt - Saanich - Sooke and the NDP Critic for LGBT Issues rose in the House of Commons calling on the Government of Canada to work with the United Nations to fill the vacant position of the Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
Mr. Speaker, in 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council created the position of UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Unfortunately, distinguised international law professor Vitit Muntarbhorn completed only one year of his three-year mandate before having to step down for reasons of health, and yet his reports demonstrate the critical importance of this work. Not only did he investigate and document far too many incidents of arrest, torture, and killings, but he also began to lay out a plan for international efforts to eradicate this kind of violence and discrimination. Given the current epidemic of anti-LGBTQ arrests and violence, which has spread form Chechnya to Azerbaijan, and now to Tajikistan, it is crucial that this work continue.
While I salute the Canadian NGO Rainbow Railroad for helping individuals under threat find a safe haven and I acknowledge the quite co-operation of our Canadian government in those efforts, today I am asking for more than rescue missions. I am calling on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to make sure that the position of UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity is filled without delay so that the international community can act to end this violence and discrimination.