PORT MORESBY, 17 MAY 2023 - The United Nations remains committed to working with its development partners in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to protecting and defending the human rights of all people.
An equal world depends on recognizing and respecting diverse identities and hence, the theme for the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) this year is “Together always: United in diversity.”
PNG has made considerable progress and endorsed the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It has also ratified six international Human Rights treaties since 2008 but is yet to establish a National Human Rights Commission.
However, PNG criminalizes lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans (LGBT) people under the Criminal Code 1974, Section 210 on Unnatural Offences. This legislation, based on Queensland Criminal Code from colonial times, only criminalizes sexual activity between males. The law is silent on female and cross gender activity.
It is now time for PNG to reform such outdated colonial period legislation to recognize human rights and equality for all, including LGBT people
All actors must embrace diversity and inclusion and better protect individuals from discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and diversity. This includes identifying and addressing the root causes of stigma, discrimination, and various forms of violence.
Discrimination experienced by LGBT and gender diverse people harms these individuals directly both physically and psychosocially. In addition, it leads to marginalization and negatively impacts their ability to fully realize all their human rights, including access to government services, health, family life, work, and others.
Root causes of discrimination against marginalized groups of people must be called out, putting human rights as an essential element of the 2030 Agenda and its promise to leave no one behind.
Promoting equality and human rights of all humans will continue to be at the heart of the United Nations’ work across countries.
The United Nations supports and upholds the fundamental human rights and dignity of all people.