Published: 17/05/2019

The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia was established in 2004 to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision on May 17, 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. The day represents an annual international landmark drawing attention to the violence and discrimination still experienced by the LGBTI people today.

To mark the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the IUF strongly welcomes both the statement of the ILO and the video produced by UN Free&Equal. Both represent our continued common demand for justice, protection and equality for all. Consistent with IUF policy we fully endorse the content of these publications.

Quite recently the need for constant vigilance and a permanent commitment to struggle for these rights has become once again tragically clear. A new law that came into effect on April 3, 2019 punishing homosexual sex and adultery with death by stoning in Brunei represents the scale of the ongoing task faced by all those who would seek world of justice, protection and equality for all.

At the time of the disturbing news of Brunei’s proposals the IUF strongly condemned the introduction of this legislation. In addition a number of concrete actions have been taken by the IUF.

A resolution was adopted by the IUF Executive Committee on April 4 and a letter was sent to the Head of Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in Switzerland calling on the Department of Foreign Affairs to formally protest the new law to the government of Brunei and demand its abrogation. A similar letter with the same request was sent to the Secretary-General of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). As an affiliate member of the UNWTO the IUF has also proposed that this matter be drawn to the attention of members of the UNWTO’s World Committee on Tourism Ethics to be discussed at its next meeting on May 29 and 30 in Madrid.

The IUF will continue to challenge the laws and policies that criminalize LGBTI workers and others on the grounds of who they are and who they love. We will continue our common fight to ensure that both in society and at the workplace all members of the LGBTI community are treated with respect and dignity.