Press Release

The UN in Viet Nam promotes the health, dignity and rights of LGBTI persons this International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia And Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) 2022

17 May 2022

Ha Noi (Viet Nam), 17 May 2022 – The United Nations (UN) in Viet Nam joins all people and organisations around the world who are commemorating this International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) on 17th May. This year, with the theme “Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights”, we highlight the importance of protecting the health, dignity and rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons to live freely according to their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Discrimination and phobias against LGBTI persons continue to persist across the world. LGBTI persons experience health disparities, are denied economic and social opportunities, and lack access to decision-making processes. They face obstacles in living freely according to their sexual orientation and gender identity, including stigma, physical violence and dangerous pseudo treatments or purported ‘therapies’ that can have lasting and devastating impacts on their mental and physical health and wellbeing.

It is now well-established that gender incongruence is not a pathological condition. On this day thirty-two years ago, the World Health Assembly removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders when it approved the tenth version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). More recently, in 2019, the ICD-11 has reflected that trans-related and gender diverse identities are not conditions of mental and behavioural disorders, and that classifying them as such can perpetuate stigma. Therefore, any efforts aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, such as ‘conversion therapies’, have no medical justification and are a severe threat to the health and rights of affected persons.

Today, we recommit our efforts to ensure LGBTI persons’ right to self-determination and access to equitable and quality healthcare, including sexual and gender-affirming healthcare that supports all individuals’ sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition, we stand in solidarity with the LGBTI community in Viet Nam, and express support for local community-based organisations working to change social norms and strengthen institutional frameworks to promote more inclusive communities that respect and promote LGBTI persons’ rights, including access to services, quality education and employment.

In Viet Nam, there has been commitment in the past years to strengthen the rights of LGBTI persons. It is therefore critical to now move from commitment to action, including the adoption of the Gender Affirmation Law, further strengthening of the Marriage and Family Law, and the amendment of Gender Equality Law. These actions should be in line with international human rights standards and treaties that Viet Nam has ratified, including the ICCPR, ICESCR and CEDAW, and developed in close consultation with the LGBTI community. Meaningful collaboration and collective action by the Government, civil society, private sector and development partners are key to putting an end to the discrimination, violence and stigma against LGBTI persons.

With the central principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to leave no one behind, the UN is committed to supporting Viet Nam to build an inclusive society where every person is truly safe, free and equal. The UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for the period 2022-2026 will see continued partnerships to support Viet Nam in these efforts. Together, we can promote and protect the health, dignity and rights of all LGBTI persons.

The UN in Viet Nam promotes the health, dignity and rights of LGBTI persons this International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia And Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) 2022

UN entities involved in this initiative

International Fund for Agricultural Development
International Labour Organization
International Organization for Migration
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
United Nations
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Children’s Fund
World Health Organization

Goals we are supporting through this initiative