18 Mar 2017
The appointment of renowned human rights expert Vitit Muntarbhorn as the UN's first independent expert to investigate violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has won widespread approval around the world.
Mr. Vitit, an international law professor at Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University, has served on several UN bodies, including as a commissioner on inquiries on Syria and as a special rapporteur on North Korea and child prostitution and pornography. He was also awarded the UNESCO Human Rights Education Prize in 2004.
In an interview with the Bangkok Post, Mr. Vitit said he looks forward to bridge-building with stakeholders and communities globally to counter violence and prejudice so that people will be respected and protected in the spirit of human rights and sexual diversity, and under the umbrella of international law.
Human Rights Campaign Global said that Mr. Vitit's appointment was "a huge step forward for LGBTI human rights worldwide" while Human Rights Watch said the appointment "made history".