Homophobic Discrimination and Violence


Even though homosexuality is completely legal in most countries, those that identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bi, queer or are transgender still face serious discrimination and violence, both psychologically and physically.

The UN has shown its support of LGBTQ rights in joint statements in 2006 and 2011 and a declaration of support. But besides the campaign of the ONCH “free and equal” the supporters of those rights are on their own. Not even the UN News Centre has hits on the problem of homophobic and transphobic discrimination and violence. The reason: the issue is a very sensitive one, a question of tradition and religion. This shows in the voting results of the declaration: 99 members support the declaration, it is opposed by 54 members, and 44 countries abstained. But the UN, as the main body trying to enforce human rights all over the world, has the duty to fight these human rights violations and help those people gain rights.



Last year, there have been 72 remaining countries where homosexuality is illegal. The punishment is usually fines or imprisonment, which can be as long as 10 years. Five of these countries still have the death penalty. Most of the countries are Islamic or African (including South Africa), some Asian (excluding Japan and Taiwan) or former communistic states in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Russia, Poland, Albania, Bosnia etc.). The death penalty for homosexuality is still possible in Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen, partly in Nigeria and Somalia.


This legislation opens the doors for socially accepted discrimination and violence. In the case of homophobic violence, the victim gets punishment.


But even in countries where homosexuality is legal, homicide and gay and trans bashing is not uncommon, particularly severe in Brazil with more than 3000 cases between 1980 and 2009. In the EU and USA homophobic violence is classified as hate crimes, which entail harsher punishment. This form of legislation also expanses to verbal abuse. This is reasoned by hate crimes against LGBTQ people being often extremely brutal, in a lot of homicides the victim was tortured before being killed. In fact, violence against LGBTQ people is even more often extremely brutal than racial offenses.


Things to keep in mind while writing your resolution:

The UN’s main aim is the universal decriminalization of homosexuality.

Laws making homosexuality illegal in a lot of countries are a relic from the British colonial past.

Some people still believe that HIV/Aids is contagious and can be transmitted by air or contact. This results in people with HIV/Aids being abandoned or not properly treated. It is still wildly believed that all homosexuals are HIV positive. Jamaica is the country most affected by this particular issue.


Especially gay men face discrimination and violence, often by other men. Most experts believe that male chauvism is the reason for that. By being openly homophobic they try to distance themselves from homosexuals in order to not be identified as gay. All in all, homophobia often roots in machoism and is the result of insecurity about masculinity.


The Holy See claimed in 2008 that the declaration of support could be used to force countries into recognizing same-sex marriage. This is a fear other countries could have, too. (Poland for example).

Members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation claim that legalizing homosexuality would lead to socially normalize “many deplorable acts including paedophilia”.

LGBTQ students face serious challenges in many countries like bullying or violence on an everyday bases.

State officials, even the police, are part of the problem in many countries where violence and discrimination against LGBTQ people is socially accepted. A great example are attacks on pride parades, protected or not, and the police not interfering.


Research tip

In order to find something about homophobia in the country you represent (which can be quite difficult regarding some countries), just type “LGBT rights in (name of your country)” into the search bar. Wikipedia has an article about almost all countries on this issue.