May 18, 2011
In a statement marking Tuesday's designation as International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called on governments to do more to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Navi Pillay said that while most other forms of prejudice "are universally condemned by governments, homophobia and transphobia are too often overlooked." Statistics show that homophobic crimes are on the rise in many parts of the world, Pillay said, and more than 70 countries continue to criminalize homosexuality. UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe also issued a statement, noting that discrimination against sexual minorities hinders effective responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.