Our Quest for Equality and Dignity For All

May 16, 2021

Copyright: Ricci Shryock, 2021

The rights of everyone are enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. As we strive for inclusive and diverse societies, we are bound to leave no one behind and pay careful attention to those that struggle the most.

As COVID-19 hit, the world has seen a rise in discrimination, violence, social and economic exclusion, stigma, and obstacles in accessing health care, education, employment, and basic services for many around the world.  

Some communities experience these impacts even stronger due to marginalization and discrimination as a result of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and variations of sex characteristics. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender diverse (LGBTIQ+) communities often need to tackle additional barriers in accessing basic services or benefiting from socioeconomic opportunities. 

The Charter of the United Nations (1945) encourages "respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction” (Chapter I, Article 1, 3). Similarly, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1945) states in Article 2: "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind." 

With the aim of respecting and promoting these founding documents signed by all Member States of the United Nations, the UNDP in Guinea-Bissau works hand in hand with the Bissau-Guinean State and non-State actors and institutions to improve the protection system of Human Rights, monitor possible violations and raise awareness on human rights and justice for all. This includes addressing inequality and leaving no one behind by ensuring equal rights for everyone, in line with the principles of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.   

On the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, observed today on 17 May, the UNDP in Guinea-Bissau reaffirms its commitment to accompany State and non-State actors and institutions to improve the Human Rights protection system and to ensure that all citizens are able to live without fear of discrimination.

As we work to recover better from the pandemic, the UNDP in Guinea-Bissau intends to take further concrete steps with its national counterparts against discrimination and alienation of vulnerable communities.  

As the UNDP Administrator underlined in his statement today: “On the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), UNDP stands with LGBTIQ+ people and partners to resist injustice, support community engagement, and help transform healing into empowerment”.

The UNDP in Guinea-Bissau will continue to work with courageous human rights defenders, activists, civil society organizations, other UN Agencies, and government partners to raise awareness about the issues affecting vulnerable and marginalized citizens, including the LGBTIQ+ community, while promoting equality, dignity, and inclusive development seeking to leave no one behind.