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LGBTI: Italy and 53 other Member States highlight impact of COVID-19

NEW YORK, MAY 18 – As member of the United Nations LGBTI Core Group, Italy co-signed with other 53 member states a Statement on the International Day Against Omophobia highlighting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on those facing multiple intersecting forms of discrimination, including LGBTI persons.

“The ongoing public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges that affect the global community as a whole but additionally have a particular and unique effect on those who face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, including LGBTI persons. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a human security crisis that is widespread in scope and impact, with survival, health, safety, economic security and human rights being endangered as a result. In order to truly address the impacts and consequences of the pandemic, the needs of those most vulnerable and most affected must be addressed”, said the Statement.

Even prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic, LGBTI persons have often faced violence and discrimination that impede their full enjoyment of Human Rights. Many are already left behind, as consensual adult same sex activities are still criminalized in a third of the countries in the world, trans and gender non-conforming persons are pathologized in many countries, and acts of hatred directed toward LGBTI persons are generally not prosecuted. To that extent, the Member States recall that only 30 years ago, the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its International Classification of Diseases.  “While LGBTI persons share common experiences of marginalization based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics, many also face intersecting forms of discrimination based on gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion or believe, ability, socioeconomic status, migration status, and other factors that drive exclusion. This has been made even clearer during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Furthermore, certain LGBTI populations are suffering from health conditions that exacerbate the morbidity and mortality rate of COVID-19. These underlying conditions can be worsened by social and psychological factors, including, but not limited to, high rates of homelessness, substance use and the psychological and physiological effects of social stigma on LGBTI individuals. High percentages of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts place LGBTI individuals at a particular disadvantage in the wake of COVID-19, as many are forced into lockdown with unsupportive family members, are denied access to safe spaces, and can be exposed to domestic violence.

Restrictions on the freedom of movement may impede access to medical treatment and care. This affects individuals on chronic medication, as well as transgender and intersex individuals who may have specific health requirements. Equal access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment must be ensured, stressed the Member States. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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