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17 May 2022: International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

To mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) which, this year, is dedicated to the theme “Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights”, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation firmly reaffirms that human rights are inviolable individual rights that must be assured to all, with no distinction or discrimination, including for sexual orientation and gender identity. To make this commitment all the more tangible, on the recommendation of Minister Di Maio, last November the Secretary General of the Farnesina, Ambassador Sequi, created the role of “Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTIQ+ People in the World”, assigning the position to the President of the Inter-ministerial Committee for Human Rights, Minister Plenipotentiary Fabrizio Petri. The actions of the Special Envoy especially focus on promoting the decriminalization of homosexuality in the world.

For the first time this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation displays a rainbow-colored Freedom Flag on the façade of the Farnesina to symbolically testify to Italy’s worldwide commitment to protect the rights of LGBTIQ+ people. A group photo in support of LGBTIQ + people, published on social media, was also taken in our Embassy in Pristina.

There are still numerous States in which LGBTIQ+ people continue to be subjected to discrimination, marginalization, abuse, and violence and suffer a systematic violation of the fundamental rights. In many cases, even same-sex relationships between consenting adults are considered to be a crime, also punishable with the death penalty.

Italy promotes the human rights and fundamental freedoms of LGBTIQ+ people in all competent European and international fora and in bilateral relations with other Countries, acting to remove the barriers that prevent them from fully enjoying their civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. Combating all forms of discrimination, including those based on sexual orientation and gender identity, was a priority of our recent mandate in the United Nations Human Rights Council (2019-2021) and is also the focus of the current Semester of the Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. We support the mandate of the United Nations Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) and have joined the relative “Group of Friendly Countries”. Together with our EU partners, we have also contributed to the adoption of the 2020-2024 EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy which specifically includes the commitment of European Institutions and of Member States to prevent and combat all forms of discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people as well as the EU LGBTIQ+ Equality Strategy (2020-2025).

Italy is also a member of the Equal Rights Coalition, the leading international coalition promoting the rights of LGBTIQ+ people.