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Georgia: UN expert to assess human rights of LGBT persons

Georgian version

GENEVA (21 September 2018) – The UN Independent Expert on the protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, will conduct an official visit to Georgia from 25 September to 5 October 2018.

“The visit provides an important opportunity to assess the implementation of existing national and international human rights standards to combat violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the country,” said Madrigal-Borloz.

The human rights expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council will travel to Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi to meet representatives of the executive, legislative and judicial branches, local authorities, religious leaders, the Public Defender’s Office, individuals and civil society organisations working on issues related to the human rights of LGBT people, and members of the international community.
“During my visit I will identify progress towards the elimination of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, highlight remaining gaps and challenges, and provide recommendations to relevant stakeholders,” the expert said.

“I will also explore factors impacting on the vulnerability and the risk of exclusion and marginalisation of LGBT persons, and explore the root causes of violence and discrimination, including the impact of social prejudice, and the link between hate speech and hate crime.

“I look forward to engaging with Government authorities in Georgia, religious leaders, civil society representatives and others.”

A media conference will be held in Tbilisi on Friday, 5 October at 11 am local time, at the UN House conference hall in Tbilisi, 9 Eristavi Street, Tbilisi 0179, Georgia, to share preliminary findings with the media. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

The expert will present his findings and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2019.


Mr. Victor Madrigal-Borloz (Costa Rica) assumed the role of UN Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity for a three years period starting on 1 January 2018. He serves as the Secretary-General of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), a global network of over 150 rehabilitation centres with the vision of full enjoyment of the right to rehabilitation for all victims of torture and ill treatment. A member of the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture from 2013 to 2016, Mr Madrigal-Borloz was Rapporteur on Reprisals and oversaw a draft policy on the torture and ill-treatment of LGBTI persons. Prior to this he led technical work on numerous cases, reports and testimonies as Head of Litigation and Head of the Registry at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and has also worked at the Danish Institute for Human Rights (Copenhagen, Denmark) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (San José, Costa Rica).

The Independent Experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

For inquiries and media requests, please contact:
In Georgia (during the visit): Catherine de Preux De Baets (+995 599 570 786 - cdepreuxdebaets@ohchr.org)
In Geneva (after the visit): Catherine de Preux De Baets (+41 22 917 93 27 - cdepreuxdebaets@ohchr.org)
For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact

Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

UN Human Rights country page: Georgia

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration translated into a world record 500 languages is rooted in the principle that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org.