Today is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia. On this memorable day, we take a moment to honour and celebrate the relentless and courageous efforts of LGBTIQ+ human rights defenders. These individuals and organizations work tirelessly across the globe to eradicate discrimination and to ensure that everyone enjoys equality before the law.

Despite their tireless efforts, we are witnessing disturbing trends that threaten the progress made in the fight for LGBTIQ+ rights. In various parts of the world, new laws are being passed that not only reinforce archaic prejudices but also exploit existing fears within communities. These laws are designed to stoke hatred and division, setting back years of hard-fought progress.

The theme for this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, “No one left behind: equality, freedom, and justice for all,” serves as a powerful reminder of our collective responsibility. It calls upon us to respect the human rights and inherent dignity of every person, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. To make this vision a reality, concerted and sustained global action is imperative.

One of the most pressing issues that must be addressed is the criminalization of same-sex relationships. Such laws not only perpetuate injustice but also subject LGBTIQ+ individuals to violence, discrimination, and various forms of harm. We must also work to end all forms of violence, discriminatory practices, and harmful traditions that target LGBTIQ+ communities.

On this day, and every day moving forward, let us renew our commitment to building a world founded on respect, dignity, and universal human rights. By doing so, we can ensure that every person, regardless of their identity, can live free from fear and discrimination, and with the freedom to be who they are. It is our shared duty to create an inclusive world where everyone can thrive.