This open letter, from the United Nations Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, highlights the myriad challenges that the LGBT community face as a result of COVID-19. The letter acknowledges that the marginalisation faced by the LGBT community prior to the emergence of COVID-19 places them at greater risk than the general population and exacerbates their vulnerabilities.
The increased prevalence of HIV/AIDS, homelessness, discrimination within the health sector and engagement in sex work and other informal work within the LGBT community are outlined as issues of primary concern as they place the community at greater risk of contagion. Lack of safe and supportive environments during isolation and economic insecurity are further highlighted as specific challenges faced by the LGBT community during the pandemic.
The letter declares the urgent need to address these challenges and emphasises the resilience of the LGBT community. The letter requests input from the community so that the mandate of the Independent Expert can better understand and effectively respond to the particular needs of the LGBT community at this time.