Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

The Impact of COVID-19 on LGBTI People: special event to recognize the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia, and Transphobia

12/05/2020 - 16:43
Online activities

United Nations LGBTI Core Group Special Event to mark IDAHOBIT Day

2020 IDAHOT event

Recognizing the issues facing the furthest left behind: The Impact of COVID-19 on LGBTI People

 special event to mark

the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia, and Transphobia

11 am – 12 pm

Monday, 18 May 2020

Virtual Online Event


On the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia, and Transphobia, the United Nations LGBTI Core Group wants to shed light to the current realities and the 2020 topic, “Breaking the Silence”. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the overwhelming evidence of the gendered impact of the pandemic, the UN LGBTI Core Group organises a virtual event on the specific effects of COVID-19 on LGBTI individuals and communities.



The COVID-19 crisis has created an unprecedented set of challenges that is undeniably affecting all individuals around the globe. However, it must be acknowledged that the communities and individuals that were already marginalized, face greater challenges due to situations involving economic hardship, underlying health concerns, ageing, multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and violence among others.

Before the COVID-19 crisis the challenges the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community faced have been highlighted by civil society and Member States. These challenges, originating from one’s real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and/or sex characteristics, include killings, violent attacks, torture, arbitrary detention, forced marriage, denial of rights to assembly and expression, medical violence, and discrimination in accessing health care, education, employment, and housing. The needs highlighted by the COVID-19 crisis, the measures put into place to curb the spread of the virus, and unfortunately the continued discriminatory rhetoric around the globe have highlighted the way in which these ongoing challenges have been exasperated. Already existing inequalities are painfully highlighted.

The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia, and Transphobia was originally established to raise awareness of the human rights violations LGBTI communities continue to face everywhere around the globe. It is an evolving name and acronym, having started as IDAHO, becoming IDAHOT to include transphobia in 2009, including biphobia in 2015 and adding the I for interphobia in 2019. This day is marked by civil society in more than 130 countries, including some where same-sex acts are illegal, and it is officially recognized by several States that observe this day by organizing activities and events at the national and international level.

This year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN LGBTI Core Group will host an online event to help raise visibility for the particular impact the pandemic of COVID-19 and the measures taken to control it have on the LGBTI community.  This event will discuss the ways in which the pandemic has a particular impact on LGBTI individuals and communities. Experts will discuss the specific challenges the LGBTI community is facing such as those of access to health, social services, the increased violence and discrimination, and the economic implications among others.



The format for the event will be an online panel of experts highlighting the specific challenges faced by LGBTI communities in various regions with a moderated discussion in response to their presentations. There will be a social media participation aspect that will include the ability for viewers to pose questions to the experts at the end of the presentation section. The virtual event will be held on zoom via the Webinar feature – this will create a platform where speakers/panelists will be seen by the audience, but audience members will not be able to see each other. Audience members will however have the ability to interact with each other via the chat function and pose questions to the panel via the Q&A function which will then be posed by the moderator in the Q&A section of the event.

The program is as follows:

  • Opening remarks by UN LGBTI Core Group Co-chairs
  • Moderated panel discussion with experts (Moderator Jessica Stern)
    • Victor Madrigal-Borloz - The Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
    • Billie Bryan – Founder and President of Colours Cayman (Cayman Islands)
    • Khawla Bouaziz – Secretary General of Mawjoudin We Exist for Equality (Tunisia)
  • Q and A section (participants will be asked to submit questions prior and during the course of the event through social media using #IDAHOBIT2020UN and by directing questions in the monitored chat with the hosts
  • Closing Remarks by Mission of Uruguay and Mission of Spain

Background documents




Virtual Event
Virtual Event

New York
United States of America

All those who would like to participate must register by 15 May 2020 by 10AM EST