Statement on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia


May 17, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, and the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, today issued the following statement:

“On this International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, we call for an end to all forms of discrimination, exclusion and violence against people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics. Human rights are universal and indivisible, and the human rights of LGBTQ2I individuals deserve the respect of all people everywhere. The promotion and protection of human rights is a core element of Canada’s foreign policy, and Canada is committed to ensuring that the rights of LGBTQ2I individuals are protected and upheld in Canada and around the world.

“Today, same-sex conduct remains criminalized in 69 countries around the world. At home and abroad, Canada is working hard to fight intolerance, foster inclusion and ensure LGBTQ2I people have access to health care, livelihoods and security. The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating difficulties for LGBTQ2I people, many of whom face further deterioration of their dignity and human rights and are more susceptible to violence and other abuses.

“In many countries, marginalized populations and those in vulnerable situations are experiencing rising food and shelter insecurity, health care disruptions, violence and mental health impacts, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada is firmly committed to supporting the international LGBTQ2I community through its feminist approach to international assistance.

“Aligned with the Feminist International Assistance Policy, Canada is committed to providing international assistance that is human rights-based and inclusive. In 2019, Canada announced $30 million in dedicated international assistance funding over 5 years and $10 million per year thereafter to advance human rights and improve socio-economic outcomes for LGBTQ2I people in developing countries. This commitment continues to support the efforts of partners and movements working with LGBTQ2I communities in developing countries.

“Canada also seeks to ensure LGBTQ2I people share in the benefits of trade through its Trade Diversification Strategy. Earlier this year, several Canadian LGBTQ2I-owned companies took part in a virtual trade mission to Colombia. It was the first-ever Canadian LGBTQ2I trade mission delivered completely virtually and to an emerging market. Canada strives to ensure ongoing free trade agreement negotiations with other countries contain progressive chapters on gender and are non-discriminatory. We also cooperate and share best practices on ending workplace discrimination through the new Global Trade and Gender Arrangement.

“Canada is committed to advancing human rights and socio-economic conditions for LGBTQ2I people, at home and around the world. Together, let us resist intolerance and discrimination and support one another in all our diversity.” 


Syrine Khoury
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Guillaume Dumas
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Youmy Han
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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