The UN has appointed its first expert on LGBT issues

The United Nations Human Rights Council has appointed it’s first independent expert to investigate the violence and discrimination faced by the LGBT community.

Thai professor, Vitit Muntarbhorn, has been given a three year mandate to look into abuse that the LGBT community suffer.

The United Nations (UN) voted to create its first ever LGBT rights watchdog in June. The move to instate the position was passed with 23 votes to 18, with 6 abstentions.

The measure ensures that Vitit Muntarbhorn will monitor “violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Muntarbhorn is an international law professor at Chilalongkorn University in Bangkok. He has previously served on UN bodies including an inquiry on Syria, as well as working as a special rapporteur on North Korea, child prostitution and child pornography.

Members of the Human Rights Watch have described Muntarbhorn’s appointments as making history.

The group’s Geneva director, John Fisher said: “It will bring much-needed attention to human rights violations against LGBT people in all regions of the world.”

Executive director of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) Renato Sabbadin said the move would help give justice to LGBTI people who have been attacked, abused or discriminated against.

“Never has there been a more urgent need to safeguard the human rights of LGBTI persons around the world,” Sabbadin added.

President Barack Obama condemned anti-LGBT violence in his last ever United Nations speech as US President.