Vitit Muntarbhorn

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Vitit Muntarbhorn is an international human rights expert and professor of law at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.[1][2] Muntarbhorn was designated in September 2016 as the first UN Independent Expert on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by the Human Rights Council.

Muntarbhorn, born in November 1952, was educated at Oxford and Brussels, and was called to the Bar in England before going on to lecture in law at various universities in Austria, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Switzerland and Thailand. He served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography from 1990-1994. In 1994 he coedited with C. Taylor a paper on human rights in Thailand.[3] In 2004 he was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education.[2][4]

Muntarbhorn was nominated to the position of United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) in 2004.[1] His term ended in June 2010. During his six years of service, North Korea repeatedly rejected his requests for meetings.[5]

Muntarbhorn remains involved in various UN activities, principally as a member of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations of the International Labour Organization, and has served as an expert or consultant with the OHCHR, UNHCR, UNDP, FAO, UNICEF, UNESCO, the WHO and the United Nations University.[2] He was involved in the elaboration of the Yogyakarta Principles on LGBT rights.

Recipient of the 2018 Bonham Centre Award from the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies [6]


  1. ^ a b Profiles of our Distinguished Academic Members, Chulalongkorn University, 2009, retrieved 2010-01-21 
  2. ^ a b c Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn (Thailand), ILO biographical note (PDF), ILO, 2009, retrieved 2011-10-02 
  3. ^ Vitit Mintarbhorn, Taylor, C: Road to Democracy: Human Rights and Human Devepolment in Thailand, 1994
  4. ^ Vitit Muntarbhorn wins the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education, UNESCO, 2004-12-11, retrieved 2010-01-21 
  5. ^ Yoo, Jee-ho (2010-01-16), "UN official on Pyongyang leaving empty-handed", Joongang Ilbo, retrieved 2010-01-21 
  6. ^ "Bonham Centre Awards Gala 2018".