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I have the honour to deliver this intervention on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries [Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Denmark, and my own country, Sweden].
We thank the Independent Expert for his recent report and the presentation of it today. We reiterate our strongest support to your mandate and work. It is a sad fact that violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity continue to exist all around the world. From social exclusion and harassment to torture and even arbitrary killings. The Nordic-Baltic countries strongly condemn these actions. Under no circumstances can such human rights violations be justified. The rights of every individual to express and be who they are and love whom they want are at the very core of human rights.
We welcome focus in your report on data collection and management. Accurate data is indeed crucial to document violence and discrimination against LGBTI persons and to make it visible. Thereby, it is also the foundation for preventing and eradicating such violence and discrimination.
Moving forward, could you please elaborate further on how Member States can prevent the misuse of collected data including health-related information in environments in which the State criminalizes certain forms of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression?
Further, we also thank the Special Rapporteur for his thorough annual report with pertinent recommendations on judicial councils and express our great support to your mandate and work.
In addition to judicial councils and with the aim to further safeguard judicial independence, in which particular areas would you suggest that Member States focus their attention and efforts?