(AP) The Human Rights Council has appointed international human rights expert Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand as the first U.N. independent expert charged with investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

John Fisher, Geneva director of Human Rights Watch, said his appointment on Friday "made history" and "will bring much-needed attention to human rights violations against LGBT people in all regions of the world."

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Muntarbhorn, a law professor, has been on the council's Commission of Inquiry on Syria and previously served as U.N. special investigator on North Korea and on child prostitution and child pornography.

He co-chaired a meeting of experts that adopted the Yogyakarta Principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.


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