The Recognition and Respect of Diverse Families in Times of a Global Pandemic

June 30th will be an exciting and important day for the worldwide promotion of family equality: IFED and the Global Interfaith Network for People of All Sexes, Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities and Expressions (GIN-SSOGIE) will co-host the UN-side event “The Recognition and Respect of Diverse Families in Times of a Global Pandemic”, held during the 44th session of the Human Rights Council, and co-sponsored by the delegations of South Africa and Switzerland. This UN Side event will be organised online. You may pre-register here:

Family Diversity and Human Rights

The UN and international human rights system have for a very long time, made strong efforts to protect the family, its individual members, and in all its diversity across history, regions, religions and cultural traditions. Yet, the health crisis related to the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 has impacted all of us, and cast into sharp relief the added vulnerability of marginalised populations, including individuals & families. And while there have been growing contestation and efforts to include exclusionary language in UN documents, we see UN and state-led policies as having the potential to continue to protect strong and stable families and family relationships, in all their diverse forms, in the short and long-term.

This UN-side event was initially going to be carried out during the 43rd session of the Human rights Council and was postponed due to the pandemic. We, IFED and GIN-SSOGIE, believe it is essential to still organise it and underline the ongoing impact of COVID-19. More specifically, with this side event, we aim at providing information and fostering discussion regarding the varied realities of family life all over the globe and how they have been especially impacted by the COVID-19 worldwide crisis. “It is our objective to make family diversity increasingly visible and represent experiences and realities from rainbow families in different regional, cultural and religious contexts. There is not one model of family formation and promoting this discourse is deeply harmful and undermine our efforts to promote all human rights. “ says IFED Co-president Derricia Castillo-Salazar (Belize). Simon Petitjean, GIN-SSOGIE Programme Manager continues: “Multiple family models have always been part of human history. They are and have always been an intrinsic part of all cultures and traditions. Protecting them is a way for the human rights system of protecting our heritage and traditions.”

Forging alliances and connections

The upcoming event will be the perfect opportunity to do so. “We are looking forward to engaging into in-depth conversations with representatives from Permanent Missions to the UN, UN agencies as well as faith-based actors and civil society organizations from around the world”, says IFED Board Member Benny Odongo (Kenya). Andrea Rivas (Argentina) continues with the fact that “we are optimistic that the discussion and the personal exchange of experiences with our partners will not only strengthen our coalitions, but also create new ones and thereby enhance our efforts to advocate for broad and inclusive definitions of family.“

Find all the details on the UN-side event “The Recognition and Respect of Diverse Families
in Times of a Global Pandemic” under the following link.

For extensive background information on IFED and GIN-SSOGIE, go to and

Media contacts:
Derricia Jael (IFED Co-President, Belize): WhatsApp +501-623-6062
Andrea Rivas (IFED Board Member, Argentina): +54 9 11 5401 3679
Benny Odongo (IFED Board-Member, Kenya) +254 711131195




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Copyright © 2024 International Family Equality Day. All rights reserved.

In 2023 IFED was celebrated in 258 Towns in 78 Countries. Greetings to all LGBTIQ* Families, related, friends, activists out there.

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