Hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are fronting a new United Nations campaign calling for equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (Lgbt) community.

The Thrift Shop hitmakers have been named Equality Champions for the Free & Equal initiative, joining the likes of Ricky Martin and Brazilian star Daniela Mercury to promote the cause.

Rapper MACklemore says, "We're so honoured to be working with the United Nations and Free & Equal to help spread a message of equality and respect. Ryan and I have always believed that human rights are for everyone - no exceptions."

U.N. officials launched the campaign in July (13) to raise awareness about homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination, and encourage greater respect for the rights of Lgbt people everywhere.

The news of MACklemore & Ryan Lewis' new roles emerges just two days after they called for an end to racial profiling and paid tribute to slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin during an acceptance speech at the American Music Awards on Sunday (24Nov13). The stars delivered the message to the Los Angeles audience via satellite from Miami, Florida, where they were preparing for a concert.