A United Nations panel on children’s rights has called for the annulment of laws banning gay “propaganda” in Russia, saying they encourage both violence and discrimination.

President Vladimir Putin signed the law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community.

According to Associated Press, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child said on Wednesday that although the legislation claims to protect children, it ostensibly leads to the “stigmatisation” and “discrimination” of the LGBT community as a whole, which it notes includes children.

The panel said it is “particularly concerned that vague definitions of propaganda leads to the targeting and ongoing persecution of the country’s LGBT community, including abuse and violence, in particular against underage … rights activists.”

It has furthermore urged Russia to ensure that these activists do not face discrimination by ”raising the awareness of the public on equality and non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

A human rights group in Russia released a report on Monday stating that anti-gay laws designed to “protect children” are in fact harming children.

Recently, a middle school in the Bryansk region of Russia became the first ever minor to be accused of breaking the country’s notorious anti-gay “propaganda” law.