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European Parliament calls for stronger LGBT rights protections

Joseph McCormick December 21, 2015

The European Parliament last week voted on its annual human rights report, taking into account LGBT rights.

Last week, the European Parliament voted on the annual report. The report takes account of the situation of human rights, including of LGBT people, and makes suitable recommendations.

The report begins that “in order to maintain credibility and consistency in its external human rights policy”, the EU and its Member States need to address internal human rights challenges, specifically mentioning LGBT rights.

The EU’s foreign policy on LGBT rights is guided by the EU Guidelines to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by LGBTI Persons.

A list of actions to advance LGBT equality inside the EU was unveiled last week, but the LGBT Intergroup criticised it, saying it fell short of a real strategy.

 

Regarding the EU’s accession policy, the Parliament urged to closely follow implementation of provisions on “the fight against all forms of discrimination, including hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation”.

The Parliament went on to condemn the criminalisation of LGBT people and called for development aid to be channelled through civil society organisation, if the receiving country has a poor record on respect for human rights, including LGBT rights.

The Parliament also expressed its concern over the situation of LGBT human rights defenders, and called on EU delegation in third countries to increase support for them.

In addition access to legal protections and same-sex marriage, given that the “fundamental rights of LGBTI persons are more likely to be respected if they have access to legal institutions”.

Fabio Massimo Castaldo MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, said: “This report makes a strong call to be more consistent in our human rights obligations, internally and externally.”

“We cannot turn a blind eye to violations simply because they come from a country that we have good relations with, or because this country is in the EU. The adoption of this report by a wide majority sends a clear message from MEPs to step up efforts to consistently defend and promote human rights of LGBTI people.”

Tanja Fajon MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, added: “As Commissioner Stylianides said in the debate about the report: we need more equality and more human rights, not less.

“The EU has a key role to play in promoting and protecting human rights, and this report shows our commitment to making this a reality.”

More: Europe, European Parliament

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