Human Rights, but not for Lesbians, Gays, transgender – the new Ukrainian authorities decides to ignore LGBT-issues

19.03.2015 | cb — No comments

On March 4, 2015, the parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and International Relations held hearings to discuss the draft “National Strategy on Human Rights”.

It is no exaggeration to say that the need to mention explicitly the protection of the LGBT-community’s rights and interests in the strategy run all through the statements of Ukrainian civil society’s representatives – including LGBT-organisations, Amnesty International in Ukraine, Centre for Civil Liberties, International Women’s Rights Centre “La Strada – Ukraine” as well as international organisations like the Council of Europe and others.

The main thesis of the LGBT-organisations of Ukraine’s letter (which was personally handed to the Deputy Minister of Justice, Natalia Sevostyanova, who presented the draft strategy): Problems with the observation of the LGBT-community’s rights and the need to solve them must become a full-fledged part of the state strategy in the field of Human Rights. We remain the last totally stigmatized minority in society. You cannot solve a problem even not naming it aloud!

Yesterday, the Ministry of Justice issued a “final version” of the “National Strategy on Human Rights”. The cover letter No. 12.2-48/71 of 18.03.2015, signed by Ms. Sevostyanova, particularly states: “Proposals and public comments submitted to the Ministry of Justice were taken into account as much as possible while developing [the strategy].”

Actually, suggestions and comments received from the public organisations on LGBT-issues were totally ignored. This important strategic official document has no mention of LGBT-people, sexual orientation, gender identity.

The new government, like the old one, is pretending that we do not exist, that in Ukrainian society there is no homophobia, discrimination and hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.

If we really are heading for European integration, the Ukrainian authorities have to take real steps to modernize the country and society. We insist:

Protection of Human Rights for LGBT-people must be a particular chapter in the National Strategy for Human Rights!

[Andriy Maymulakhin, Nash Mir]

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