Europe of Human Rights

On 17 June 2011 a historic decision has been taken at the United Nations, the Human Rights Council passed a Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. The idea behind the resolution was for the states to accept that LGBT are a vulnerable group more often affected by violence. It focuses on human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender activity. The resolution requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a study on violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, calls for a panel discussion to be held at the Human Rights Council to discuss the findings of the study in a constructive and transparent manner, and to consider appropriate follow-up. The Resolution was based on the report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashid Manjoo, which also detailed a number of violations committed against LGBT, including rape, attacks and murders.

The resolution was presented by South Africa along with Brasil and 39 additional co-sponsors from different regions of the world. 23 countries voted in favour, 19 against and 3 abstentions. From the CEE states Albania, Croatia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia co-sponsored the resolution. Among the states which opposed the adoption of the Resolution, we may find Moldova.

Such a position of the country most advanced (after Ukraine) in the dialogue with the EU is astonishing. European integration was declared a priority issue in the foreign policy pursued by Vlad Filat, the Prime Minister. Moldova signed a Partnership and Co-operation Agreement with the EU in 1994. In 2003, it was covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy, and it adopted the Action Plan in 2005. It has also been the leading country of the Eastern Partnership, actively promoted by Poland and Polish Foreign Affairs Minister Radosław Sikorski.

The need to ensure more protection would have an impact on the situation in the country. LGBT persons face daily discrimination at home, school, workplace and in public places. Expressing sexual orientation may provoke harassment, lead to the loss of jobs or even be the cause of abuses from members of the family.

The European Union at the beginning of 2011 urged Moldova to adopt the antidiscrimination bill in order to proceed with signing of the association agreement (the bill was withdrawn from the Parliament by the Government early in the April). The vote of 17 June 2011 is another example of Moldova’s approach to fundamental rights protection, especially LGBT rights. It should also be a sign for Polish authorities who are actively acting as advocates of Moldova’s accession to the EU.

Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska

Coordinator of project „Europe of Human Rights”

Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

 

 

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