STRASBOURG, 16 December 2010 – Today the European Parliament voted its annual report on human rights in the world. The report pays particular attention to human rights violations on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, and calls for increased efforts to combat the violence and discrimination lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face. In relation to sexual orientation and gender identity, the report:
- underlines the importance of codifying new rights to respond to new threats relating to sexual orientation and gender identity;
- welcomes EU Member States’ efforts at the United Nations and other institutions to decriminalise homosexuality, and calls for continued action to decriminalise homosexuality;
- expresses grave concern over the Ugandan “Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009” still under consideration by the Parliament of Uganda;
- welcomes the Council of the European Union’s adoption of a toolkit to promote the human rights of LGBT people and calls for its full use;
- condemns the increase of violence against LGBT people, and in particular transgender murders, whilst acknowledging positive developments such as recent decriminalisation in India.
Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the Intergroup on LGBT Rights, reacted: “MEPs across the political spectrum sent a clear message that human rights are no bargaining token: they are universal, indivisible, and apply equally to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people regardless of where they live. The European Parliament clearly stated that LGBT people’s fundamental rights need to be closely monitored and protected.”
Rui Tavares MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup, continued: “We were particularly pleased to see the adoption of the Toolkit for the protection of LGBT people’s human rights, as well as a consistent call for the decriminalisation of homosexuality worldwide, by all mainstream political parties. I am confident we will keep moving forward in 2011.”
The report will help shaping the EU’s foreign policy in 2011, including by the newly-formed European External Action Service led by Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights:
Co -Presidents: Michael Cashman MEP (GB-S&D) · Ulrike Lunacek MEP (AT-Greens)
Vice-Presidents: Sophie In’t Veld MEP (NL-ALDE) · Raül Romeva i Rueda MEP (ES-Greens) · Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP (FI-EPP) · Rui Tavares MEP (PT-GUE)