ILGA-Europe calls on EU-Ukraine summit to raise the issue of discrimination against LGBTI people in Ukraine
Today on February 25, the 16th EU-Ukraine Summit takes place in Brussels. The main focus of this summit will be Ukraine’s reform agenda, linked to the possible signature of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. On the agenda are political and economic integration, as well as mobility and regional and international issues.
ILGA-Europe considers it important that the European Union reminds the Ukrainian authorities that respect and protection of basic human rights including the rights of the LGBTI people in Ukraine is an integral part of the Agreement. ILGA-Europe calls on Ukraine to ensure the protection of human rights and the security of citizens, regardless of their race or ethnicity, religion or belief, and sexual orientation or gender identity.
ILGA-Europe is extremely concerned that ‘anti-propaganda’ law, which clearly contradicts these principles, remains on the agenda of the Ukrainian Parliament. The law, which introduces anti-homosexuality amendments into four existing laws as well as into Ukraine’s Criminal Code, is evidently discriminatory and contradicts Ukraine's international commitments to ensure freedom of expression and impart information. Ukraine has furthermore made commitments to common values of respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law, respect for human rights and non-discrimination stipulated in European Neighbourhood Policy. Finally ILGA-Europe notes that the ‘anti-propaganda’ law is not compatible with the principles set in the visa liberalisation process. In addition, it is important to amend the Ukrainian Anti-discrimination Law and Labour Code by including protection on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity to comply with international human rights standards.
The EU-Ukraine cooperation is built on a shared commitment to the rule of law, human rights, democratic principles and fundamental freedoms. Therefore it is of crucial importance to raise the issue of discrimination, homo- and transphobia in Ukraine during the Summit. The EU should make clear to the Ukrainian government that the violation of LGBT rights, if left unaddressed, will jeopardise Ukraine’s efforts to establish closer ties with the EU and might influence the Association Agreement.