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EU reaffirms its commitment toward promoting LGBT rights

EU reaffirms its commitment toward promoting LGBT rights

Observing the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), the European Union delegation in Namibia, raised concerns against sexual orientation and gender identity that is continually being used to justify serious human rights violations around the world.

The day is observed on 17 May and aims to raise awareness of violations of LGBTI rights and stimulate interest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights worldwide.

The date was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

“Inside and outside the EU, LGBTI people are targets of violence and hate crime. The EU is committed to promote the human rights of LGBTI persons and protect the enjoyment of all human rights by LGBTI persons,” the EU stated in a press statement.

In the statement, the EU stressed that it aims to promote and protect all human rights of LGBTI persons on the basis of existing international legal standards in this area, mainly those set by the United Nations.

Furthermore, Articles 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and 14 (freedom from discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights prohibit discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in Europe. Moreover, Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union contains a general prohibition of discrimination on a broad list of grounds including sexual orientation.

“The EU Employment Equality Directive guarantees equal treatment for all people regardless of their sexual orientation in the context of employment and vocational training. Sexual orientation and gender identity are also grounds included in key EU legislation such as the Victims of Crime Directive or the Qualification Directive,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, within the EU the European Commission has stepped up its action by publishing in December 2015 the ‘List of Actions by the Commission to advance LGBTI equality’, the first policy framework targeting exclusively this group that has been presented at the European Parliament and the Council.

It covers comprehensively activities to be implemented in the coming four years in key areas for LGBTI persons such as non-discrimination, education, employment, health or hate speech/hate crime.

About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys