On March 15 and 16 of 2016, international conference “LGBT Issues and European Integration” took place in Kyiv. Politicians, journalists, lawyers, LGBT activists and human rights defenders came together to discuss pressing issues that Ukrainian society faces today.
Ensuring observance of the rights and freedoms of the LGBT community in the context of Eurointegration is tied to the human rights situation in Ukraine as a whole. The subjects brought up at the conference included such issues as the need to improve Ukrainian legislation and implement methods of combating homophobia in various areas of life.
According to Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Justice Sergiy Petukhov, human rights are a dynamic phenomenon. Thus, the spirit of the law may change even when the letter of the law remains the same. His position is that a selective approach to whose rights and freedoms should be protected is wrong – everyone’s rights must be protected equally.
British Ambassador to Ukraine Judith Gough said that protection of LGBT rights does not mean some special treatment for a particular group – it’s about ensuring equal rights for all. The Ambassador expressed hope that the situation of LGBT people in Ukraine would get closer to that in the UK within the next five years.
According to Andriy Kravchuk from the Nash Mir LGBT rights center, which is one of the event’s organizers, the Action Plan to the National Human Rights Strategy 2020 is an encouraging step toward ensuring true legal and social equality for LGBT Ukrainians. At the same time he stressed that the Plan is merely a declaration of intent and that the LGBT community will be closely monitoring the implementation of changes laid down in the document.
UHHRU was represented at the conference by Strategic Litigation Center lawyer Dmytro Mazurok.
“We support the position of the European Court of Human Rights and believe that prejudiced attitude of a majority toward particular minorities on the grounds of race, religion or sexual orientation is a denigration of human dignity. Such conduct is in itself a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention,” said the lawyer. “And when discrimination leads to hate crimes, this calls for special attention from the state.”
Based on the information from the Gay Alliance website
photo by Nash Mir
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