World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Duma urged to scrap bill on ‘homosexuality propaganda’

UN rights experts advise Russian Duma to scrap bill on ‘homosexuality propaganda’

GENEVA (1 February 2013) – A group of United Nations independent human rights experts today called on the lower house of the Russian parliament to discard a draft bill to establish administrative penalties for “propaganda of homosexuality among minors,” which has already been approved by the State Duma.

The experts on freedom of expression, human rights defenders, cultural rights and the right to health warned the bill may undermine the enjoyment and promotion of human rights in Russia, unjustifiably singling out lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, who have increasingly become the target of sanctions and violence in the country.

“Any restriction on freedom of opinion and expression should be based on reasonable and objective criteria, which is not fulfilled by the draft bill approved during the first reading by the Duma,” said the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue. “The law could potentially be interpreted very broadly and thereby violate not only the right to freedom of expression but also the prohibition of discrimination.”

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, warned that this legislation could be used to unduly restrict the activities of those advocating for the rights of LGBT individuals. “The draft legislation could further contribute to the already difficult environment in which these defenders operate, stigmatizing their work and making them the target of acts of intimidation and violence, as has recently happened in Moscow,” she stressed.

“We fear that such laws, in practice, will exacerbate an already difficult situation for LGBT individuals wishing to express their identity, and will hamper the organization of cultural events or dissemination of artistic creations addressing LGBT issues,” highlighted the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed. She further underlined that LGBT youth would be particularly affected.

Stressing the bill’s ambiguous wording, the Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Anand Grover, warned that “banning ‘propaganda of homosexuality’ may not only penalize those who promote sexual and reproductive health among LGBT people, but will also undermine the right of children to access health-related information in order to safeguard their physical and mental health.” Far from protecting children, the proposed law would potentially harm them by re-enforcing stigma and contributing to a discriminatory environment, which would put them at increased risk.

Pointing out that the “window of opportunity is still open” to reverse the decision during the next two readings at the Duma, the UN experts urged parliamentarians to “exercise leadership by scrapping the bill to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Russia.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

DR Congo: Head Of UN Mission Condemns Deadly Rebel Attacks

A MONUSCO APC is greeted by FARDC soldiers on their way back from the front line in the Beni region of the DRC where the UN is backing the FARDC in an operation against ADF militia. Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti More>>

UNESCO Chief Denounces Killing Of Cambodian Journalist

17 October 2014 – The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing of a Cambodian reporter shot while investigating illegal logging in the eastern part of the country. More>>

Detroit: Impact Of Water Disconnections On Human Rights

GENEVA / NEW YORK (15 October 2015) – Two United Nations human rights experts will visit the city of Detroit (Michigan- USA) from 18 to 20 October 2014, to learn more about the impact of large-scale water disconnections on low-income, marginalized ... More>>

UN Lauds Role Of Family Farmers In Ending Global Hunger

A farmer at work in a dragon fruit field in Viet Nam (July 2013). Photo: FAO/Hoang Dinh Nam | See more photos More>>


Funding Gap Looms Amid Efforts To Tackle Ebola & ISIS

Funding Gap Looms Amid Efforts to Tackle ‘Twin Plagues’ Ebola, ISIL, Warns UN Rights Chief More>>

ALSO:

  • The White House - Ebola: What You Need to Know

  • Egypt Sentences Another Al Jazeera Journalist

    In another disturbing move against freedom of speech and independent journalism in Egypt, one of Al Jazeera Arabic channel’s presenters, Ahmed Mansour, has been sentenced in absentia to fifteen years imprisonment by Cairo’s criminal court on the absurd ... More>>

    ISIL Advance On Iraqi Town Unleash New Flood Of Displacement

    Syrian Kurds from the town of Kobane seeking shelter in Iraq's Kurdistan region. Photo: UNHCR/D. Nahr More>>

    ALSO:

  • U.S. Department of State - U.S. Condemns ISIL Attacks in Iraq
  • U.S Announces Humanitarian Assistance For Palestinians

    Today, Secretary of State John Kerry announced $414 million in U.S. assistance to the Palestinians. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news