Agenda for Council of Europe . Overview How the C of E can/is supporting LGBT rights Parliamentary Assembly Human Rights Commissioner Congress of Local and Regional Authorities The Court. OVERVIEW of C of E. Human Rights Organisation Covers 46 countries, 800 million people
Human Rights Organisation
Covers 46 countries, 800 million people
“I add my voice to those condemning homophobia which, regrettably, remains alive and well in many parts of Europe…..
First, we must demolish the walls of prejudice and intolerance. Then we must build a new structure of acceptance, equality and respect.”
Reviews progress of new member states towards achieving satisfactory level of respect human rights and rule of law. (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Russia, Serbia/Montenegro and Ukraine)
Rapporteurs (2) appointed by Assembly;
Window of opportunity
Monitoring process disliked by governments, so incentive to comply with Assembly recommendations
All fundamental human rights:
(Lobby in Strasbourg; meet on country visits)
Gay Pride marches should be allowed – and protected
The lesbian and gay movements are getting more and more organized and they urge their members to “come out”. This is a logical response to centuries of systematic discrimination in country after country. The real problem is not their sexual orientation, but the reaction of others. Whatever the psychological roots, many people still react with aggression against homosexuals. Sadly, some priests have also given direct or indirect support to homophobia which has delayed the necessary attitude change in a number of countries. Hate speech and violent acts against sexual minorities are still frequent – often with total impunity. The time has come to change that.
All fundamental human rights: e.g.
+ ? Family issues? Recognition of same-sex partners etc ? (Karner)
Visits: Ukraine 12/06; Caucasus 1st half 07; Balkans 2nd Half 07
Sexual orientation discrimination
Judgments protect right of transsexual men and women:
Also: for EU accession countries, article 6 (2) EU: “the Union shall respect fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the ECHR”.
NEED TO GO CAREFULLY!
Negative judgments can set back progress by many years
Avoid for time being: marriage, adoption by same-sex couples
“The situation of lesbians and gays in member states” (1474 (2000))
Situation of gays and lesbians and their partners/asylum and immigration (1470 (2000)
Reply to PACE Recommendation on situation of lesbians and gays in member states (1474)
Response to PACE recommendation 1474 (cont)