Monday, 10 December 2007

EU-wide ban on discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is on its way

ILGA-Europe reports: "Today is International Human Rights Day when the world marks the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. On 13 December, leaders of the EU member states will gather in Brussels to sign the Reformed Treaty which includes the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Charter is the first international treaty containing explicit prohibition of sexual orientation discrimination.
[...]
ILGA-Europe recognises the significant development that the signing of the Reform Treaty shall bring with it in EU law, and the implications that it may have for the advancement of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people within Europe. The Charter is the first EU document that brings together the whole range of civil, political, economic and social rights provided in a number of international conventions. Undoubtedly the Charter, which will come into force 2009 after all EU member states ratify it, will provide a new opportunity for LGBT people to address and challenge discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and we look forward to seeing how the European Court of Justice is going to interpret the Charter."

Well, except for the UK and Poland, which opted out from the Treaty. I would not worry much about the UK with its pretty comprehensive anti-discrimination laws, but Poland...

I wish similar to this Rights Chapter treaty covers also the Council of Europe countries (all three South Caucasus countries are members of the Council of Europe). Still, this is great news and it would hopefully have influence on and send message to other countries which seek prospect of membership or closer ties with the EU, including Armenia.

2 comments:

Myrthe said...

I assume that it was the previous Polish government that opted out, the scary one. The new government might change it's mind, though on the other hand it is still Poland, a conservative Catholic country...

artmika said...

It was the scary one :) although as far as I remember, new Polish government reiterated its support for opting out from the Treaty. The thing is that this Rights Chapter is a part of the general EU Treaty (aka Constitution). And not joining the Treaty means not signing the Rights Chapter too.

Let's hope that in time Poland will change its position, or it may be possible to sign selected chapters but not the whole Treaty. In any case, for all new members it will be obligatory. Poland just got 'lucky', for now...