Singapore must protect the rights of LGBTI people, says European Parliament
On 13 February 2019, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and Singapore.
With this Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, the EU will work to support the democratic and economic development of Singapore. It was adopted with along a Free Trade Agreement & the Investment Protection Agreement.
In its resolution, the European Parliament highlights that the “rights of the Singapore’s LGBTI community are severely restricted”, that consensual sexual relationships between two men are illegal and punished for up to two years in prison and that same-sex relationships are not recognised under law in Singapore (para. L).
“LGBTI rights are not well protected in Singapore” said David Martin, shadow rapporteur for the resolution and member of the LGBTI Intergroup. “It is the European Parliament’s role to ensure Partnership and Cooperation Agreements address all aspects of human rights, including LGBTI rights.”
The European Parliament also insists on human rights being at the center of the relations between the EU and third countries. It “calls on the Government of Singapore to fully protect the rights of the LGBTI community”. It also “insists that the Government of Singapore abolish the laws penalising sexual relationships between people of the same gender” (para. 6).
The resolution also “urges the Government of Singapore to facilitate the adoption of legislation prohibiting all forms of discrimination against women and based on sexual orientation” (para. 6).
“With this resolution, the European Parliament takes position on LGBTI rights in Singapore for the first time” commented Fabio Massimo Castaldo, shadow rapporteur for the resolution and vice-president of the LGBTI Intergroup. “We now count on the other EU institutions to ensure LGBTI rights are fully taken into account in this Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, so we can see positive changes for LGBTI rights in Singapore in the nearest future”.