Plenary summary: LGBTI rights in Uzbekistan, in the MENA region, and intersectional approaches to Afrophobia

During its second MarchWide angle view of the plenary chamber - Hemicycle -Fisheye plenary session, the European Parliament adopted several texts addressing LGBTI rights, encouraging Uzbekistan to decriminalise same-sex relations, denouncing attacks on LGBTI human rights defenders in the MENA region and calling for European action on Afrophobia with an intersectional perspective.


LGBTI rights in the new comprehensive partnership agreement with Uzbekistan

On 26 March, the European Parliament adopted a report on the new comprehensive agreement between the EU and Uzbekistan. The report gives recommendations to the Council and the Commission, including on how to integrate human rights within their relations with Uzbekistan and specifically for the negotiation of this new comprehensive agreement.

The report specifically addresses LGBTI rights issues, by asking the Council and the Commission to “encourage the authorities to decriminalise consensual sexual relations between persons of the same sex and foster a culture of tolerance for LGBTI people” (para. k).

Read the full report here.


Post-Arab Spring: EU must support LGBTI human rights defenders

On 27 March, the European Parliament adopted a report on the way forward for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region Post-Arab Spring.

The EP notes with concern that, eight years after the beginning of the Arab Spring, the aspirations of the protesters for human rights and social, economic and political reforms have not been met in most countries, and that violations of human rights and discrimination against minorities remain widespread (para. 1).

The European Parliament specifically denounces the “judicial harassment, torture, physical attacks and smear campaigns” targeting LGBTI human rights defenders across the MENA region, and calls on the EU and Member States to continue to defend “indivisibility of human rights, including LGBTQI rights, in the framework of their cooperation with MENA states” (para. 45).

Read the full report here.


Fundamental rights of people of African descent: an intersectional perspective

The European Parliament also adopted its first-ever resolution on the fundamental rights of people of African descent on 26 March. The resolution takes an intersectional perspective on the issue of Afrophobia, highlighting that “the racism and discrimination experienced by people of African descent is structural and often intersects with other forms of discrimination and oppression”, including on the basis of sexual orientation (para. T).

Read the resolution here.