Plenary summary: Progress reports on Montenegro and Turkey, resolution on ending AIDS by 2030
During its May I plenary session, the European Parliament Plenary debated and voted on several files that relate to the human rights of LGBTI persons:
- Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) 2019-2020 Reports on Turkey;
- Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) 2019-2020 Reports on Montenegro;
- Development Committee (DEVE) resolution on Accelerating progress and tackling inequalities towards ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030
On Tuesday, Members of the European Parliament debated the report from the Foreign Affairs committee on Turkey (rapporteur: Nacho Sánchez Amor, S&D). The text was adopted on Wednesday.
The text of the report states the following:
- Deeply regrets that this repressive form of rule has now become a deliberate, relentless, systematic state policy, which extends to any critical activities, such as peaceful political activism on issues of concern to Kurdish and Alevi people, peaceful protests and demonstrations held by former public sector workers, women’s and LGBTI rights activists and victims of the state of emergency, or even to events that took place prior to the attempted coup, such as the Gezi protests; (¶13)
- Condemns the violent repression by Turkish authorities of the protests related to the appointment by the government of the rector of Boğaziçi University; is appalled by the mass detention of students, the excessive use of force by the police in peaceful demonstrations, the Istanbul governor’s decision to selectively ban all kinds of meetings and demonstrations in the area surrounding the university, the depiction of protestors – namely students, alumni and academics – as terrorists and the targeting of LGBTI groups; calls on Turkey to drop charges and release those arbitrarily detained for exercising their right to peaceful assembly; (¶30)
- Urges the Government of Turkey to protect the rights of minorities and vulnerable groups, including women and children, LGBTI people, refugees, ethnic minorities such as Roma, Turkish citizens of Greek and Armenian descent and religious minorities such as Christians, Jews or Alevis; therefore calls on Turkey to urgently put in place comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation, including a prohibition on discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin, religion, language, citizenship, sexual orientation and gender identity, and measures against racism, homophobia and transphobia; (¶45)
- Expresses deep concern about the violations of the human rights of LGBTI people, in particular physical attacks, the prolonged bans on pride marches across the country or the restrictions on the freedoms of assembly, association and expression; recalls that Turkey is among the countries with the highest murder rates of transgender persons; condemns the homophobic language and hate speech by high-level government officials, including the head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), the Ombudsman Institution or the chair of the Red Crescent Society of Turkey; calls on the Turkish authorities to increase their efforts to prevent hate crimes, prejudice and social gender-based inequality; recalls that legislation in Turkey on hate speech is not consistent with ECtHR case law; (¶47)
On Tuesday, Members of the European Parliament debated the report from the Foreign Affairs committee on Montenegro (rapporteur: Tonino Picula, S&D). The text was adopted on Wednesday.
The text of the report states the following:
- Welcomes the progress made on the protection of the rights of LGBTI persons and the fact that Montenegro is the first country in the region to adopt a law on same-sex partnerships; calls on the authorities to ensure the fulfilment of all necessary conditions for its adequate implementation; stresses that the situation of transgender and non-binary persons needs to be improved; welcomes the peaceful conduct of the pride parade in 2019; calls on the Montenegrin authorities to continue to improve the climate of societal inclusion and tolerance and to collect disaggregated data relating to hate speech and crime based on sexual orientation and gender identity; (¶44)
- Stresses the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental impact on society as a whole, in particular women, single-parent families and vulnerable groups, such as Roma, Egyptians, LGBTI people, people with disabilities and other minorities, by deepening inequalities and exacerbating existing problems; calls on the Montenegrin authorities to take into consideration the needs of these groups when creating and implementing COVID-19 socio-economic relief measures; (¶67)
Resolution on Accelerating progress and tackling inequalities towards ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030
On Monday, Members of the European Parliament debated the resolution on accelerating progress on ending AIDS a public health threat by 2030. The text was adopted on Thursday.
The text of the resolution states the following:
- whereas people in difficult humanitarian situations and informal and fragile settings, people with disabilities, indigenous populations, LGBTIQ+ people, and migrant and mobile populations are vulnerable to HIV infection and face unique challenges in accessing HIV services; (recital K)
- Requests that the European External Action Service, the Commission and Member States use the implementation of the EU Human Rights Action Plan and the Gender Action Plan III to address the human rights and gender inequality drivers of HIV/AIDS by prioritising the fight against stigma and discrimination, sexual and gender based violence, criminalisation of same-sex relations and other punitive and discriminatory laws and policies in order to contribute to universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, access to quality education, including comprehensive sexuality education, equitable and affordable access to healthcare, access to the labour market and the participation of affected communities in all spheres of public life; (¶7)
- Calls on the Commission and the Member States to work with partner countries to instate compulsory comprehensive sexual education in their national education plans in order to prevent the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, especially in countries with the highest infection rates; (¶8)
- Recalls that health is a prerequisite for human development; requests that the Commission prioritise health as part of the EU-Africa strategy, which implies mobilising additional public funds to guarantee universal health coverage, including for sexual and reproductive health and rights, HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, (…); calls in particular for the promotion of investments in integrated HIV rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights, with a focus on women and girls, sex workers, transgender people, people who inject drugs, people in prison and other vulnerable groups; (¶9)