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The Alliance welcomes European Parliament’s support for LGBT rights


 Audiovisual Library of the European Commission © European Union, 2011

The Alliance welcomes the European Parliament’s (EP) Annual Report on Human Rights in the World, which aims to change the future direction of the European Union's (EU) human rights policy.

The report, the text of which was adopted on 18 April, calls on the EU to strengthen its support of LGBT rights and for the creation of an EU Special Representative on Human Rights.

Through its office in Brussels, the Stop AIDS Alliance, the Alliance has been engaging with the EU institutions and advocating for a strengthened EU response to violations of the rights of LGBT people.

Supporting LGBT rights

The report calls on the EU to implement a range of new measures, notably by adopting an overarching EU common strategy on human rights. It also calls on the EU to introduce detailed human rights benchmarks for future cooperation with countries.

The EP recognises the important role played by the EU in supporting LGBT people's human rights at the global level, and it calls on the European Commission (EC) to work with the World Health Organisation to withdraw ‘gender identity disorder’ from the International Classification of Diseases.

The EP’s report also provides a series of recommendations to strengthen EU action for LGBT human rights at a country level. It calls on the EU to reaffirm the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, especially in the partnership with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states. Furthermore, the EP asks the EU to develop binding guidelines for EU institutions, Member States and delegations to be able to react swiftly when the human rights of LGBT people are violated, and to address the structural causes of such violations.

Finally, the report recommends the EU to increase funding to support civil society organisations working in this area.

Special Representative on Human Rights

One of the key recommendations of the EP is the creation of an EU Special Representative on Human Rights whose role will be to lead the implementation of the EU’s human rights policy. This will include integrating human rights in all EU policies, such as foreign affairs or trade to ensure greater policy coherence for development.

The EU Special Representative will be assisted by a network of human rights specialists in each of the 180 EU delegations, directly reporting to him. Creating this new position will allow the EU to become a more active player in the field of human rights and in international organisations.

The Alliance and the EU

The Alliance has urged the EU to maintain its focus on HIV in its development and foreign policy and prioritise a human rights based approach to HIV. This includes prioritising funding of LGBT rights defenders, and policy dialogue with partner government, to prioritise actions that reinforce multi-sector coordination, law reform and law enforcement.

The Alliance’s What’s Preventing Prevention is asking the EU to take the lead on ending AIDS. You can take action here.