Press release December 17, 2015
Ukraine: Constitutional Commission Should Protect LGBT People Against Discrimination
Freedom House urges the Constitutional Commission to adopt the strongest possible human rights standards by including sexual orientation and gender identity in the non-discrimination article.
Following a conference convened by Ukraine’s Constitutional Commission to consider including anti-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the Ukrainian Constitution currently being drafted, Freedom House released the following statement:
“Freedom House urges the Constitutional Commission to adopt the strongest possible human rights standards by including sexual orientation and gender identity in the non-discrimination article that it sends to President Poroshenko,” said Robert Herman, vice president for international programs. “The Constitutional Commission, whose conference is a tribute to the on-going struggle for rights and freedom in Ukraine, has an opportunity to make clear to Ukraine’s citizens as well as the world that the country is making a break from the past in the direction of equality and freedom.”
The day-long conference was convened by the Constitutional Commission’s Working Group on Human Rights, Freedoms, and Responsibilities of People and Citizens. The Constitutional Commission was charged by President Poroshenko to prepare a draft of a new Constitution, which will be reviewed and adopted by the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament.
Ukraine banned discrimination in the workplace on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in November 2015 in order to meet the EU’s requirements for a visa-free regime.
Freedom House and other human rights groups sent President Poroshenko a letter in August 2015 urging him to support strong anti-discrimination provisions in the new Constitution, including a ban on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. In September 2015, 40 members of the U.S. Congress sent a letter to Volodymyr Groysman, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, urging the body to support non-discrimination protections on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Ukraine is rated Partly Free in Freedom of the World 2015, partly free in Freedom of the Press 2015, Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2015, and receives a democracy score of 4.75 on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2015.
More on Ukraine:
- Congressional Letter to the Parliament of Ukraine from Members of the United States House of Representatives
- Freedom House Remarks Delivered at Meeting of the Ukrainian Constitutional Commission’s Working Group
- New Constitution Should Clearly Protect LGBTI Persons
- Rada Adopts Anti-Discrimination Protections
- LGBTI Gains in Ukraine are in Danger