Joint Statement on the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT)

May 17, 2021

Sent on behalf of the Embassies of Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States, and of the Canadian Police Mission to Ukraine, the Delegation of the European Union and the European Union Advisory Mission.

On May 17, when the world marks the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, we are proud to reaffirm our commitment to the protection of human rights and promotion of equality for all, including the right to non-discrimination and the right to peaceful assembly. We also recognise that tolerance and respect for diversity are fundamental in open, democratic societies.

The international community in Ukraine remains committed to the protection and safeguarding of equal rights for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) Ukrainians, their friends, families, and all advocates for tolerance and equality in Ukraine. Ukraine has made notable progress in recognizing and protecting human rights, but this work remains unfinished. We are concerned by ongoing reports from human rights defenders about cases of intolerance, discrimination and attacks on LGBTIQ activists and the lack of accountability for these crimes. The global COVID19 pandemic has seen an increase in cases of intolerance and human rights violations, and LGBTIQ individuals are among the most vulnerable victims of discrimination and violence.

We note that the reform of the National Police has shown positive tendencies in respecting human rights while protecting law and order in Ukraine; however, continued comprehensive reforms within the law-enforcement and judicial systems are necessary to provide everyone with a sense of safety, fairness and justice. We urge the Ukrainian authorities to pursue the reforms and to provide equal rights and opportunities to all without discrimination. We welcome the recent approval of a new version of the National Human Rights Strategy; however, we continue to call on Ukraine to fully implement this Strategy and Action Plan, including by taking additional steps to provide comprehensive anti-discrimination measures for LGBTIQ persons. We are also following closely the progress of amendments to Ukraine’s criminal code to expand the definition of hate crime to include crimes based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Ukraine can continue to count on the support of the international community in achieving these goals.

In the upcoming months, LGBTIQ organizations across Ukraine are planning numerous events to promote and celebrate equality for all. The international community will continue to support these initiatives, and we call on law enforcement and all Ukrainians to ensure that these events are conducted in a peaceful manner. There is no place for violence, discrimination and inequality in today’s democratic Ukraine.

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