Ukraine urged to rectify anti-gay lawListen /
Ukraine is being urged by the United Nations human rights office to rectify a draft law that criminalizes any reference to homosexuality in the media or public domain.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says the bill runs counter to Ukraine’s international commitments to ensure freedom of expression and information.
Spokesperson Rupert Colville says the draft law may also undermine the rights to health and equality before the law.
"We regret that on 2 October the parliament of Ukraine adopted at first reading draft law 8711 which criminalises any reference to homosexuality in the media or public domain and, if adopted in its current form, could result in fines or prison sentences of up to five years. The law, which introduces anti-homosexuality amendments into four existing laws as well as into Ukraine's Criminal Code, is clearly discriminatory."
Rupert Colville says Ukrainian authorities are being urged to take all necessary steps to strengthen individual human rights guarantees against discrimination.
He adds that the second reading of the draft law at the end of October will provide an opportunity for the new parliament to correct the situation.