Russian Duma urged to scrap draft bill on "homosexuality propaganda"

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Anand Grover

United Nations human rights experts on Friday called on the Russian Parliament, the Duma, to discard a draft bill that could compromise the rights of the LGBT community.

The experts on freedom of expression, human rights defenders, cultural rights and the right to health warned that the bill may undermine the enjoyment and promotion of human rights in Russia, unjustifiably singling out the LGBT community –lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people — who have increasingly become the target of sanctions and violence in the country.

Stressing the bill's ambiguous wording, the Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Anand Grover, warned that "banning 'propaganda of homosexuality' may not only penalize those who promote sexual and reproductive health among LGBT people, but will also undermine the right of children to access health-related information in order to safeguard their physical and mental health."

Far from protecting children, he said, the proposed law would potentially harm them by re-enforcing stigma and contributing to a discriminatory environment, which would put them at increased risk. 

Pointing out that the "window of opportunity is still open" to reverse the decision during the next two readings at the Duma, the UN experts urged parliamentarians to "exercise leadership by scrapping the bill to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Russia."

Dianne Penn, United Nations,

Duration: 1’30″

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