Türk calls on Russian legislators to repeal, not expand, anti-LGBT bill


On Thursday, the Russian parliament – the State Duma – adopted proposals to broaden a ban on any discussion and sharing of information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and their human rights.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, is deeply concerned about this latest development, which infringes even further on international human rights norms and standards.

The proposals would expand an existing law from 2013, which has been extensively examined and condemned by UN human rights experts as discriminatory, violating fundamental rights to freedom of expression, and leading to an increase in hate speech, hate crimes, and abuse, including against children.

The legislative amendments worsen this situation by broadening the scope of the law to a blanket ban on all communications on the subject, including to adults. The proposals also target the rights of transgender people.

The High Commissioner appeals to legislators, who will consider the proposals in a further two readings, to reject this proposal, and to instead repeal the existing law and take urgent steps to prohibit and actively combat both discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The High Commissioner also notes that exclusion, stigmatisation and discrimination of any group within a society is corrosive, is a root cause of violence, and has a negative impact on society as a whole.

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