LGBT ISSUES AT THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE

 

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

 

Reform of the Parliamentary Assembly and establishment of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination

In the framework of the reform of the Parliamentary Assembly as set out in Resolution 1822 (2011), the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men has expanded its mandate to become the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination.

Under its current terms of reference, as defined by Resolution 1842 (2011),“the committee shall consider questions of equality and non-discrimination on any ground such as sex, sexual orientation and gender identity, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, ethnicity, belonging to a national minority, property, birth, age, disability or other status.”

Previously, LGBT issues had been dealt with by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights or by other committees in relation to specific aspects such as migrations, sport and education.

The General Rapporteur on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBTs)

In January 2012, the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination established the terms of reference of the General Rapporteur on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons (LGBTs), and later appointed Mr Haugli (Norway, SOC).

 The terms of reference of the General rapporteur are as follows:

 “It is the duty of the general rapporteur on LGBT rights to intervene in the area of the protection and the promotion of the rights of LGBT people, particularly on issues related to discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. He shall report periodically to the committee on the information collected and the action taken (…)”

The role of the general rapporteur is also to:

  •  follow activities and maintain working relations with the Office of the Council of Europe Commissioner on Human Rights, the Committee of Ministers and the European Court of Human Rights;

  • follow activities and maintain working relations with national parliaments, the European Parliament, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Fundamental Rights Agency and  the European Commission;

  • follow up on relevant resolutions and recommandations of the Parliamentary Assembly, such as Resolution 1728 and Recommendation 1915 (2010) on “Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity”, Recommendation 1635  (2003) on “Lesbians and gays in sport”, Recommendation 1470 (2000) on “Situation of gays and lesbians and their partners in respect of asylum and immigration in the member states of the Council of Europe”, Recommendation 1474 (2000) on the “Situation of lesbians and gays in Council of Europe member states”,  also taking into consideration Recommendation (2010)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity”.

 In 2012, the General Rapporteur intends to focus its activities on freedom of expression, association and assembly, as well as the fight against hate crimes and hate speech.

 

Relevant texts adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly:

The Parliamentary Assembly has dealt with the situation of LGBT people on several occasions and under different angles. Relevant texts include: