Non-Governmental Organisations

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE

Resolution adopted on 22 June 2009
CONF/HR(2009)RES1

Call on the President of Lithuania not to sign the “Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information” because of its homophobic content.

The Human Rights Committee of the Council of Europe INGO Conference,

Gravely concerned at a growing climate of intimidation and discrimination in Lithuania against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people;

Aware that on 16 June the Lithuanian Parliament passed a "Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information” which, if it entered into force, would

    (i) prohibit materials that “agitate” for homosexual or bisexual relations on the basis that they cause "detrimental effect to the development of minors";
    (ii) class homosexuality alongside issues such as the portrayal of physical or psychological violence, the display of a dead or cruelly mutilated body of a person, and information that arouses fear or horror, or encourages self-mutilation or suicide;

Considering that this law would violate Lithuania's international obligations, including under the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child;

Dismayed at this action by the Lithuanian Parliament,

Calls on the President of Lithuania to:

    Use his powers to reject this legislation, on the grounds that it would reinforce discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation, deny the right to freedom of expression, and deprive children of access to the support and protection they may need;
    Ensure that any legislation that is adopted assures to all persons in Lithuania full enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression -- including the right to seek, receive and impart information, without discrimination of any kind;
    Ensure that Lithuania guarantees equal and effective protection against discrimination to all persons, including on grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Resolution approved by the Standing Committee of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe, meeting on 24 June 2009