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The Congress of the Council of Europe adopts resolutions on the role of local and regional authorities in protecting LGBTI persons

Strasbourg 16 June 2021
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The Congress of the Council of Europe adopts resolutions on the role of local and regional authorities in protecting LGBTI persons

Today, at its 40th Session, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe adopted two resolutions to protect LGBTI persons.

In the resolution and recommendation on the role of local and regional authoritiesProtection of LGBTI people in the context of rising anti-LGBTI hate speech and discrimination, the Congress reminds local and regional authorities of their role in fighting hatred and discrimination against LGBTI people and the violations of their rights. It calls on them to mainstream LGBTI equality in their policies and to introduce legislation forbidding hate speech and crimes, inviting them to monitor progress of these policies through data collection. In a recommendation, the Congress invites governments of member States to develop national action plans on anti-discrimination and LGBTI inclusion and to gather data regarding these issues, in addition to implementing the recommendations, resolutions and judgements of Council of Europe bodies. 

The resolution follows a report that draws attention to the situation of LGBTI people and the increasing contestation of their rights recognition and identity, reminding local and regional authorities that the protection of these rights is essential to strengthen social cohesion and democracy. It outlines different ways in which backsliding on international commitments or adopted legislation in this respect occurs and examines how this negative trend has affected the lives of LGBTI people, paying particular attention to the health and well-being of LGBTI youth. The report also provides good practice examples from cities and regions that have adopted policies and legislation and taken action in defense of LGBTI people’s rights.

In another resolution "The role of local authorities with regard to the situation and rights of LGBTI people in Poland", the Congress calls on Polish local and regional authorities to withdraw all declarations and resolutions against so-called “LGBT ideology” and all analogous texts regardless of their title. It also urges local and regional authorities in Poland to ensure the protection of vulnerable groups, with particular attention to the deleterious impact of hate speech on the lives of LGBTI people. The resolutions draws upon the conclusions of the fact-finding mission to Poland in November last year and the subsequent report (also available in polish) that draws attention to increasing attacks and discrimination against LGBTI people in the country, focusing on cities, provinces and regions that adopted family charters and resolutions against so-called "LGBT ideology". Since 2019, over 90 Polish local and regional authorities have passed such resolutions amid an increasingly polarised debate around issues related to LGBTI people and growing hate speech towards them.

On this occasion Congress President Leendert Verbeek expressed concerns about the worrying developments on the social and political front. “The rising anti-LGBTI hate speech and discrimination is one of those and it is indeed very worrying to learn about the legislation passed by the Hungarian parliament yesterday, particularly at a time when Hungary presides over the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe” he added.

Resolutions:


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