Eastern Europe: LGBT People

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 3rd August 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to provide protection and support for LGBT+ communities in eastern Europe.

Photo of Baroness Sugg Baroness Sugg The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The UK is implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination and is committed to promoting and protecting the rights and freedoms of LGBT people in all circumstances. The UK plays an active role in eastern Europe and across the world in support of LGBT rights. The UK became Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) co-chair on 14 June 2019, in partnership with Argentina. The ERC is a group of 42 like-minded States that share best practice and promotes LGBT equality globally. The UK has ambitious plans, including delivery of an ERC Strategy and Action Plan to re-energise the work of the ERC.

We continue to engage with Governments across the region on this agenda. On 30 April, the Minister for Europe and the Americas raised with Hungarian Deputy Foreign Minister Magyar our concerns regarding the impact on transgender rights of amendments to the Registry Act. On 17 June, she raised with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Titov the UK's deep concern regarding the deteriorating human rights situation in Russia, including the persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya.

Our embassies across the region work actively to promote LGBT rights, regularly engaging in dialogue on this issue with Governments, local civil societies and our diplomatic partners. They also continue to work with local LGBT communities to identify opportunities to tackle discrimination and promote inclusion by supporting human rights defenders during Pride and anti-discrimination events. Our embassies proudly fly the rainbow flag for International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) and during Pride month.

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