The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) today called on the Moldovan Government to follow up on its commitment to adopt a comprehensive anti-discrimination law.
“We urge the Government of Moldova to act on its commitment to adopt this long-overdue legislation in conformity with obligations under international human rights law,” an OHCHR spokesperson, Ravina Shamdasani, said in a news release.
The law has been under preparation since 2008 and is currently being debated in the country, pending consultations with the Government – one of the most contentious provisions of the law is that it will outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
The law was one of the key elements raised by the High Commissioner, Navi Pillay, in her discussions with the Moldovan Government during her November 2011 visit to the country and featured strongly in the report of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Moldova, adopted in March this year. Under the auspices of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, the UPR process involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States once every four years.
“Given the hostility facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people in Moldova, including hate speech by politicians and public officials, it is imperative that this provision remain in the law,” Ms. Shamdasani said. “As the High Commissioner has repeatedly stressed, acts of discrimination and violence against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people are violations of international human rights law and must be outlawed.”
The spokesperson said OHCHR welcomes the active role of civil society in debating and promoting the draft law, which will also provide much-needed protection for groups such as the Roma community, religious minorities and individuals living with HIV/AIDS.