Wednesday, May 18 2016 01:33 EEST
U.S. Embassy in Kyiv: Ukraine has made significant progress in recognizing and protecting human rights
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Joint Statement by the Ambassadors to Ukraine of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States of America on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is observed on May 17 and aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide. In the 9th edition, in 2013, commemorations took place in almost 120 countries, in all world regions.

U.S. Embassy Kyiv Ukraine shared on Facebook:

Today, May 17, is the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. As representatives of the international community and our respective governments in Ukraine, we hereby reaffirm our commitment to the protection of human rights and the right of citizens to peaceful assembly. We also recognize that the values of tolerance and respect for diversity are fundamental to open democratic societies. As such, we collectively urge the police and Kyiv city officials to support and protect the right of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons and their supporters to conduct a March for Equality, planned for June 12, 2016. We also ask that all Ukrainians respect the right of their fellow citizens to peaceful assembly. The same appeal applies to other locations in Ukraine where similar events may be planned.

The theme for this year’s March for Equality emphasizes security as a human right and obligation of the state. Following attacks on similar events over the past year, the international community remains concerned about the safety of LGBTI Ukrainians, their friends, families, and all advocates for tolerance and diversity in Ukraine. The diplomatic community plans to monitor and engage in the march as a reflection of our support for human rights, and we invite members of civil society and businesses to express their support too.

Ukraine has made significant progress in recognizing and protecting human rights, as demonstrated in the National Human Rights Strategy and supporting Action Plan. In particular, protection from workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity was an important milestone. We pledge our support to implementation of the Action Plan, including additional steps in the area of anti-discrimination for LGBTI citizens.

We look forward to a peaceful and safe March for Equality and continued progress toward equality for all Ukrainians.’

The founders of the International Day Against Homophobia, as it was originally known, established the IDAHO Committee to coordinate grass-roots actions in different countries, to promote the day and to lobby for official recognition on May 17.

That date was chosen to commemorate the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990.

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