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Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Excluded from Proposed Macedonian Antidiscrimination Draft Bill

In January 2010 the government of Macedonia proposed a new draft of the long-awaited anti-discrimination law. Though previous drafts included "sexual direction" as ground protected against discrimination, it has been eliminated from the present draft. Boris O. Dittrich, the advocacy director in the program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of Human Rights Watch wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Macedonia.

International law and standards prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people against discrimination is therefore part of Macedonia's duty-bound obligations. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Macedonia acceded in 1994, affirms the equality of all people in articles 2 and 26.

Likewise, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, the international body of experts that monitors compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to which Macedonia acceded in 1993 has also affirmed in its General Comments that the Convention's prohibitions on discrimination (art.2) are taken to include "sexual orientation."
Human Rights Watch disagrees with the approach. Express mention of the grounds of discrimination is an essential measure toward eliminating unequal treatment. HRW thus urges the Prime Minister to change the draft law and make the anti-discrimination framework law compatible with international human rights standards.
For the full text, go to: http://www.hrw.org/node/88224
 
Several Members of the European Parliament wrote to the Parliament of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, urging them to reconsider voting in plenary on the incomplete government-proposed anti-discrimination law.
 
The letter states that the draft law, as it will be voted next week, goes against European principles of comprehensive non-discrimination. If voted, it would need to be reconsidered nearer the time of the country's accession to the EU — so why not implement comprehensive legislation now, MEPs argue. The letter also reminds Parliamentarians in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia of the country's future legal obligations once it becomes a full member of the European Union.
 
The letter is signed by six MEPs, including the Co-president of the European Parliament's Greens/European Free Alliance, as well as the two Co-presidents of the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights.

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