Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity
Reply to Recommendation
| Doc. 12561
| 07 April 2011
- Committee of Ministers
- Adopted at the 1110th meeting of
the Ministers’ Deputies (30-31 March 2011). 2011 - Second part-session
- Reply to Recommendation
- : Recommendation 1915
The Committee of Ministers carefully
considered Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1915 (2010)
on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity”. It has brought
the recommendation to the attention of the governments of the member
states and has also communicated it to the Ad hoc Committee on preventing
and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO),
the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) and the Steering
Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) for information
and possible comments.
2 The Committee of Ministers shares the Parliamentary Assembly’s
concerns about the widespread instancesof
discrimination in Europe based on sexual orientation and gender
identity. Through its Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5 on measures to
combat such discrimination adopted on 31 March 2010, it has laid
down guidelines on which member states can base their national policies.
This recommendation promotes a clear message of respect and non-discrimination.
The Committee of Ministers recalls that when it adopted its recommendation,
it decided to examine its implementation after three years.
3 The Committee of Ministers agrees with the need to define
further Council of Europe action to combat all forms of discrimination,
including on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity,
through legal, educational and cultural measures. Such measures
would facilitate the implementation of the recommendation in the
member states and help prepare the review exercise to be carried
out in 2013. The Committee of Ministers notes that a publication
collecting all the relevant Council of Europe standards and documents dealing
with discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender
identity is already under preparation.
An example of mainstreaming of issues relating to sexual orientation
and gender identity is
by the Bureau of the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ)
to its Working Group No. 3 on the new legal instrument on the rights
and legal status of children and parental responsibilities (CJ‑FA-GT3),
to ensure the compliance and consistency of the draft future recommendation
on the rights and legal status of children and parental responsibilities
with the Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5, as
well as with Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1915 (2010)
and Resolution 1728 (2010)
5 The Parliamentary Assembly recommends the Committee of Ministers
to instruct a relevant Council of Europe body to review and address
issues related to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation
and gender identity in member states. The Committee of Ministers
notes that these issues are already, and could be further, addressed
by the relevant bodies and institutions of the Council of Europe.
For this reason, the Committee sees no reason to create a separate
body to deal exclusively with this task.
6 The Committee of Ministers notes that the Office of the Commissioner
for Human Rights is carrying out a comparative study on the situation
concerning homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on grounds
of sexual orientation and gender identity in the Council of Europe
member states, which will be launched in the beginning of 2011.
In addition, the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights intends
to organise a few round tables in 2011 on the subject matter in
order to further disseminate and discuss the findings and recommendations
of the report with stakeholders. One of these roundtables is planned
to be organised in co-operation with the European Union Fundamental
7 The Committee of Ministers notes furthermore that the Action
Plan “Taking up the challenge of the achievement of de jure and de
facto gender equality”, which was adopted by the 7th
Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for equality
between women and men (Baku, 24-25 May 2010), in its priority VII,
“Combating discrimination against vulnerable groups of women and
girls”, proposes action linked to the fight against discrimination
of women and young girls on grounds of their sexual orientation
or gender identity.
8 More generally, the Council of Europe Programme “Building
a Europe for and with children – 2009-2011 Strategy” has as one
of its key strategic objectives the eradication of all forms of
violence against children. It has taken a number of steps to raise
awareness of violence in schools, including bullying. This work,
which relates to bullying for whatever reason, is likely to be pursued
as a new strategy will be conceived and will cover the years 2012-2014.