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Human Rights

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 8 September 2020

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Questions (459)

Francis Noel Duffy


459. Deputy Francis Noel Duffy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the steps he and EU institutions are taking in response to the ongoing oppression of LGBTQ+ persons and their rights in Poland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21685/20]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I am concerned regarding developments relating to LGBTI+ people in Poland. The Government has expressed its concerns regarding this issue publicly.

The principles of equality and non-discrimination are enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. It is important that these principles are protected and promoted throughout the Union.

At EU level, the European Parliament has adopted a number of Resolutions relating to LGBTI+ rights including some with specific references to Poland. This includes a Resolution adopted in December 2019 on “public discrimination and hate speech against LGBTI people, including LGBTI+ free zones”.

The European Commission has also recently written to the heads of Regional Government in a number of Polish Provinces to remind them of their responsibility to comply with the principle of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The European Commission has emphasised that EU values and fundamental rights must be respected by Member States and authorities, and a number of town twinning applications from Poland were recently rejected because of resolutions adopted by the local authorities.

Advancing human rights is central to Ireland’s foreign policy, The Global Island. Ireland is committed to promoting the rights of LGBTI+ people, who continue to suffer disproportionate levels of violence and discrimination around the world. Ireland continues to support initiatives in international fora which promote and protect the rights of LGBTI+ people, and which condemn violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Embassy of Ireland in Poland undertakes a number of initiatives, together with local non-governmental organisations, to raise awareness of and facilitate discussion on the rights of LGBTI+ people. This includes taking part in the Warsaw Equality Parade each year. The Embassy is also one of a number of diplomatic representations which sign an annual letter in support of the Warsaw Equality Parade and other such parades around Poland.

This autumn, the Embassy will support a number of engagements, including events to showcase the experience of countries such as Ireland in ensuring the adoption of equal rights for LGBTI+ people.

We will continue to work both bilaterally and at the EU level to promote and protect the rights of LGBTI+ people across the EU and beyond.