Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Ceisteanna (127)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Ceist:

127. Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the steps he or his Department have taken during the Irish Presidency to specifically address the 78 countries internationally which still regard homosexuality as a criminal offence; and the contact that has been made with embassies of countries with whom Ireland has diplomatic links asking them whether they intend to comply with the international covenant on civil and political rights in this area. [27769/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

Ireland has identified the rights of LGBTI people as a priority for our term on the Human Rights Council from 2013-2015. Criminalisation and violence directed against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation was the focus of a landmark resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011. Ireland was active in the preparation of this resolution. We also have an opportunity through the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, which involves a peer review of all United Nations members, to raise a range of human rights issues with our UN partners, including the issue of decriminalisation of homosexuality. In addition, throughout our Embassy network, we engage in sustained discussion with States about human rights issues, both through exchange of information and views and formal demarches where appropriate. Our diplomatic network has been active in advocacy relating to LGBT rights; this advocacy has dealt, inter alia, with the issue of decriminalisation, with concerns we have about new laws criminalising homosexuality and with support for civil society and freedom of association and assembly.

During the Irish Presidency of the European Union, new guidelines on LGBT rights are in the process of being agreed by the EU. These will serve as guiding principles for the human rights diplomacy of the EU and its member States on this issue.