THE GOVERNMENT’S Council for Human Rights, National Minorities and Gender Equality should establish a committee to deal with the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. NGOs dealing with human rights, including the rights of LGBT people, have called on the government of Prime Minister Robert Fico to develop such a committee within the working bodies of the government advisory council.
“When the council and its committees were being defined, it was to be based on the original principle that every ground for discrimination as defined by the Antidiscrimination Law should be given its own committee in the council,” the NGOs wrote, stating that the previous government had violated this principle by refusing to establish a LGBT committee based on opposition from ministers from the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ).
“Discrimination based on sexual orientation is as serious as discrimination based on race, origin or colour,” the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in February 2012, stated the open letter the NGOs sent to the government, insisting that the inadequate attention to discrimination against members of the LGBT communities by the council is unacceptable.
“We expect this government will correct the mistake of the previous government and remove the underprivileged status of one group [that should be protected from] discrimination within the structure of the council and thus send a clear signal that it puts equal weight on the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as it does on other kinds of discrimination,” the letter stated.