LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

ILGA-Europe is concerned with the cancellation of Kyiv Pride

This year’s Kyiv Pride, scheduled for 5 July, was cancelled after the Ukrainian police claimed they would not be able to protect the Pride participants because of expected counter protests. Vitali Klitschko, the Mayor of Kyiv, stated that now is not the right time for ‘entertainment’ events such as Pride.

ILGA-Europe is concerned that the right to peaceful assembly was denied to Ukrainian LGBTI human rights defenders. Whilst the country is currently facing profound changes and challenges, it is particularly important ensure that the rights of all citizens in Ukraine are respected and can that they can fully enjoy their fundamental political and civil rights.

Last year, the Pride event took place in Kyiv under the police protection and therefore established a good practice demonstrating the state ability to ensure citizens’ right and protect peaceful demonstrators from the attacks of violent counter protesters.

Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said:

“Exercising fundamental human rights is not entertainment. LGBTI people and their supporters in Ukraine are simply claiming their constitutional rights which in true democracy cannot be arbitrary denied. Ukraine authorities clearly identified the objective of building a European democracy. While working toward this objective, the Ukrainian authorities must ensure that the respect of civil and political rights is fully guaranteed to minority groups.”

ILGA-Europe expresses its full support and solidarity with the Ukrainian LGBTI communities during such challenging and transformative time in the country.

We also remain open to working with the Ukrainian authorities and to provide help and advice on improving their policies and practices towards full respect of LGBTI people’s human rights in the country.

According to our Rainbow Europe’s Index (May 2014), Ukraine came 45th among 49 European countries in terms of laws and policies affecting the human rights of LGBTI people.