Falling back. Mentions of sexual orientation removed from the draft of Labor Code
On March 15, the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Social Policy, Employment and Pensions Provisions completely removed the list of protected features from the Article on the Prohibition of Discrimination in the draft of the new Labor Code (Article 3).
As stated in the joint statement of the public organizations Gay Alliance Ukraine, Fulcrum (Tochka Opory) and KyivPride, the text of which is available to the Human Rights Information Centre.
The authors of the statement reported that the LGBT representatives and representatives of the human rights organizations were not allowed to participate in the meeting.
The Committee recommended the Parliament to adopt its own version of the Code in the second reading and overall.
“This practically guarantees that the Labor Code will be adopted without mentions of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) or other attributes. We have already seen a similar situation when adopting an anti-discrimination law in 2012 (although, at that time, authorities to the last persuaded the international partners of the possibility of making amendments)”, – said in the statement of the human rights defenders.
They are convinced that in an attempt to get rid of the SOGI mentions, the Committee decided to worsen the situation of all groups that may be discriminated against in the labor area. Discriminated on grounds of race, color, political, religious and other convictions, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnic or social origin, property status, place of residence, language or other grounds.
The authors of the statement remind that the prohibition of discrimination, including on the grounds of SOGI, is obligation of Ukraine within the framework of the implementation of the Action Plan for the Visa Liberalisation, as well as in accordance with the Association Agreement with the EU (in particular, implementation of the EU Directive 2000/78 / EU).
“The adoption of the new Labor Code without a list of features on which discrimination is prohibited will be a deception of Ukraine’s international partners and departure from its voluntary obligations to the EU. This will be a huge step back in securing the rights of all Ukrainian citizens in the labor sphere, where discrimination is most common”, – said authors of the statement and urged People’s Deputies to not deviate from Ukraine’s obligations and guarantee protection from discrimination on any grounds, including SOGI grounds.
As a reminder, Ukraine is among six countries in Europe with the lowest level of equality in relation to LGBT people.