Petition Closed
782
Supporters

Sexual orientation was excluded from the second revision of the Cotonou Agreement in violation of the European Parliament's directive. The Cotonou Agreement delineates political and trade relations between the European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states and includes human rights requirements.

Out of 79 ACP states, 49 criminalise homosexuality with up to 14 years in jail, and up to 5 punish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with death.

European Commissioner Andris Piebalgs previously intended to include non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in the new terms (as demanded by the European Parliament), but finally agreed to conclude a deal with ACP states that does not mention the human rights of LGBT people, despite blatant increases in state-supported violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the ACP region.

 

Letter to
Head of Cabinet of the European Parliament Maciej Popowski
Commissioner designate for Development Andris Piebalgs
Personal Assistant to the Commissioner Heleen Averink
and 3 others
Personal Assistant to the Commissioner Laila Bernere
Assistant to Head of Cabinet of the European Parliament Maja Urbanska
The President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek
It is outrageous that sexual orientation is not included in the second revision of the Cotonou Agreement. The European Parliament resolution of 20 January 2010 on the second revision of the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement (the "Cotonou Agreement") gave your commission the following directive:

"Calls for negotiations to reinforce the principle of non-negotiable human rights clauses and sanctions for failure to respect such clauses, inter alia with regard to discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation and towards people living with HIV/AIDS."
(Source: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-TA-2010-0004+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN)

As you know, out of 79 ACP states, 49 criminalise homosexuality with up to 14 years in jail, and up to 5 punish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with death.

It is completely unacceptable to conclude a deal with ACP states that does not mention the human rights of LGBT people, despite blatant increases in state-supported violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the ACP region.

Backing down in the face of governments that increasingly discriminate, imprison, torture and kill people because of their sexual orientation sends a dangerous signal that there is a hierarchy of rights: some will be defended, but others will not. This goes against the values of the European Union.

We demand that the commission comply with the directive from the European Parliament and include sexual orientation in the Cotonou Agreement as a "non-negotiable human rights clause".