Council of Europe: Hungary must stop curbing LGBT rights


Central Europe


The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic. Photo AFP, Marcus Brandt

The Hungarian government "must stop instrumentalising and weakening the human rights of LGBT people", Dunja Mijatovic, human rights commissioner of the Council of Europe, said on Thursday.

In her statement, reported in Hungary today, Mijatovic called it "deeply regrettable" that the Hungarian government is planning to hold a referendum on children's access to information on sexual identities simultaneously with the upcoming general election. According to the human rights commissioner, it weaponises LGBT rights as an election issue.

Referring to Hungary's child protection law, the commissioner said it "wrongly associates homosexuality with paedophilia and curtails the freedom of expression and education".

"I am worried that the proposed referendum will entrench stereotypes, prejudice and hate against LGBT people and therefore have a strong negative impact on their rights, safety and well-being, by putting questions to a popular vote that are ambiguous and misleading", Mijatovic continued.

She also warned that the Hungarian referendum was a "striking illustration" of a "worrying trend" of politically manipulating, violating or neglecting human rights in Europe.


In a response on Facebook, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the education of Hungarian children concerning sexual orientation is the exclusive right of their parents. "Today, another international bureaucrat joined the international LGBTI chorus attacking Hungary," Péter Szijjártó said.

Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó. Photo EPA, Zsolt Szigetvary

"But Dunja Mijatovic, together with all international bureaucrats and LGBT NGOs, should accept that the education of Hungarian children concerning sexual orientation is an exclusive right of their parents, and no NGO can have a say in it."

"And whether they like it or not", this issue will be put to a referendum in Hungary because it is not the international bureaucrats and the NGOs that determine which topic can or cannot be the subject of a referendum here, Szijjártó said.



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