The President of Kyrgyzstan signed amendments to the Law “on measures to prevent harm to the health of children, and to their physical, intellectual, mental, spiritual and moral development in the Kyrgyz Republic”.
When initiated, the bill was criticized by civil society and the international community for its vague language, in particular for the use of the term “traditional public values”. The Parliament of the European Union issued a resolution calling on Kyrgyzstan to withdraw bills that are contrary to human rights, including this one. In the resolution, the European Parliament refers to the Strategic Partnership Agreement between Kyrgyzstan and the EU, which contains obligations for the parties to comply with human rights norms.
The country's authorities were not concerned that the draft law contravenes the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Kyrgyzstan, in particular the provision on children’s access to information.
What threat does this new law pose?
Information “rejecting family and traditional social values, promoting non-traditional sexual relations, and forming disrespect towards parents or other family members” is prohibited. The vague language of the new norm can be used against the media, non-governmental organizations, and activists objectionable to the government. LGBT people are especially vulnerable.
Information “provided in the form of an image or description of sexual relations between a man and a woman” is restricted. Thus, any information about sexual and reproductive health among young people is also banned. This will certainly have a negative impact on access to information about HIV and sexual health among young people, which will lead to an increase in sexually transmitted infections.
ECOM condemns the adoption of this law and calls on the authorities of Kyrgyzstan to:
- Revise the law and repeal norms that are discriminatory towards LGBT people.
ECOM calls upon the international community to:
- Support local LGBT organizations and initiatives, including through strategic litigation to prevent the use of this law against activists;
- Condemn human rights violations and the adoption of repressive legislation in the Kyrgyz Republic;
- Introduce measures to respond to violations of agreements and human rights conventions by the Kyrgyz Republic.