ILGA-Europe's statement on new anti-discrimination law in Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
On 8 April 2010, a new anti-discrimination law was adopted by the Parliament of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Regretfully, the new law does not include sexual orientation among 20 prohibited grounds of discrimination.
The original draft law contained sexual orientation among the prohibited grounds of discrimination, but on 29 January 2010, before forwarding the draft law to the parliament, the government deleted sexual orientation from the list of grounds.
A number of EU representatives, national and international human rights organisations repeatedly encouraged the FYROM Parliament to re-install sexual orientation among the prohibited grounds of discrimination in order to harmonise the country legislation with the EU standards. The EU Directive 2000/78/EC requires all Member States to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in employment. However, many EU Member States and some potential EU Member States went further and banned this form of discrimination also in such areas as access to goods and services and heath care.
As an EU candidate country, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is expected to introduce a comprehensive anti-discrimination law providing protection from discrimination on the grounds of age, ethnic origin, disability, religion, race and sexual orientation.
The FYROM argues that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are protected from discrimination under the categories of ‘other grounds’.
ILGA-Europe is disappointed with this development and calls on the European institutions to react firmly to bring FYROM legislation in line with EU legislation.