Earlier this week, the Hungarian Parliament adopted a bill preventing the country from ratifying the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. According to the Hungarian government, the Istanbul Convention “takes an unacceptable approach to defining gender and sexuality”.
By doing this, the Central European country joins a group of conservative countries accusing the Council of Europe of “spreading gender ideology”. Other countries who didn’t sign or ratify the convention are Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Ukraine.
David Vig (Amnesty International in Hungary):
“This decision is extremely dangerous coming at a time when reported domestic violence incidents in Hungary have doubled since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown. This not only puts women and girls at risk but sends a damaging message to perpetrators that their acts will not be prosecuted.”
“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the government had failed to adequately prevent and combat violence against women, with a shameful record of investigations and prosecutions.”
Rémy Bonny (LGBTQ in Central & Eastern European Politics Expert):
“The Orban administration is obviously abusing the Covid-19 pandemic to implement policies which would otherwise lead to a huge outcry, both internationally and domestically. Local activists are tired. They are locked up at home and try whatever in their power to stop the far-right government from taking away their rights.”
“Only last month, Orban’s government announced that they would ban legal gender changes, making it impossible for transgender or intersex people to change their gender during their lifetime. Even Russia has certain legal provisions for trans and intersex people.”
“This is a clear statement to Brussels (the EU’s political capital). Hungary doesn’t perceive itself as an EU member state anymore. It has joined countries like Russia and movements like the American Alt-Right in their fight against equality. It’s time for the EU to be bold and decisive over Hungary.”
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