North Macedonia (CESCR 15-07-2016)
The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights considered the combined second to fourth periodic reports of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/C.12/MKD/2-4) at its 32nd and 33rd meetings (see E/C.12/2016/SR.32 and 33), held on 13 and 14 June 2016. It adopted the following concluding observations at its 49th meeting, held on 24 June 2016.
C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons
- The Committee is concerned that the Law on the Prevention of and Protection against Discrimination does not include sexual orientation or gender identity as prohibited grounds of discrimination and that article 14 (6) of the Law maintains discrimination between opposite-sex unions, for which the concept of “family” is reserved, and same-sex unions. It is also concerned that university textbooks convey negative stereotypes of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons. It is further concerned that such persons are bullied, physically attacked, socially stigmatized and discriminated against and that law enforcement officials do not always take action in cases of violence against them (art. 2 (2)).
- The Committee recommends that the State party take all measures necessary to ensure that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is explicitly prohibited in anti-discrimination legislation and that same-sex couples have access to advantages now reserved for married couples; eradicate negative stereotypes about and stigmatization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, including by revising textbooks and conducting awareness-raising campaigns for the public, health-care providers, social workers and law enforcement and other public officials; and ensure prompt, impartial and effective investigation and prosecution of cases of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons. The Committee draws the attention of the State party to its general comments No. 20 (2009) on non-discrimination and No. 22 (2016) on sexual and reproductive health, in particular paragraph 23.