The Venice Commission has issued a comment on the Hungarian Child Protection Act at its recent plenary session, HVG reported. The commission find that the Hungarian law is incompatible with international human rights standards, and that it was hastily adopted without consultation with civil society or the opposition.
The Council of Europe’s advisory body emphasized that neither on the basis of public morality nor on the protection of minors could the government have taken a decision restricting people with homosexual or gendered identities.
The committee also stressed that gender identity and sexual orientation are protected by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), so the law cannot contravene it. They noted that terms that were too broad, inaccurate, and clumsy could lead to varying interpretations. As they stated:
…the National Public Education Act is not in accordance with international human rights standards and constitutional norms, as it deprives individuals under 18 years of access to adequate sex education and objective information, appropriate to their age and development, about different forms of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics that today exist in every society. It may result in discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The commission delivered a harsh final assessment of the anti-LGBTQ amendment to the Child Protection Act:
In sum, the Venice Commission considers this amendment to be in breach of the right to family life enshrined in Article 8 ECHR, and the right of parents to educate and teach their children in conformity with their own convictions,
Originally, the government only intended the law to set criminal restrictions on pedophilia and create a searchable pedophile registry, sparking an unusually wide consensus within Parliament on the proposal.
However, subsequent amendments appeared to target the LGBTQ community, turning most of the opposition away from the bill although it was still voted into law by the pro-governing parties.