Labour MEPs: Conservative Polish government’s criminalisation of sexual education will have a chilling effect

Labour MEPs today backed a European Parliament resolution condemning the criminalisation of sexual education in Poland, slamming the proposals which will have a chilling effect and could see teachers, healthcare providers and even parents and guardians jailed for three years.

The proposed bill de facto seeks to criminalise the dissemination of sexuality education to minors, targeting teachers, healthcare providers, authors, publishers, civil society organisations, journalists, social workers and parents or legal guardians, threatening them with up to three years in prison for teaching about human sexuality, health and intimate life.

Amendments tabled by the far-right Identity and Democracy Group, which sought to weaken the resolution, were voted down by MEPs.

Claude Moraes MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on civil liberties, justice and home affairs, said:

“The proposed bill will have a chilling effect on educators. The extremely vague, broad and disproportionate provisions in the bill will de facto criminalise sexual education in Poland – teachers, healthcare providers, social workers, authors and even parents and guardians could face up to three years in jail.

“If this bill becomes law, so many people could face jail. Their ‘crime’? Supporting the children under their care, educating them, supporting them, telling them facts – telling them the truth.

“The resolution is strong, and condemns the bill in the clearest possible terms, despite attempts by the far-right to weaken the text. We voted against their amendments and are pleased the parliament has taken a firm stand.”

Seb Dance MEP added:

“This is the true face of the parties asking to be put in charge of modern Britain. When given a chance to reject regressive, homophobic and out of touch proposals, they chose to sit on their hands.

“Tory and Brexit Party MEPs refused to stand up to far-right parties to criminalise educators teaching sexual health and rights and airbrush same sex relationships.

“It is not good enough to ignore the overtures of the far right in repressing education and minorities simply because it is taking place in another country.”