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Dutch minister orders investigation into homosexual rights abroad

Development aid recipients targeted

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMSTERDAM - Development Cooperation Minister Bert Koenders has launched an investigation into the attitude towards homosexuals in all countries receiving systematic aid from The Netherlands. Koenders has commissioned the Dutch embassies in the 36 'partner countries' to carry out the study.

Dutch gay rights organization COC says the study of the rights and position of homosexuals in the 36 countries are partly the results of its initiative. In over half of these countries, homosexuality is illegal. In three other countries, homosexuals could even face the death penalty.

The minister does not anticipate policy consequences, instead preferring to keep an open dialogue.

The study could lead to the subject of gay rights being raised during official visits to partner countries. Theoretically, the OCC sees the survey as supporting gay movements in countries where the rights of homosexuals are lacking.