LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Cause and effect – Europe’s politicians must take responsibility for their actions on IDAHOT 2016

International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) is the moment for Europe’s political leaders to honestly assess their progress on improving the lives of LGBTI people over the past twelve months. 

Today, on 17 May, ILGA-Europe want to remind European governments that the choices they make will have real, long-lasting impacts on people’s well-being.

Improving the quality of life of LGBTI people (whether that is by protecting people from being discriminated against in school or at work, implementing robust hate crime legislation or increasing access to suitable medical care) will inevitably have positive effects on their overall health.

Mental health and well-being is the global 2016 IDAHOT theme – and the issue will also be discussed at an event taking place in Paris today. Hosted by UNESCO, it is bringing education ministers, UN agencies and civil society organisations together for the launch of a UNESCO global report on the education sector’s response to violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

ILGA-Europe are publishing a set of infographics today, to mark IDAHOT and to display the results of eight in-depth national projects on LGBTI people in school environments supported by ILGA-Europe’s Advocacy and Documentation Fund.

The 2016 Rainbow Europe Index also began benchmarking countries on whether they have legislation prohibiting people against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in the field of education.

“IDAHOT takes places on the day that the WHO declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1990 - but there is so much work left to be done to make the lives of LGBTI people safer and more equal. In 2016, Europe’s political leaders need to ask themselves if they are doing enough.” said ILGA-Europe Executive Director Evelyne Paradis.

“Our latest Rainbow Europe Index showed that Europe currently scores 42% in terms of legal and policy measures to protect LGBTI people. There is a huge wealth of expertise out there; civil society is ready to work with governments to help them develop their own Rainbow Europe ranking. 17 May is the perfect excuse to step up, reach out and improve lives.”