LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

ILGA-Europe commends historical passing of two key LGBTI resolutions by European Parliament

Today the European Parliament adopted two resolutions clearly calling for a strong agenda for the protection and furtherment of LGBTI equality and human rights in the next European Commission’s term. 

The passing of a resolution on the future of the LGBTI List of Actions unites the European Parliament with 19 member states, who in December signed a call initiated by the Maltese government calling for an EU LGBTI strategy for 2019 - 2024.

“In the current political climate where LGBTI strategy both in the Council and the European Parliament are challenged by a small but loud opposition, this strong call by the European Parliament for the European Commission to not sway but to ensure an even stronger commitment to work on LGBTI rights in the future, is very much needed”, says Katrin Hugendubel, Advocacy Director of ILGA-Europe. 

The resolution clearly calls on the Commission to ensure that LGBTI human rights are given priority in its work programme for 2019-2024, and to develop a LGBTI strategy for its next term, in consultation with the European Parliament and civil society organisations.

The European Parliament reiterated one of the demands ILGA-Europe sets out in its ComeOut pledge  campaign for the European Parliament elections, which was launched today.

“The last five years showed clearly that a strategic commitment such as the LGBTI list of actions allows the European Commission to be more ambitious in its work on progressing LGBTI equality. It is important to build on the progress of the list of actions in the next term,”notes Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe.

Second resolution on intersex rights

A second historical resolution adopted today focuses on the human rights of intersex people. Here, the European Parliament is not only acknowledging the ongoing human rights violations intersex people still face in the EU today, but also sets out clearly what needs to be done both on national and EU level, such as ensuring protection against any form of discrimination under the ground “sex” and putting in place legislation  that will finally ensure a protection of intersex people’s bodily integrity. 

Addressing the first candidate signatories of the ComeOut pledge, Secretary of OII Europe Kitty Anderson said “When the resolution was announced, I got messages all over Europe from intersex activists saying they felt heard and protected.”

“This is a monumental step forward for the rights of intersex people and is somehing we can truly build on.”

“Intersex rights need to be clearly integrated into all work of the EU institutions in the future, and the future LGBTI strategy needs to set out clearly how the European Commission will work to ensure the full protection of intersex human rights, including supporting member states in putting in place legal protection of intersex people’s bodily integrity,” Paradis adds.