LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

ILGA-Europe’s statement on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination when the issues of racial discrimination and xenophobia are highlighted. ILGA-Europe fully supports the efforts towards eliminating all forms of discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity and religion and tackling prejudices towards ethnic and religious minorities.

Today, the European Network Against racism (ENAR) launches its Shadow Report on Racism in Europe which clearly demonstrates that discrimination against and marginalisation of ethnic and religious minorities across the European Union remains widespread.

In these times of economic hardship and emerging trend towards extremism in Europe, it is even more important for minority groups to work together. However, in order to build strong alliance of different minority groups against extremism, minority groups themselves have to address and overcome prejudices that still exist within the groups against other minorities.

This is why ILGA-Europe is actively promoting the diversity within the organisation. Diversity principles are firmly embedded in ILGA-Europe’s new organisational Strategic Plan 2011-2013. Last year, its annual conference was entitled “Expressing our differences, challenging our prejudices, developing our alliances”. During the conference, two resolutions specifically addressing the issues of diversity and extremism have been adopted encouraging member organisations to actively engage and promote diversity and tackle prejudices and all forms of intolerance towards other minority groups. Over the next three years, ILGA-Europe will build on the learning done until now to step up its work on issues of intersectionality between different grounds of discrimination and multiple discrimination as well as the diversity of the LGBTI movement itself, including better representation and inclusion of LGBTI people of different racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. In this, ILGA-Europe looks forward to strengthening its good cooperation with ENAR and other actors in the anti-racism movement.