LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Time for reflection - ILGA-Europe statement on IDAHOT, 17 May 2015

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 2015 gives us a valuable opportunity for reflection, according to ILGA-Europe Executive Director Evelyne Paradis.

“Having spent the past week in the company of equality activists and political figures at the European IDAHO Forum in Montenegro, I trust that 2015 has more positive stories in store for us.” said Ms Paradis. “The fact that year after year, we are able to celebrate great strides in advancing LGBTI equality and to acknowledge governments which set new standards, is in itself a source of inspiration and motivation for all in the European LGBTI movement.”

It is also one week since the launch of ILGA-Europe’s new Rainbow Europe package. It is natural that the headline figures, such as who is number 1 and who has moved the most on our scale, attract instant attention, but there is much food for thought contained within our Rainbow Map and Annual Review. “Our Rainbow Europe package sets a benchmark. The Index takes a multitude of legal and policy criteria into consideration. It basically gives governments a step-by-step equality plan to follow in order to make the lives of LGBTI people better” explained Ms Paradis.

ILGA-Europe hope that the 17 May serves as a timely reminder to national decision makers and the EU institutions that, now more than ever, Europe needs political leaders to work with and for LGBTI people to make more change happen in 2015.

As Evelyne Paradis concluded, “While it is always important to celebrate positive achievements, I am also often left questioning what is so remarkable about most of the legal developments highlighted on our Map. All that is reflected is the fact that governments are catching up with what should be a given, and that who we love and who we are should never be used as reasons to deny anyone's dignity and rights.”

To mark 17 May 2015, ILGA-Europe are delighted to support the social media Thunderclap campaign initiated by our member organisation IGLYO. The online campaign highlights the human rights of LGBTQI youth and calls on national governments to safeguard them against discrimination.