LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Our advocacy work

Changing hearts and minds in order to end the social and legal discrimination which LGBTI people face cannot be done in a heartbeat. It is it a long struggle with many challenges. Laws, procedures and policy practices are important elements that help protect the fundamental rights of LGBTI people across Europe in the fight against discrimination. These legal and policy measures go hand in hand with the deep-rooted social change required to ensure lasting equality.

ILGA-Europe’s advocacy work takes place in 54 countries across Europe and Central Asia, not just focusing on EU member states. We work with the European Union institutions (the European Commission, European Parliament and the Council of European Union) as well as the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

ILGA-Europe monitor and influence the adoption of EU legislation and policies that will impact on the rights of LGBTI people. In close cooperation with our member organisations, we follow up on the implementation of EU legislation at European and national level.

At EU level, our advocacy work covers a great number of initiatives. Although the work of the EU institutions might seem remote to many citizens, decisions taken by the European Union have a direct impact on LGBTI people’s lives. Therefore, ILGA-Europe aim to bring the voices and experiences of LGBTI people and NGOs into the negotiations on new legislation, to consultations and debates. We facilitate contact between NGOs and governments across Europe to ensure the exchange of good practices and peer-to-peer learning which allows for informed and sustainable decision-making.

Beyond the borders of the EU, ILGA-Europe also closely monitor and offer support to the work of the Council of Europe (CoE). In recent years, the CoE has established clear standards for the human rights of LGBTI individuals on the European continent. Our advocacy work focuses on the CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, the work of the so-called SOGI Unit (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Unit, established within the CoE to focus on issues related LGBT people) and the reporting mechanism of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance.

In relation to our work on bias-motivated speech and hate crimes, ILGA-Europe are working in cooperation with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), especially in connection with the OSCE's annual report on hate crime.

Alliance building is a key factor of successful advocacy work. ILGA-Europe work together with a large number of civil society organisations, ranging from EU equality networks to social NGOs, human rights organisations, women's organisations, organisations focusing on sexual and reproductive rights, as well as religious networks.

What about the national level?

We have over 600 member organisations, mainly working on a national and regional level. They are the experts on national advocacy. However, when needed, ILGA-Europe ensure useful information on common experiences can be shared among all our members. Supporting national advocacy efforts is very important to ILGA-Europe and we can do this by working with the relevant EU institutions or by providing our network of partner organisations with any training sessions that they need. When our members think it would be beneficial, we can intervene.

Read about about ILGA-Europe's work on anti-discrimination in Europe.

In this section you can find out how ILGA-Europe is working for LGBTI people facing persecution.

A shrinking space for civil society.

In this section you can find out how ILGA-Europe is working against discrimination and exclusion of LGBTI people in education environments.

In this section you can find out how ILGA-Europe is working against discrimination and exclusion of LGBTI people in employment.

In this section you can find out how ILGA-Europe is working works towards full recognition and equality of the diversity of families and family relations.

In this section you can find information about our work on freedom of assembly, association and expression.

In this section you can read about how ILGA-Europe work to fight hate crime and hate speech.

Our own individual health is vital to each and every one of us; how we feel physically and mentally impacts on all other facets of our lives. So it is natural that ILGA-Europe focuses on LGBTI health issues as part of our human rights and equality work.

In this section you can find out how ILGA-Europe is working on intersex and trans issues.

In this section you can find out what an equality action plans is, and why it is relevant to the work of ILGA-Europe.

Find information how we are currently working with the European institutions.

Find here advocacy campaigns from ILGA-Europe