EUROPE: Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the EU Member States

The FRA has published its new report "Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the EU Member States: Part II - The Social Situation". The report finds that discrimination, harassment and violence against LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) persons are widespread throughout the EU. The FRA calls on political decision-makers to further improve equality legislation and ensure accurate reporting, in order to improve the situation.

The report also considers the situation of intersex children, and other issues related to children's rights.

The summary of the report is available at the above link. For the full report, visit: http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/products/publications_reports/pub_cr_homophobia_p2_0309_en.htm

Background

In June 2007 the European Parliament asked the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) to develop a comparative report on homophobia and sexual orientation discrimination in the EU Member States to assist the European Parliament's LIBE committee in its deliberations concerning the need for a Directive covering all grounds of discrimination. In response, the FRA launched this project composed of two parts. The first part, published in June 2008, contains a comparative legal analysis of the situation in the EU Member States (LINK). The current publication represents the second part of the project and is a comparative social analysis, based on data available throughout the EU.

Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is prohibited by Article 13 of the EC Treaty and the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights. However, the current social situation for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transsexuals and transgender (LGBT) persons in the European Union remains difficult.

According to the evidence provided in this FRA report, LGBT persons experience discrimination, bullying and harassment throughout the EU. This often takes the form of demeaning statements, name calling and insults or the use of abusive language, but also verbal and physical attacks, including even deadly assaults.

Key issues addressed in the report include:

*hate crime and hate speech
* discrimination in the workplace
* bullying and harassment in education.

The report also examines the areas of healthcare and religion, where reactions to LGBT persons vary considerably. It shows that homophobia is prevalent in sport and that LGBT persons face particular difficulties in the process of seeking asylum. Discrimination against transgender persons was also reported in all areas investigated for this report.

The report outlines a number of good practices being implemented within the EU Member States and notes that although LGBT persons lack media visibility throughout the EU, there is evidence that things are slowly changing. FRA welcomes this process and stresses that a broad range of measures should be implemented by Member States to tackle discrimination in this field.

Further information

pdf: http://www.crin.org/docs/hdgso_part2_summary_en-1.pdf

Countries