For equality in diversity

The principle of equality and non-discrimination is a fundamental element in the protection of human rights. It is guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights (article 14) and was reinforced by Protocol No.12 to the Convention, which in a general manner, provides that no-one shall be discriminated against on any ground by any public authority.

Homophobic acts which have occurred in several states unhappily point to systematic violation of the fundamental rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI). These occurrences have also shown that in many cases such injustice is condoned and sometimes even actively supported by the very authorities whose strict duty it is to protect their citizens against all discrimination.

2017 Edition 2017 Edition
They have the same rights as everyone else
Secretary General Strasbourg 16 May 2017
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Thorbjørn Jagland

Thorbjørn Jagland

Ahead of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) marked on 17 May, the Secretary General of the 47-nation Council of Europe has made the following statement:

“Homophobic and transphobic hatred is spreading on the internet and in public discourse, and attacks against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people are widespread. In France, an NGO has recently reported a 20% increase in homophobic insults and violence in 2016. There are worrying reports of homophobic and transphobic trends elsewhere in Europe.

“I am particularly concerned about the recent allegations of mass persecutions of LGBTI people in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation. Discrimination and violence against LGBTI people is the worst kind of populism. Using minorities as scapegoats is unfortunately a growing trend. It is dangerous to democracy and governments must do all they can to stop it.

“Societies based on human rights, democracy and the rule of law need strong anti-discrimination laws, which are properly applied, and policies to integrate minorities and protect their rights. We also need to tackle irresponsible political dialogue inciting people to hatred and prejudice.”

“LGBTI people have the same rights as everyone else under the European Convention on Human Rights, and we cannot and will not tolerate violence and discrimination against them”.


17 May - International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT)

In 1990, the World Health Organisation decided to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. The Council of Europe has consistently voiced its commitment to end homophobia and transphobia in its member states. Consult the Human Rights Channel web page "Come out for Human Rights"


European Court of Human Rights European Court of Human Rights

Whilst for many LGBTI people in Europe life has become easier and society more tolerant, they face still many other obstacles. The Court has been asked to judge cases involving the banning of gay pride parades and discrimination in granting social rights, with a number of applications pending on the laws which criminalise "homosexual propaganda".

Commissioner for Human Rights Commissioner for Human Rights

The Commissioner regularly raises the LGBTI topic with authorities in member states, and expresses his concerns in country monitoring reports and specific thematic publications.

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Reference texts Reference texts
The Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities have issued several recommendations and resolutions calling upon governments and local authorities to take the requisite measures to combat incitement to homophobia.
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