LGBTI children comprise children who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and children who are born intersex. These children are especially vulnerable to human rights violations and are often victims of discrimination, bullying and violence.
Discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation is explicitly prohibited in all recent Council of Europe conventions and standards protecting children’s rights. Article 2 of the Council of Europe Convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse for instance explicitly states that all victims of sexual violence shall enjoy the protection of the Convention without discrimination on any ground, including sexual orientation. The Guidelines on Child-friendly Justice also include a provision prohibiting this type of discrimination.
The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Unit carries out activities and awareness raising to promote the rights of LGBTI children. In particular it works to foster the implementation of the measures set out in Committee of Ministers Recommendation on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Recommendation calls on states to examine existing legislation and measures to redress any direct or indirect discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, including in the education setting.
Council of Europe legal standards
- Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5 on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity
- Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 1952 (2013) Children’s right to physical integrity
Council of Europe resources
- Human Rights and Intersex People, Issue paper by the Council of Europe Commissioner on Human Rights (2015)
- LGBTI children have the right to safety and equality, Human Rights Comment by the Council of Europe Commissioner of Human Rights (2014)
- Case law of the European Court of Human Rights relating to discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, Council of Europe (2015)
- An insight into respect for the rights of trans and intersex children in Europe, Council of Europe (2013)
- The fundamental rights situation of intersex people, EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (2015)
- Eliminating discrimination against children and parents based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, Position paper, UNICEF (2014)