Human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI)

Despite progress in many areas over the last decades, people in Europe are still stigmatised because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons cannot fully enjoy their universal human rights. They run a risk of becoming victims of hate crime and may not receive protection when attacked in the street by fellow citizens.

Some LGBTI organisations are denied registration or are banned from organising peaceful meetings and demonstrations in Europe. The freedom of expression of LGBTI people has also been subject to unjustified restrictions. Many LGBTI persons have fled to Council of Europe member states from countries where their human rights are not protected and they may even risk being tortured or executed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Too few opinion leaders and leading politicians have taken a firm stand against homophobic and transphobic expressions, discrimination and violence. The Commissioner for Human Rights has therefore put the human rights of LGBTI persons and the fight against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics firmly on his agenda.

The Commissioner regularly raises this topic with authorities in member states, and has expressed his concerns in country monitoring reports and specific thematic publications, such as the Issue Paper on Human Rights and Gender Identity.

In 2011, the Commissioner launched a detailed report on 'Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity', covering all the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. In May 2015 the Commissioner published an Issue Paper on human rights and intersex people.

Issue papers Issue papers

Human rights and intersex people (2015)
Available in BosnianEnglishFrenchTurkish

 

Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe (2011)
Available in EnglishFrenchRussian 

 

 
Human rights and gender identity (2009)
Available in EnglishFrenchRussianSpanish, Turkish

 

Opinion articles Opinion articles

Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe (2011 - 2nd edition)

This report presents the results of the largest socio-legal study ever carried out on discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. Six thematic chapters give a broad overview of the human rights situation of LGBT persons and recommendations are provided for developing and implementing effective measures to address discrimination.

Report available in: English | French | Russian 
Order the report: http://book.coe.int

Available translations of selected sections of the report: Bosnian/Serbian | Croatian | Turkish
(Foreword, Introduction, Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations)

Background document to the report

Country thematic studies on homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity