Addressing intolerance and discrimination against LGBTI people: new publication by ECRI

Strasbourg, France 1 March 2021
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Angyalosi Beata/

Angyalosi Beata/

Key recommendations of the Council of Europe’s anti-racism commission (ECRI) to the Organisation’s member states on how to end policies and practices that may lead to intolerance and discrimination against LGBTI people, are the basis of a new publication (factsheet) that was launched today, 1 March, on the occasion of the Zero Discrimination Day 2021.

The factsheet focuses on legal framework and ways to tackle discrimination against LGBTI persons in criminal, civil and administrative law, in the legislation on cohabitation and marriage, as well as in asylum legislation. Comprehensive and reliable data collection systems on hate crimes and follow-up given by the police and judicial authorities should be set up. Awareness raising, education and training of various professionals are vital for preventing hate crimes and discrimination against LGBTI persons. LGBTI community members should be able to enjoy their right to appropriate health care, physical integrity, and bodily autonomy.

A great part of responsibility for fighting intolerance and discrimination against LGBTI persons lies with government authorities who should publicly condemn LGBTI-phobic hate speech and promote counter-narratives, as well as with representatives of parliaments, political parties and religious entities, as well as media professionals, who could use their standing to prevent and combat hate speech against LGBTI persons.

Cases of hate speech against LGBTI people should be fully investigated and, where appropriate, effectively prosecuted, and in cases of violence the authorities should make sure that a possible bias motivation is considered from the outset of the investigations. Other recommendations include setting up specialised units to deal with racist and LGBTI-phobic incidents, encouraging victims to report such occurrences and creating an independent service handling complaints against law enforcement officials.

The publication summarises recommendations made by ECRI to safeguard and protect LGBTI persons’ human rights as a result of ECRI’s monitoring visits to the Council of Europe’s 47 member states. ECRI started examining discrimination and intolerance towards LGBT persons in its fifth cycle of country monitoring that ran from 2013 to 2018 and covered all 47 member states, and towards Intersex persons in its sixth monitoring cycle, which started in 2019.

The factsheet was prepared by the Secretariat of ECRI, in close consultation with the Task Force on LGBTI issues set up by ECRI to prepare the ground for the drawing-up of a General Policy Recommendation on this matter in the years to come.

See also Sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics (

The factsheet is also available in French.

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