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17 MAY International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia

Secretary General

"Discrimination and violence against LGBTI people is the worst kind of populism." Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, 16 May 2017

Equal rights for LGBTI persons
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex

LGBT rights are not special rights

Find out about the first international standard on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity


Legal recognition of same-sex partnerships is key

Commissioner Nils Muiznieks talks about the needs and reality of ‘Rainbow’ families


Combating discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity

Fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation has been an aim of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since 1981. European governments took a historical step on 31 March 2010, when they recommended measures to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This is the first specific legal standard in the world.

What needs to be done? (PDF 824kB)


Violence against LGBTI persons
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex

Homophobic and transphobic violence is unacceptable and cannot be justified by religion, culture or tradition

Piet de Bruyn, PACE member (Belgium), discusses the situation in Europe regarding homophobia and transphobia


Anti-LGBT attacks as the worst form of populism

Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, April 2017

LGBT people and in particular LGBT rights activists and organisations have become the victims of violent attacks in several countries, and these are not always sufficiently investigated. Some state authorities have not fulfilled their positive obligation to protect demonstrators from violence.

How strong are Europe's checks and balances? (PDF 8,2 MB)

Political leaders need to speak against discrimination

Gudrun-Mosler-Tornstrom, Congress President issues a call to action



LGBTI Youth and NHSM
No Hate Speech Movement

Say no to homophobic hate speech and violence!

Anne Brasseur, Ambassador of the No Hate campaign speaks out


Equal opportunities for all children

Three central issues prevent LGBTI children and young people from fully realising and enjoying their human rights: prejudice and discrimination, resistant educational systems and the targeting or negation of the work of civil society organisations.

What lessons has Europe learned? (PDF 700 kB)



The No Hate Speech Movement - Combatting Homophobia and Transphobia online


Human rights of transgender persons

Family issues faced by transgender and intersex persons

Interview with Piet de Bruyn (Belgium), PACE member, April 2017


Protecting human rights of transgender persons

Transgender people face widespread discrimination in Europe, ranging from difficulties in access to work, housing and health services, to being the targets of hate speech, hate crime, bullying and physical and psychological violence. Insufficient awareness of the situation of transgender people among the general public and the lack of accurate, unbiased information in the media leads to higher levels of prejudice and hostility which could be avoided.

What is legal gender recognition? (PDF 191 kB)


What is IDAHOT?
International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia




17 May is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, commemorating the 1990 decision of the World Health Organization to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. Every year, policy makers, opinion leaders, the media and the general public are challenged to address the urgent need to combat violence and discrimination against LGBTI persons and to build inclusive societies, enriched through their diversity.

The Council of Europe has been adamant in voicing its commitment to end homophobia and transphobia in its member states.

What happens on 17 May?



LGBTI human rights and the Council of Europe


Discrimination against LGBTI people remains a reality across Europe. But some progress has been made. Examples of the positive impact of the Council of Europe’s standards and activities include the adoption of new legislation to recognise and protect LGBT couples and families, the adoption of legal gender recognition laws, the launch of national action plans on LGBTI persons’ rights, and exchanges of good practice and know-how on LGBTI inclusive local and regional policies.

Speaking out on sexual orientation and gender identity





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