2018 edition 2018 edition
Statement by Eva Kjer Hansen, Minister for Equal Opportunities of Denmark, on behalf of the Chair of the Committee of Ministers
Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers Strasbourg 16 May 2018
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Eva Kjer Hansen

Eva Kjer Hansen

"As we celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, I would like to pay tribute to all those in Europe and beyond who are promoting the rights of LGBTI people and fighting discrimination and prejudices", said Eva Kjer Hansen, Minister for Equal Opportunities of Denmark. "In this fight for equal opportunities regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, everyone can play a role, at their level of responsibility. "

"Alliances for solidarity is the theme chosen this year. It reminds us of the need to adopt a comprehensive approach to the defense and promotion of rights for all people belonging to disadvantaged groups or in vulnerable situations, as well as the importance of joining forces to achieve equal rights for all. "

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"


2016 Edition 2016 Edition
Council of Europe Copenhagen (Denmark) 10 May 2016
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Rights of LGBTI people: preventing emergence of parallel societies

Without smart policies to foster equality and promote mutual understanding and respect in Europe, parallel societies emerge: people living alongside one another, rather than living together. Supporting its member States to build truly inclusive societies is the goal of the Council of Europe, said Director General for Democracy Snežana Samardžić-Marković in her opening address at the IDAHO Forum 2016 that opened in Copenhagen today.

LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people’s access to their human rights is frequently hindered by discriminatory treatment, stereotyping and intolerant attitudes.

In order to tackle these problems and build a genuinely inclusive society, European states must put more effort into fighting multiple discrimination, educating young people, combating hate speech and hate crime. Building inclusive societies should be a shared endeavour including all levels of government, civil society, religious institutions, media, arts and sports organisations, and the private sector.

Besides, governments should not shy away from addressing politically sensitive issues of access to family rights for LGBTI people, heavily medicalised legal gender recognition processes, the treatment of intersex children, and, the treatment of LGBTI prisoners or asylum seekers.

Speech by Snežana Samardžić-Marković

IDAHO Forum 2016

2015 Edition 2015 Edition
BUDVA (Montenegro),  11 May 2015

IDAHO Forum 2015

No cultural, traditional, religious values can justify hate crime and violence against LGBT people – Council of Europe participates in IDAHO Forum in Montenegro

The Council of Europe  representatives are among key participants in the IDAHO Forum 2015 “Ending hate crime and violence” organised by the Government of Montenegro, to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia celebrated on 17 May.

Snezana Samardžić-Marković, Director General of Democracy of the Council of Europe, delivered a keynote speech at the Forum today saying that hate crime and violence against LGBT people are among the most persistent human rights challenges, with homophobic and transphobic incidents, the so-called “corrective rapes”, forced marriages, physical and emotional violence, family and community rejection, bullying and discrimination still being a sad reality in Europe. A sound legal and policy framework is needed to effectively counter these crimes.

Today in Budva, the Council of Europe has also launched a new publication on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights on sexual orientation and gender identity. The new publication looks at the key articles of the Convention under which violations of LGBT rights may fall, and also analyzes solutions applicable at the European level, and those which are decided largely by the states, e.g. related to adoptions and marriages. The publication is meant for human rights professionals, researchers and students.

Speech by Snežana Samardžić-Marković

See also:
All efforts must be made to eradicate hate and violence against LGBT people in Europe, says Secretary General

2013 Edition 2013 Edition

17 May: International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Strasbourg, 16.05.2013 - On the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) Secretary General Jagland called on Member States to fight discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

"Hate crime motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity is a violation of basic human rights. Europeans must safeguard the right to freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly. Some member states still lack laws to explicitly or implicitly prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. I encourage them to work with the Council of Europe to make progress so that Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender persons can fully enjoy their human rights," Secretary General Jagland said. (more...)

2012 Edition 2012 Edition

Europe must not move backwards on LGBT rights: Thorbjørn Jagland warns that discrimination and prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people cannot be left unanswered

Strasbourg, 15.05.2012 - Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland has warned that discrimination and prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people continues to blight the lives of millions of Europeans and cannot be left unanswered. In a statement issued on 15 May 2012 he said:

"LGBT people still face intolerant attitudes and social barriers across most, if not all, Council of Europe member states. Recent judgments of the European Court of Human Rights point at unjustified bans or administrative obstacles imposed on gay pride parades. They underline problems related to discrimination in granting social rights such as the right to employment. A number of applications pending before the Court concern the incrimination of "propaganda of homosexuality" and could lead to violations of freedom of expression. The introduction of such legislation has often started at the local or regional level but in recent months is finding an echo at national level in some countries ". (more...)

 

Declaration by Håkon Haugli, General Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

Strasbourg, 16.05.2012 - On the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Håkon Haugli (Norway, SOC), General Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBTs), has made the following statement:

"Human rights are for all: there is no exception for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. In recent years, remarkable progress has been made in Europe in the fight against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity: to mention a few examples, in the United Kingdom, protective legislative frameworks and policies have been introduced; in Albania, homophobic discourse by politicians has been resolutely condemned by their peers; and in Sweden, sentences have been handed down to punish the authors of hate speech and violent crimes against LGBTs. (more...)

 

Declaration by the President of the Committee of Ministers

Strasbourg, 16.05.2012 - In light of the UK Chairmanship's priority on combating discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers wishes to endorse the statement of his colleagues Jeremy Browne and Stephen O'Brien on the occasion of International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. (more...)

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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.