For equality in diversity

The principle of equality and non-discrimination is a fundamental element in the protection of human rights. It is guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights (article 14) and was reinforced by Protocol No.12 to the Convention, which in a general manner, provides that no-one shall be discriminated against on any ground by any public authority.

Homophobic acts which have occurred in several states unhappily point to systematic violation of the fundamental rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI). These occurrences have also shown that in many cases such injustice is condoned and sometimes even actively supported by the very authorities whose strict duty it is to protect their citizens against all discrimination.

2023 Edition
Council of Europe and EU leaders warn against backsliding on LGBTI rights in run-up to International Day Against Homophobia

Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland; Bjørn Berge, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe; and Helena Dalli, EU Commissioner for Equality, have made a joint statement ahead of the International Day Against Homophobia, Lesbophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Intersexphobia, which will be marked on 17 May. The statement was delivered during the IDAHOT+ Forum organised on 11 May in the framework of Iceland’s Presidency of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers:

“While visionary European policies are driving unprecedented positive change and the rights of LGBTI persons have been strengthened in many European countries faster than what could have been imagined only a decade ago, we cannot ignore an ongoing human rights backsliding and continued polarisation in Europe with alarming LGBTI-phobic hate speech, discrimination and sometimes even violence. We are gathered in Reykjavik on the occasion of the IDAHOT+ Forum, hosted by the Icelandic Presidency of the Council of Europe, to mark next week’s International Day Against Homophobia, Lesbophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Intersexphobia.

This annual assembly of European governments, international and European organisations, international civil society organisations and academics is a unique opportunity to take a welcome but intransigent look at the state of the rights of LGBTI persons across our continent, measure progress, identify shortcomings and observe trends. As we ask ourselves what more should be done, this year’s IDAHOT theme appears to hint at the key ingredients: “together always, united in diversity”. The Forum provides for a welcome space to put them in practice and forge the successes of tomorrow:

  • Protect and enable the essential work of LGBTI human rights defenders and civil society actors;
  • Build on the historic alliances uniting the LGBTI movements to counter the attempts at fragmenting universal human rights;
  • Demonstrate political leadership and showcase national practices that inspire European-level policy-making to advance equality for intersex people;
  • Promote good practices to counter hate speech against LGBTI youth to foster inclusion in schools;

This Forum brings many voices together, and it is in unison that we pledge to reinforce European cooperation on LGBTI equality policies and stand for the respect for the human rights and dignity of every member of society.”

The IDAHOT+ Forum is the major annual event aimed at collectively advancing the rights of LGBTI people across Europe. It is organised at European level by the European Network of LGBTI Governmental Focal Points (EFPN), and is supported by the Council of Europe’s SOGI Unit, to strengthen European cooperation on SOGIESC Equality policies. The forum brings together European policymakers, intergovernmental organisations, and civil society organisations who take stock of the rights of LGBTI people in Europe during the previous year.

Council of Europe Strasbourg 11 May 2023
  • Diminuer la taille du texte
  • Augmenter la taille du texte
  • Imprimer la page
European Court of Human Rights

Whilst for many LGBTI people in Europe life has become easier and society more tolerant, they face still many other obstacles. The Court has been asked to judge cases involving the banning of gay pride parades and discrimination in granting social rights, with a number of applications pending on the laws which criminalise "homosexual propaganda".

Commissioner for Human Rights

The Commissioner regularly raises the LGBTI topic with authorities in member states, and expresses her concerns in country monitoring reports and specific thematic publications.

What is right to equality and freedom from discrimination and how is it protected under the European Convention on Human Rights? See some examples of how the ECHR works to promote equal rights.

Reference sites

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.

  • Diminuer la taille du texte
  • Augmenter la taille du texte
  • Imprimer la page
  • Diminuer la taille du texte
  • Augmenter la taille du texte
  • Imprimer la page