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”.