Iceland has launched a new LGBTQ+ action plan, pledging 40 million Icelandic Króna (over €280,000) to the scheme. This will set out landmark changes to the country’s LGBTQ+ policy from 2022 to 2025. These changes include an end to the discriminatory blood donation policy, training in LGBTQ+ issues for the police, as well as improvements in Trans healthcare.
Iceland already has strong legislation to safeguard LGBTQ+ people, but has been pushing for these extra measures since June. This is to be the first policy in Iceland that solely focuses on LGBTQ+ matters, according to a statement about the plan.
The action plan encapsulates members of the queer community from all walks of life, from school-age children to disabled and elderly LGBTQ+ people. Well-being was a strong focus, with studies being commissioned to fully understand the state of welfare for the Icelandic queer community.
The action plan also introduces legal amendments to hate crime legislation. The report wrote that “amendments should be made to Article 70 of the penal code regulating penalty level in order to increase the severity of punishment where an infringement constitutes hate crime, that is if the breach can be attributed to specific factors concerning the victim.
“Sentencing and punishment should take note of whether the violation may be attributed to national or ethnic origin, skin colour, race, religion, disability, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, gender identity or other similar factors.”
The action plan also pledges to investigate and act on domestic violence in LGBTQ+ relationships and families. A study is to be commissioned to ensure that preventative measures are taken to tackle this issue.
According to the ILGA Europe “Rainbow Map”, an index ranking the “legal and policy situation” of all European countries, Iceland ranks high up at 63%. This new action plan is evidence of the country’s long-term commitment to safeguarding its LGBTQ+ citizens.
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