ILGA-Europe has warned that LGBT+ rights are stagnating and in some cases regressing for the first time in in the ten years they have conducted an annual review.
Advocacy group International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe) warned of the troubling state of LGBT+ rights across Europe as they released their Rainbow Europe Map and Index.
Rainbow Europe ranks all 49 European countries on a scale between 0% (gross violations of human rights, discrimination) and 100% (respect of human rights, full equality). They rank the countries on the basis of laws and policies that have a direct impact on the LGBT+ people’s human rights in under 6 categories: equality and non-discrimination; family; bias-motivated speech/violence; legal gender recognition; freedom of assembly, association and expression; and asylum.
Countries with regression in LGBT+ rights Poland as they “no longer provides access to medically-assisted reproduction for single women,” while Bulgaria “removed all their administrative and legal procedures for changing name or gender marker in the official documents for trans people.”
Hungary and Turkey also regressed in their rankings with ILGA-Europe noting their “governments’ failure to uphold fundamental civil and political rights such as freedom of assembly, freedom of association and protection of human rights defenders over the past year.”
Ireland dropped two places in this year’s ranking to 17. In the report, ILGA-Europe makes a number of recommendations to improve the legal and policy situation of LGBT+ people in Ireland:
- Updating the existing legal framework for legal gender recognition in accordance with the Gender Recognition Act 2015 review report;
- Adapting a comprehensive national action plan on LGBT+ equality and fully implement the actions outlined in the LGBTI+ Youth Strategy 2018-2020;
- Depathologisation of trans identities while allowing for access to – and cost coverage for gender-affirming related treatments and surgeries without requiring a mental health assessment or diagnosis.
Micah Grzywnowicz, co-chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board noted that the ranking is now taking into account a wider range of criteria than simply marriage equality: “What is also crucial for our communities are effective laws to recognise rights of trans people to self-determination, robust protection against LGBT+-phobic violence and speech, equal access to reproductive rights, and prohibiting medical intervention on intersex children.
“Our revised index makes this fact clearer now. The countries that are expanding their legislative horizons to embrace this vision of equality for LGBT+ people are the ones moving ahead. We are heartened to continue to see examples of governments demonstrating leadership in this direction, as Luxembourg and Finland did over the past year.”
See the full results of the Rainbow Map annual review here.
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