Today, May 17, on the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), the Rainbow Cities Network (RCN) has released its first policy guidelines to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people in local communities and cities across Europe.
The Rainbow Cities Network is a global network of different cities and municipalities from 22 different countries. With the overall goal to increase the impact of local approaches on creating full social inclusion for members of the LGBTQ+ community, RCN focuses on sharing experiences and exploring possible common actions between different cities.
21 different cities all over Europe like Aarhus, Barcelona, Berlin, Cork, Hamburg, Kotor, Leuven, Ljubljana, Paris, Rotterdam, and Vienna just to name a few, participated in the creation of the over 50 policy guidelines.
Published under the title Rainbow Cities in Action, the paper features a series of recommendations and guidelines for actions and good examples for local authorities interested in improving the lives of their local LGBTQ+ community members through policy.
Giving the participating cities as positive examples of how such policies could be implemented, the guide spans 13 different policy fields, covering topics like Health, Families, Youth, Disability & Inclusion, Cultural Diversity & Migration, Social Hardship, Sports, and Culture & History.
Today’s global #RainbowCities conference was filled with great pride & celebration. Huge praise to all in @corkcitycouncil @RainbowcitiesO & @CorkLGBTweek on all the work that has been done to make Cork a more inclusive & safe city for the LGBTI+ community. pic.twitter.com/4DaKnGcEgV
— Cork Chamber (@CorkChamber) January 18, 2023
Setting a focus on topics like responsibility and accountability, access, inclusion and participation and last but not least education and representation, in the last two years, several meetings and over 24 workshops have gone into producing the guidelines.
The first meeting to discuss the guidelines was held in Brussels in 2021, and with the overall goal of exchanging and advising on successful policies across Europe, the participants met four more times including a conference held in Cork in January 2023.
RCN’s chair and LGBT officer of the city of Hannover Juliane Steeger said: “The past two years we worked on putting together best practice examples from more than 20 European cities on how to battle discrimination and improve the living conditions of queer people on a local level and we are very pleased to present the outcome to the public now.”
Acknowledging the rise in hate crimes against the community, Juliane Steeger hopes the report will have a positive impact on local communities, remarking that “Despite immense challenges, LGBTIQ+ communities continue to be at the forefront of reclaiming their human rights, while also demanding equal rights from those in government. Therefore, these guidelines are an answer to those claims, […] With this brochure, we share our experiences, our knowledge, and our expertise, to achieve equal rights for queer people everywhere.”
If you are interested in reading the full brochure, you can do so here.
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