UK condemned as "country of concern" for Trans people by Council of Europe

A new resolution by the Council of Europe places the UK alongside Poland, Hungary and Turkey as a country of hostility for the queer community.

Close up of EU flag: blue with yellow stars. This story details the Council of Europe condemning the UK for anti-Trans rhetoric.
Image: Via Pixabay

On Tuesday, 25 January, the Council of Europe acknowledged the “appalling rise of transphobia and toxic anti-Trans discourse in the UK,” as described by Adam Long of the NXF.

The Council of Europe resolved that the sovereign country has seen enough of an increase in transphobic rhetoric and rising hostility to place the UK alongside other EU countries with openly anti-LGBTQ+ policies.

Other condemned countries include Poland, where they have “LGBTQ-free zones”, and Hungary, where the representation of LGBTQ+ lives to minors is outlawed.

“We strongly welcome this Report, endorsed overwhelmingly by the Council of Europe and thank the Rapporteur for his excellent work,” said Adam Long, Board Director of the National LGBT Federation (NXF).

“Rather than try to deny and deflect from that reality and water-down the Report’s findings, as British delegates unsuccessfully sought to do during the debate, it is to be hoped that such a stern rebuke from the world’s leading human rights organisation will serve as a wake-up call in that country, not least among those charged with upholding, not undermining, equality and human rights.”

GCN spoke with Sara Phillips, Chair of TENI, about the Council’s findings.

“We are not surprised that the United Kingdom has been included in the list (along with Hungary, Poland, the Russian Federation, Turkey) of countries that have been highlighted,” she told us.

“Anti-Trans narratives have increased significantly over the past number of years in the United Kingdom. In Ireland, we have seen some of these same arguments made on social media and more recently, and very worryingly, in mainstream media.

“Such narratives deny the very existence and rights of Trans people, dehumanise them, and often falsely attempt to deny our rights. This sustained campaign also attacks and undermines LGBTQI equality, sexual and reproductive rights and women’s and children’s rights.

“The result of this rhetoric has real-life consequences for the Trans community, in increasing hate speech, violence and hate crimes. It is incumbent on states to counter misleading or false narratives, increase understanding and ensure the rights of LGBTI people, and actively promote equality.”

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