Statements on behalf of the EU
1404th meeting of the Committee of Ministers on 12 May 2021
- On the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), the European Union reaffirms its strong commitment to protect and promote the human rights of all people irrespective of their real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and sex characteristics.
- The EU commends the Council of Europe for its focus on the fight against violence and discrimination on these grounds, as per the Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5 to Member States on measures to combat discrimination and hate crime on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity and the work of the Committee on Anti-discrimination, diversity and inclusion. The EU also values the work of the Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance.
- Discriminatory practices or provisions are contrary to the prohibition of discrimination guaranteed by Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Violent attacks and serious exclusion against LGBTI persons in all Council of Europe Member States are still frequent, despite numerous judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, which have made important contributions to the considerable improvement in the attitudes towards LGBTI persons in many European countries.
- According to recent reports by Council of Europe bodies the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by LGBTI persons is still frequently hindered in many Member States, notably in the area of the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to even higher levels of violence and discrimination against LGBTI persons, including domestic violence, hate speech online and offline and hate crime. It has also led to shrinking civic space, an increase in arbitrary arrests and detentions, physical attacks and psychological trauma for human rights defenders protecting the rights of LGBTI persons. The human rights violations faced by LGBTI persons and those who defend their rights are unacceptable and the EU stresses the importance of ending the impunity of their perpetrators. The EU remains particularly concerned by the ongoing reports of discrimination, abductions and death threats facing the LGBTI community in the North Caucasus.
- Through its renewed internal and external policy framework, notably the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy (2020-2024) and the European Commission’s first ever LGBTIQ Equality Strategy 2020-2025, the EU will continue to take action globally to prevent and combat all forms of discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity, while promoting the right of LGBTI persons to equal opportunities in all spheres of life. It is important that discriminatory laws, policies and practices are fought worldwide.
- In line with this year’s IDAHOT theme “Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!”, the EU will continue to address discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, highlighting the specific vulnerabilities of LGBTI persons in the COVID-19 recovery and calling for fairer, more inclusive and sustainable societies. In doing so, we will continue to support the Council of Europe’s valuable activities in this field. Ensuring the right of individuals to be free to be who they are and love whom they choose requires joint efforts by all, every day.
The following countries align with this statement: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Norway, San Marino, Serbia and Ukraine