Council of Europe supports further action to combat sexual orientation and gender identify discrimination
On 22 January 2014, the Council of Europe’s executive body, the Committee of Ministers, supported further action by the Council and by member states to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
This decision followed a review of progress by Member States in implementing a Recommendation adopted in 2010 which is the world’s first intergovernmental agreement to set out measures to address the whole range of discrimination faced by LGBT people. The review noted that progress varied largely from one State to another and even from one issue to another within the same state. It highlighted concerns around lack of data about discrimination, and the many obstacles to working in this field including inadequate resources and lack of political will. It drew attention to hate crimes, freedom of expression and assembly, education and the rights of transgender persons as particularly needing further attention.
The Committee of Ministers endorsed the findings of the review, encouraged Member States to continue implementation of the Recommendation, and empowered the Council to continue providing support to member states in this work. It agreed to re-examine progress in four years’ time.
Gabi Calleja, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, said:
“The research of our member organisations showed that in many Member States little or nothing had been done to implement the Recommendation. It is therefore more than welcome that the Council of Europe is to continue to work in this field, and ILGA-Europe stands ready to help in whatever way it can.”