French government launches action plan to fight hate against LGBT people
In late December, the French government launched an ambitious action plan to fight hate against LGBT people. ILGA-Europe is applauding the plan. It is however to be seen how the plan will be implemented after the upcoming French presidential and general elections in April-June 2017.
After the Orlando attacks in the United States in June 2016, the President Hollande announced that the mandate of the Inter-ministerial Delegation to Racism and Antisemitism would be extended to the fight against LGBTphobia and that an action plan would be put in place. The plan is now launched. In order to implement the plan, an annual budget of €1.5 million has been allocated which also comprises support to LGBT organisations.
A selection of the most significant items in the plan
At governmental level:
- National campaign against LGBTphobia.
- Network of officials in charge of the fight against LGBTphobia in each ministry.
- Same at local level in each department.
- The public sector as an employer: ministries, public companies, etc. will have to apply for the “diversity label” (which is already inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity). Interesting examples of existing support groups within ministry of defense (e.g. THEMIS focuses on welcoming trans people in the army) and other ministries. In addition, a report on discrimination within the public sector will be launched (based on ‘testing’).
- The use of the first name of trans people (both as employees and users) will be facilitated in public services.
Protect victims of hate crime:
- Communicate on the annual number of victims and on judicial proceedings (already the case for other grounds of discrimination)
- Test a procedure of “pre-complain on line” which aims at facilitating the physical complain (the reception of the victim can be anticipated through that pre-complain).
- In all services in charge of taking care of victims, there should be one person allocated for LGBT issues.
- Putting in place campaigns against LGBTphobia, with a focus on lesbian women (in order to tackle double discrimination).
- Transmit systematically cases of LGBTphobia on the Internet to the Prosecutor.
- Keeping in mind the situation in detention facilities (give access to LGBT detainees to individual wards and also to a helpline).
Field of education:
- LGBTphobia included in civic education (which has been the case since 2015)
- Education ministry staff will be trained on prevention of LGBTphobia (both pre-service and continuous)
- In December 2015, two campaigns were launched by the ministry of education, they will be renewed.
- A study will be conducted on options for trans students (who are +18 of age only) who have not legally changed their gender to use their first name (on students cards, exams, etc.).
- The body in charge of monitoring media will now also look at incidents of LGBTphobia.
- Journalist students will be trained on LGBT issues.
Acting against discrimination in daily life:
- Guidance will be developed towards childcare professionals, family associations, social workers, etc. on rainbow families.
- Implementation decrees for the law on Justice (adopted in 2016 and comprising provisions on legal gender recognition) will be published in Feb. 2017. Also a guide for trans people on legal gender recognition will be developed.
- A charter on older LGBT people will be elaborated for long-term care facilities. Staff in those facilities will be trained.
- Raising the awareness of a number of bodies in rural areas (family organisations, farming teaching, etc.) on LGBTphobia.
- Partnerships will be established with companies already doing well on diversity.
- Compulsory training on discrimination for human resources staff in companies with + than 300 employees.
- Tissue donations by men who have sex with men: four months ban for plasma donations and 12 months for blood donation following a reform which entered into force in June 2016.
- Special attention to suicidal young LGBT people
- HIV prevention campaigns and focus on STIs among lesbians
- Training of healthcare providers, with a focus on trans people.
- Intersex: France has been condemned three times in 2016 by various bodies of the United Nations: January 2016 by Committee on Children’s Rights, May 2016 by Committee Against Torture and July 2016 by Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). As a result the action plan states that “when they’re not medically necessary, surgeries on intersex kids are mutilations and need to end”.
Rights of LGBT people abroad:
- Continue to push for decriminalization of homosexuality at UN level
- Support the new independent expert
- Continue to ensure that embassies take initiatives to support LGBT human rights defenders and their participation to international events.
- Continue to raise awareness of officers in charge of examining asylum cases and supporting LGBT organisations active in the field.
Moreover the action plan also contains a whole section on culture and sports.