Protection of LGBTI human rights officially part of EU foreign policy
On 24 June 2013, the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union adopted Guidelines To Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons.
The Guidelines is a comprehensive legally binding document which will provide instructions to EU institutions and Member States on how to progress on human rights of LGBTI people in dealing with third countries and at international fora. They prioritise actions around combatting discriminatory laws and policies, LGBTI-phobic violence, and the promotion of equality and non-discrimination.
The Guidelines are the first ever EU policy document explicitly referring to intersex people.
ILGA-Europe has been working with EU institutions for many years towards such comprehensive EU strategy on LGBTI human rights in its foreign policy and as a result in 2010 a Toolkit was published which today was upgraded to a legally binding document.
Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said:
“This is a truly significant development. We congratulate Baroness Ashton and the EU External Action Service for their dedicated and speedy effort which today resulted in the adoption of the Guidelines by EU countries.
We hope that with the bilateral cooperation and sufficient funding, the Guidelines will contribute to the improvement of the human rights situation of LGBTI people outside the EU.
The Guidelines also set standards for the EU internal LGBTI human rights policy. ILGA-Europe, the European Parliament and almost half of EU member States have been consistency calling for a comprehensive EU LGBTI Roadmap. We believe the Guidelines are a great example and inspiration for the European Commission to formalise its internal policy into clear, efficient and meaningful strategy on LGBTI human rights.“