As we mark the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this year’s theme for the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) – “Together Always: United in Diversity” – is a timely reminder that all human beings, regardless of who they are, whom they love, and how they see and define themselves, are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
We have seen a rise in anti-LGBTI rhetoric, fuelled by disinformation and false narratives, often leading to violence, harassment and stigmatization. Reports from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) point to increasing levels of violence, discrimination, and exclusion of LGBTI persons in Europe. We are deeply concerned about the situation – within Europe and worldwide. Conflicts, crises and humanitarian emergencies often further increased the vulnerability of the LGBTI community.
It is unacceptable that human rights continue to be violated and abused on the basis of perceived or actual sexual orientation and gender identity. The EU calls on all 67 state jurisdictions worldwide that still criminalise homosexuality, 11 of which impose the death penalty for consensual same-sex relationships, to immediately end this discriminatory practice. We are committed to working with all our partners to counter laws, policies and practices that discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to eliminate all forms of violence.
We welcome positive developments, such as improved legal protections in some countries, often thanks to tireless efforts by civil society. The EU is a staunch supporter of civil society organisations and defenders of the rights of LGBTI persons. This year, an additional €15 million is dedicated for the promotion of equality, inclusion and diversity globally*, alongside funding channelled through our regional and other programmes and mechanisms.
The EU will continue its efforts, including in multilateral fora, to protect and promote the full enjoyment of human rights by LGBTI persons in all aspects of their lives; within the EU and around the world. Today we stand with all – United in Diversity.
*Thematic Programme on Human Rights and Democracy of the NDICI instrument.