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The EU-wide online survey will capture the actual experiences of discrimination and hate crime felt by LGBT people, something that has never been done on this scale before. In 2012, the Agency will also identify good practice by authorities in preventing and addressing discrimination and abuses against LGBT people. The research will build on the Agency's reports on homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in the EU. The most recent of these, published in November 2010, highlighted several positive trends. For example: Already 23 countries protect lesbian, gay and bisexual asylum seekers; and 18 EU countries have now extended their prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation to areas beyond employment, to protect LGBT people when looking for a flat or opening a bank account, for instance.
However, the report also highlighted that much work still remains, particularly in overcoming stigma and negative attitudes, and in tackling unfair treatment, abuse and violence. The Agency supports the work of the EU institutions, national governments and civil society in bringing an end to discriminatory and unequal treatment, bias and prejudice, particularly when it leads to homophobic and gender-related speech and crime. Europe's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are equally entitled to live a free, open and dignified life as everyone else.
The Agency welcomes the EU's and Council of Europe's continued political will to put a stop to prejudice against LGBT people as shown by their strong statements today condemning homophobia and transphobia.