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FRA research over the last five years has found that LGBT persons face discrimination across all areas of social and economic life, are vulnerable to verbal and physical attacks and remain largely invisible out of fear of negative consequences. In 2012, some 93,000 LGBT people responded to an EU-wide survey which FRA carried out to discover the everyday issues affecting LGBT people. This survey collected comparable data on LGBT people’s experiences of hate crime and discrimination, as well as their level of awareness about their rights. The final survey results were published in May 2013. The results of the survey will be supplemented by research among public officials and key service providers in the area of education, health and law enforcement, with the aim of identifying barriers to the full implementation of LGBT rights.
Globally, UN treaty bodies have included sexual orientation and gender identity on the open-ended lists of discrimination grounds on the basis of the relevant UN covenants. In the EU, lesbian, bisexual and gay people are currently protected from discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation under EU law in the field of employment only. Transgender persons are protected from discrimination on the ground of sex to the extent that discrimination arises from gender reassignment (the EU directive implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services).
The EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Transgender persons are protected from discrimination on the ground of ‘sex’ in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, in line with the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice.