In many EU Member States, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people run the risk of discrimination and harassment on a daily basis. Prejudices and misconceptions about homosexuality and transgender people further fuel intolerant attitudes and behaviour towards this community. FRA has carried out research in this area since 2008, including legal as well as empirical (qualitative) research.

Sexual orientation and gender identity have increasingly been recognised as discrimination grounds in international law. Under EU law, lesbian, bisexual and gay people are currently protected from discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation only in the field of employment. Meanwhile, transgender people are legally protected from discrimination under EU law on the ground of sex to the extent that discrimination arises from gender reassignment.

FRA research has revealed how LGBTI people face discrimination across all areas of life, and how they are vulnerable to verbal and physical attacks, choosing to 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 from across the EU on LGBT people’s experiences of hate crime and discrimination for the first time, as well as their level of awareness about their rights. The survey results were published in May 2013 and gave an indication of the extent of the suffering many LGBT people face across the EU today.

The results of the survey will be supplemented by research among public officials and key professional groups in the areas of public equalities policies, education, health and law enforcement. The research aims at identifying drivers and barriers to the full implementation of the fundamental rights of LGBTI people.

FRA has also, for the first time, looked into the rights of intersex people. In a Focus Paper, FRA reported that sex ‘normalising’ surgery is carried out on intersex children in at least 21 Member States. Furthermore, intersex people often face various administrative and legal obstacles which stand in the way of the recognition of their fundamental rights.

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Conference looks at social and economic LGBT issues

On 10 October, FRA took part in the Conference on Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives to Social and Economic Problems of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Individuals which took place in Istanbul, Turkey.

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Findings available

Surveying LGBT people and authorities

This project encompasses two related surveys: A survey on discrimination against and victimisation of LGBT people. This survey aims to generate comparable data about the actual experiences of LGBT people living in the EU today This will be complemented by the views of public official and professionals in 19 Member States.

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Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements in 2014 - Annual report

Annual report
European Union (EU) Member States and institutions introduced a number of legal and policy measures in 2014 to safeguard fundamental rights in the EU. Notwithstanding these efforts, a great deal remains to be done, and it can be seen that the situation in some areas is alarming: the number of migrants rescued or apprehended at sea as they were trying to reach Europe’s borders quadrupled over 2013; more than a quarter of children in the EU are at risk of poverty or social exclusion; and an increasing number of political parties use xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric in their campaigns, potentially increasing some people’s vulnerability to becoming victims of crime or hate crime.

The fundamental rights situation of intersex people

This paper examines the legal situation of intersex people from a fundamental rights perspective. It draws on evidence from the Agency’s updated legal analysis on homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, which now includes a section on intersex issues.

Being Trans in the EU - Comparative analysis of the EU LGBT survey data

Trans persons, or those whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex assigned them at birth, face frequent discrimination, harassment and violence across the European Union (EU) today. This reality triggers fears that persuade many to hide or disguise their true selves. This report examines issues of equal treatment and discrimination on two grounds, namely sexual orientation and gender identity. It analyses data on the experiences of 6,579 trans respondents from the EU Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) survey, the largest body of empirical evidence of its kind to date.