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.

Latest news View all


Germany discusses reviewing its access to health of trans people legislation

On 21 November, the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth brought together policy makers, experts, health workers, insurance companies and civil society representatives to discuss socio-economic and medical developments in dealing with transsexualism and trans identity.

Latest projects View all

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.

Latest publications View all


Fundamental Rights Report 2016

Annual report
The European Union (EU) and its Member States introduced and pursued numerous initiatives to safeguard and strengthen fundamental rights in 2015. Some of these efforts produced important progress; others fell short of their aims. Meanwhile, various global developments brought new – and exacerbated existing – challenges.

Fundamental Rights Report 2016 - FRA opinions

Annual report
The European Union (EU) and its Member States introduced and pursued numerous initiatives to safeguard and strengthen fundamental rights in 2015. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2016 summarises and analyses major developments in the fundamental rights field, noting both progress made and persisting obstacles. This publication presents FRA’s opinions on the main developments in the thematic areas covered and a synopsis of the evidence supporting these opinions. In so doing, it provides a compact but informative overview of the main fundamental rights challenges confronting the EU and its Member States.

Professionally speaking: challenges to achieving equality for LGBT people

The fundamental rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are often not respected across the EU. Public officials and other professionals in education, healthcare and law enforcement are entrusted with the duty to ensure that everyone’s fundamental rights are protected and promoted.