FRA Director, Morten Kjaerum, spoke at the launch of the Council of Europe's report "Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe" in Strasbourg on 23 June. The report builds on the Agency's analysis of the human rights situation of LGBT people in the 27 EU Member States. With this report, the Council of Europe has extended the analysis to 20 additional European countries; for some, for the very first time ever.
"[Our] work and the findings of today's Council of Europe report are what we need, to bring about change," said Morten Kjaerum. "Change in policies, change in attitudes, change in lives. Such findings expand our knowledge base and highlight where more work is needed. Such data is crucial for experts to formulate advice, for policy makers to shape laws, and for decision makers, nationally and locally, to make a difference on the ground. "
The report analyses the situation of LGBT people in the 47 member States of the Council of Europe. It looks at attitudes and perceptions towards the LGBT community, the laws and how they are used, protection from violence and access to asylum, freedom of assembly, expression and association, gender recognition and family life, and access to health care, education and employment.
While in Strasbourg, Morten Kjaerum also met with the Council of Europe's European Commission against Racism and Intolerance to discuss future cooperation. The Director also addressed members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on fundamental rights protection in the European Union and cooperation between the two organisations.