FRA takes part in Paris regional conference on LGBT rights in Europe

Conference on the rights of LGBT, Paris.
Conference on the rights of LGBT, Paris.
The FRA took part in the Paris regional conference on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Europe on 26 March.

The conference was organised as a follow up to a groundbreaking 2011 UN Human Rights Council Resolution on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity. Following a report from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the subject matter, states working to advance the human rights of LGBT persons decided to organise regional conferences in Brasilia, Kathmandu and Paris in order to further raise awareness about discrimination and violence perpetrated against LGBT people.

The European regional conference was held in Paris on 26 March 2013 under the title: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights in Europe: Fighting violence and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity at local, national and international levels

The Paris conference was organised by the French Ministry for Women’s Rights and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in conjunction with the European Commission and in partnership with Poland. The conference was attended by close to 200 participants, including national ministers, government representatives, representatives of the European Commission, the Office for the High Commissioner of Human Rights, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and civil society representatives from over 40 different countries, including from a broad range of States in Eastern and Western Europe and Central Asia.

The core questions of the meeting were:

  • What mechanisms should be promoted at national, regional and international levels to ensure that the rights of LGBT people are effectively respected?
  • How can the fight for the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality - and more generally against every form of violence and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity - be advanced at international level?

The Paris conference outcomes focused on homophobic and transphobic bullying in education, on discrimination and violence against LGBTI and on systematic and structural responses needed: from data collection and reporting mechanisms to strong leadership and public support to LGBT rights, as well as to increased and wider legal protection.

The FRA Director Morten Kjaerum delivered a speech about the challenges for the fundamental rights of LGBT persons and about the relevant research work of the FRA. In particular, the EU LGBT survey with over 93,000 respondents from EU Member States implemented by FRA, was mentioned. In view of the publication of the FRA LGBT survey report on 17 May 2013 in the Hague, the Director anticipated with particular emphasis the worrying results about education and bullying, discrimination and victimization of LGBT persons through hate motivated crime.

The FRA Director will also be rapporteur of the European regional conference at the forthcoming International Conference on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Oslo on 15-16 April 2013.

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