On Saturday, 27 June, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) joins the Global Pride - a virtual event that allows the LGBTI+ community to come together and celebrate diversity and equality during these challenging times. FRA takes this opportunity to renew its call on EU countries to step up their efforts and put in place lasting measures protecting the rights of LGBTI people across Europe.
"There are so many LGBTI people who are not able to disclose who they really are, who still live in fear. Our survey of 140,000 LGBTI people points to persistent discrimination and intimidation of the LGBTI community across the EU. We should take this opportunity to come together and build a new normal after the pandemic, where no one needs to hide," said FRA's director Michael O'Flaherty.
FRA has recently published the biggest ever survey on the experiences of LGBTI people. The results revealed that fear, violence and discrimination among LGBTI people are high.
For example, 60% of LGBTI people avoid holding hands in public with their partners out of fear of being attacked. Almost 40% experienced harassment in the year before the survey. Most do not report incidents anywhere, because they think nothing would change.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, there have been reports about an outbreak of COVID-19 related homophobic hate speech.
FRA data also show that LGBTI people are more likely to live in poverty with 1 in 3 saying they have difficulties to make ends meet. Their economic situation might have deteriorated even further because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Moreover, in the survey, many young LGBTI people also said they were living in an environment hostile to LGBTI. During lockdowns and quarantines, the situation might have worsened.
Given these additional challenges, it is more important than ever to put in place lasting measures to protect and treat LGBTI people equally. As our societies transition towards the ‘new normal’, FRA calls on EU countries to promote full respect for rights of LGBTI people and create an environment where no one needs to hide who they truly are.
Watch the Global Pride video message of FRA's director Michael O'Flaherty on 27 June at 12:15 CET.
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