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Publication date:23 June 2011

Homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in the EU Member States

The European Union (EU) is founded on the values of equality and non-discrimination, and through its policies works to combat discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This report of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) twins its research findings in the field with the relevant EU standards in a short and easy-to-read publication designed to equip those who shape policy with the information they need to develop a coherent and systematic approach to the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) rights.

Details - What did the project involve?

Legal analysis, information materials and round tables

The FRA work on the rights of LGBT people comprises three elements.

  • Update of the FRA 2008 legal analysis report on homophobia

To update its 2008 comparative legal report, which analysed the situation of LGBT people across the EU, the FRA gathered topical legal information at both national and international/EU level. This included updates of the 27 national studies which had fed into the 2008 report. The 2010 report supported the EU institutions and Member States in their negotiations on a number of issues, including the proposed 'horizontal' directive on equal treatment, the 'asylum package', and initiatives on civil justice and criminal law. As part of the cooperation between the FRA and the Council of Europe, the 27 updated national studies also contributed to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights' Comparative study on the situation concerning homophobia transphobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in the Council of Europe Member States.

  • Production of information materials

The FRA has developed short, user-friendly publications that combine the main findings of the legal analysis and social situation reports of 2008 and 2009. Factsheets, including policy pointers, and a synthesis report are produced in several languages in order to facilitate the dissemination of important information to various audiences, and to provide some contextualised and more in depth analysis of key issues for LGBT people.

  • Networking activities

In the course of 2010 and 2011, the FRA engaged in dialogue and exchange with several stakeholders, including the Council of Europe, national human rights institutions and equality bodies, local communities networks and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This dialogue took the form of round tables, expert meetings, conferences, and best practice exchange seminars. The Agency contributed to raising awareness and collecting a wide range of views in relation to existing projects in the field of LGBT rights in order to fill knowledge gaps and highlight needs. The FRA is proud to have been present in key forums where the current situation of LGBT people in Europe is discussed and where key issues for further activities were debated.

More specifically, network activities involved the following:

  • disseminating the findings of the legal and social reports on the situation of LGBT people in the EU;
  • raising awareness on issues of homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity;
  • reviewing existing knowledge gaps and barriers for the development of long-term LGBT-inclusive policies;
  • collecting feedback on the FRA reports with a view of informing future activities in the area of networking and policy impact need, research and awareness raising;
  • presenting examples of good practice for tackling discrimination against LGBT people;
  • discussing and transferring knowledge and experience.

Innovation - What's 'new' about the project?

The 2008 and 2009 legal and social report were the first EU-wide studies of instances of human rights violation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. The studies provided the public with valuable information on the legal framework and the social situation in which discrimination, exclusion and human rights violations take place. The studies also highlighted a number of good practices and presented the Agency's opinions on a number of key issues.

Outputs - What did the project deliver?

The research part of this project has now been completed and the outputs are shown in the publications tab.

Country thematic studies

These studies are an update of the national studies compiled for FRA in 2008. They feed into FRA's update of the legal analysis report and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights comparative study covering all 47 member states entitled "Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe".


Related Information

On the basis of a request of the European Parliament in 2007, the FRA drew up two reports relating to homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The legal analysis report was published in 2008 and reissued in 2009, while the report on the social situation was first issued in March 2009. The Agency has committed to keeping up to date relevant data and analysis, and in 2010 has published an updated legal report, based on the update of the 27 national studies.

This project page was last updated on 23.06.2014