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GLEN works at the European level primarily through ILGA-Europe, working with the EU, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the OSCE to progress human rights and equality for LGBTI people.
ILGA-Europe Rainbow Map
Each year, ILGA-Europe produces a map outling the legal status of LGBTI people across each country in the Council of Europe. This years map, released in May, shows that Ireland is 17th in Europe, dropping from 14th in last year's Map. Ireland has been passed out by Denmark, France and Albania. New laws on Parenting Rights and Gender Recognition would put Ireland in top tier of European countries for LGBTI People.
For full details of the 2013 Rainbow Map see here.
EU Fundamental Rights Agency Survey
GLEN worked with TENI as the Irish leads for a major survey done by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency on the experiences of LGBT people across Europe. The study of 93,000 LGBTI people across Europe, including 1,635 from Ireland was released in May 2013.
It shows that daily life for many Irish LGBT people can be very difficult. Many still face considerable levels of discrimination and harassment, and many LGBT people cannot be themselves in their daily lives. Across the EU many LGBT people hide their identity and live in isolation and even fear.
GLEN joined ILGA-Europe's call for a comprehensive framework at EU level to provide for equality for LGBTI people. A group of countries signed up to begin work on that EU-wide approach, and Ireland has joined that group.
For further information on the study, please see GLEN's news section here or ILGA-Europe's information here.
Recent achievements at the European level include the Asylum Directive and the Victims Rights Directives agreed by the EU in 2012 and which fully incorporate sexual orientation and gender identity.
GLEN will work with the Irish Government to ensure that these Directives are transposed with the greatest possible impact for LGBT people.
EU Guidelines to Promote LGBTI Human Rights
Under the leadership of Ireland, during the EU Presidency, the Foreign Affairs Council adopted new Guidelines to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Biseual,Transgender andIntersex People.
The Guidelines is a comprehensive legally binding document which will provide instructions to EU institutions and Member States on how to progress on human rights of LGBTI people in dealing with third countries and at international fora. They prioritise actions around combatting discriminatory laws and policies, LGBTI-phobic violence, and the promotion of equality and non-discrimination.
The Council Of Europe and LGBT Rights
In 2010 the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers made history, adopting a recommendation to member States on Measures to combat discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Read recommendation CM (2010)5 Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons have been for centuries and still are subjected to homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of intolerance and discrimination even within their family.
The Council of Europe is committed to promote and ensure respect for the human rights and dignity of every individual and to combat discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in Europe. Discrimination is persistent and pervasive – including criminalisation, marginalisation, social exclusion and violence. The Council of Europe provides support to member states by sharing good practices, organizing capacity building activities for government and local authorities dealing with LGBT issues, providing support and empowering LGBT rights organizations and raising public awareness on issues related to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Sexual orientation and gender identity Unit within the Council of Europe is the focal point for work on sexual orientation and gender identity issues. It works in close cooperation with other Council of Europe sectors, institutions and member states and seeks partnerships with other intergovernmental organisations and civil society actors. Click here to see the Council of Europe's video "LGBT Rights are Human Rights".
The Committee of Minister also made a recomendation to member states on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
See below for the full recommendation made by the Committee of Ministers
Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity
ILGA Europe works for Equalty and Human Rights of LGBTI people at the European level
The FRA is an agency of the European Union which helps to ensure the fundamental rights of people living in the EU are protected.