The European Union has reaffirmed its commitment to respect, protect and fulfill equal rights and freedom of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals. It reassert its commitment in lieu of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT).
All over the world, more than 2 billion individuals live in nations where homosexuality is illegal. Similarly, the death penalty is retained as a legal punishment for consensual same-sex relationships in 11 jurisdictions.
Moreover, in the previous ten years, we have seen signs of progress worldwide. Yet the discrimination, as well as exclusion because of the sexual orientation and gender identity, persist, and we are witnessing a worrying push back on the rights of LGBTI persons.
Levels of violence against LGBTI individuals are also alarming, even though largely under reported.
The armed conflicts, as well as humanitarian emergencies, put LGBTI individuals at particular risk. Russia’s carried out and unjustified full-scale military operation against Ukraine has put the spotlight on LGBTI persons trying to escape the invasion.
There have been reports of transgender individuals that have been restricted from leaving the nation, as well as incidents of violence against LGBTI persons.
In addition, more needs are important to be done to offer them support, protection and safe spaces.
Along with this, Young persons, in particular, face rejection by their families, homelessness and harassment online as well as offline based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Furthermore, this year 2022, is the European Year of Youth: young individuals need to be accepted and valued for who they are. We must strive to build peaceful, inclusive societies where everyone can thrive and feel safe.