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FRA report: "Professionally speaking: challenges to achieving equality for LGBT people"

March 16th 2016

Today, 16 March 2016, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) publishes its report ‘Professionally speaking: challenges to achieving equality for LGBT people’. The report will be launched at the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights. The meeting is the first in a series where the Intergroup seeks to deepen its understanding on the challenges faced by public bodies and service providers towards LGBTI people to enhance the protection of their rights, notably in education, healthcare, law enforcement and LGBTI policy making.

FRA’s report reveals how wrong and outdated views towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people could endanger their fundamental rights. FRA spoke to some professional groups best placed to identify the barriers and drivers in implementing fundamental rights policies on the ground. Interviews were held in 19 EU Member States and included public officials in central or regional government and in human rights institutions or equality bodies, as well as health officials, teachers and police officers.
Some of the key findings include:

  • Society can have hostile views towards LGBT people and professionals can harbour prejudices, such as believing that homosexuality is a disease that can be caught or that transsexuality is a mental disorder. This points to the need for more positive EU and national awareness-raising campaigns, such as in the EU’s list of actions to improve respect for LGBT people and their rights.
  • All professional groups have low awareness and knowledge about the needs of LGBT people. This underlines the importance of professional training, and civil society partnerships and cooperation to counter prejudice, and better deliver the same high level of service that most others enjoy.
  • The lack of objective information, particularly in schools, can result in bullying and prejudice in later life, and force LGBT youths to hide their sexual orientation/ gender identity. Member States should work with education authorities and schools to formulate targeted campaigns to help make schools a safer and friendlier place for LGBT people.
  • LGBT hate crime often goes unrecognised, unreported and unrecorded. Member States should make more efforts to ensure the laws guarding against hate crime are properly enacted, and that greater efforts are made to improve LGBT hate crime reporting which should be recorded.

Among the various opinions, FRA also advises that the "EU Member States should ensure that competent public authorities, such as equality bodies, national human rights institutions and children’s ombudspersons, are properly mandated, resourced and encouraged to deal with bullying and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and/or gender identity in education."

The findings of this report complement the results from FRA’s EU LGBT hate crime and discrimination survey, its comprehensive EU-wide overview of LGBT-relevant laws and policies, and its focus paper on the rights of intersex people.

The report can be downloaded at the end of this page as well as here.

Access the press release in various languages on the FRA website (bg / cs / da / el / en / es / et / fi / fr / ga / hr / hu / it / lt / lv / mt / nl / pl / ro / sk / sl / sv)

Equinet’s work on LGBTI

Sexual orientation and gender identity are grounds on which equality bodies assist victims of discrimination. Over the years, Equinet has published work on the subject, specifically:


Professionally speaking: challenges to achieving equality for LGBT people
Professionally speaking: challenges to achieving equality for LGBT people