logo Council of Europe logo Council of Europe Human rights Channel - La chaîne des droits humains

Come out for human rights!

17 MAY International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia


Equal rights for LGBTI persons
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex

LGBT rights are not special rights

Find out about the first international standard on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity


In a fair and just society, no one is left behind

Violeta TOMIĆ, General Rapporteur on the Rights of LGBTI People

Anti-gender movements deny the humanity of those who challenge traditional gender roles and stereotypes, particularly LGBTI persons. Apart from undermining equality, they also endanger democracies. Today, let us stand up for justice and protection for all.

Combating discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity

Fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation has been an aim of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since 1981. European governments took a historical step on 31 March 2010, when they recommended measures to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This is the first specific legal standard in the world to combat discrimination of this kind.

What needs to be done? (PDF 824kB)


Violence against LGBTI persons
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex

Responsibility of public authorities to protect LGBTI rights

Defend LGBTI defenders

Dunja Mijatović, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe

States must keep the commitments they have made to fight discrimination and protect LGBTI defenders. I call on Council of Europe member states to honour those commitments. Rather than feeding homophobia and transphobia, states, politicians and opinion leaders must combat the prejudices in society that weaken defenders’ crucial work.

Defend LGBTI defenders link

LGBTI Youth and NHSM
No Hate Speech Movement

Say no to homophobic hate speech and violence!

Anne Brasseur, Ambassador of the No Hate campaign speaks out

Protecting LGBTI children from bullying in schools

All children have the right to safe and quality education, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or sex characteristics. The education sector must adopt adequate responses to protect children from school-based violence and foster inclusive learning environments.

 Download Safe at school: education sector responses (PDF 1,83 MB)



The No Hate Speech Movement - Combatting Homophobia and Transphobia online


Human rights of transgender persons

Family issues faced by transgender and intersex persons

Interview with Piet de Bruyn (Belgium), PACE member

Protecting human rights of transgender persons

Transgender people face widespread discrimination in Europe, ranging from difficulties in access to work, housing and health services, to being the targets of hate speech, hate crime, bullying and physical and psychological violence. Insufficient awareness of the situation of transgender people among the general public and the lack of accurate, unbiased information in the media leads to higher levels of prejudice and hostility which could be avoided.

What is legal gender recognition? (PDF 191 kB)


What is IDAHOT?
International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia




17 May is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, commemorating the 1990 decision of the World Health Organization to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. Every year, policy makers, opinion leaders, the media and the general public are challenged to address the urgent need to combat violence and discrimination against LGBTI persons and to build inclusive societies, enriched through their diversity.

The Council of Europe has been adamant in voicing its commitment to end homophobia and transphobia in its member states.

What happens on 17 May?



LGBTI human rights and the Council of Europe


Discrimination against LGBTI people remains a reality across Europe. But some progress has been made. Examples of the positive impact of the Council of Europe’s standards and activities include the adoption of new legislation to recognise and protect LGBT couples and families, the adoption of legal gender recognition laws, the launch of national action plans on LGBTI persons’ rights, and exchanges of good practice and know-how on LGBTI inclusive local and regional policies.

Speaking out on sexual orientation and gender identity


Find out more about the work of LGBTI NGOs in Europe

ILGA Europe
ILGA Europe
OII Europe
OII Europe
Are you on top of the rainbow?
Take the challenge!
Council of Europe,
Avenue de l'Europe F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France -
Tel. +33 (0)3 88 41 20 00
Disclaimer - © Council of Europe 2020 - © photo credit - Contact - RSS - Report fraud & corruption