On the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), the European Union reaffirms its strong commitment to respect, protect and fulfil the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons, EU High Representative Josep Borrell stated on behalf of the European Union.
“Across the world, over 2 billion people live in countries where homosexuality is illegal, while the death penalty is retained as a legal punishment for consensual same sex relationships in 11 jurisdictions,” says Borrell’s declaration. “We are witnessing a worrying pushback of the rights of LGBTI persons. Levels of violence against LGBTI persons are also alarming, even though largely underreported.”
Borrell also noted that the Russian aggression against Ukraine, like armed conflicts in principle, has put LGBTI persons at particular risk. “There have been reports of transgender persons that have been hindered from leaving the country as well as incidents of violence against LGBTI-persons. More needs to be done to offer them support, protection and safe spaces,” said Borrell.
As the EU has proclaimed this year as the European Year of Youth, the statement pays particular attention to the concerns of young people, saying that they often face rejection by their families, homelessness and harassment online and offline based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Equality, respect for dignity and respect for diversity are at the heart of our Union. Everyone should be free to be who they are and love whom they choose without fear,” said Borrell.
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