Gender identity and sexual orientation continue to be used as justifications for serious human rights violations around the world. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people constitute a vulnerable group and continue to be victims of persecution, discrimination and gross ill-treatment, often involving extreme forms of violence. In several countries, sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex are considered a crime and punished with imprisonment or with the death penalty. The EU strongly supports the entitlements by all individuals, without discrimination, to enjoy the full range of human rights. LGBTI people have the same human rights as all individuals, including the right to non-discrimination in the enjoyment of these rights. This principle is enshrined in numerous international instruments, providing for a wide scope in its application.

Through the EIDHR, the European Union supports several projects defending the rights of LGBTI people. For example, one project empowers civil society to challenge homophobic laws and discrimination against LGBTI, another one gives legal and medical assistance to prisoners imprisoned because of their homosexuality. Other activities focus on sensitizing civil society to the level of discrimination and violence experienced by sexual minorities due to their sexual orientation or gender presentation and on providing emergency psychosocial, medical and mediation and reintegration assistance to most vulnerable LGBTI in need of protection service. One of the results has been the publication of a protection manual for LGBTI defenders: the training of LGBTI defenders and their financial support.


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