Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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EU takes major step towards protecting the rights of LGBTI people


Aids Alliance

In a world where human rights abuses continue to fuel the HIV epidemic, a ground-breaking global policy agreed by EU foreign affairs ministers last week which instructs EU diplomats to defend the human rights of LGBTI people around the globe will offer a lifeline to activists and civil society organisations everywhere.

Arben Fetai, the Alliance’s Senior EU Policy Advisor said “We’re extremely happy with the Guidelines.  This means that EU country delegations can be called on to support activists and civil society organisations, including our own Linking Organisations, who are working in hostile policy environments to support men who have sex with men and transgender people enjoy equal access to healthcare, including HIV prevention, treatment and care services.”

About the guidance

The Council of the European Union*, the body that represents the 27 national governments in the EU (28 from 1 July when Croatia joins), had already adopted a non-binding toolkit to promote LGBT people’s human rights in June 2010.

Three years later, foreign affairs ministers have now upgraded the document to these new Guidelines to promote and protect the enjoyment of all human rights by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons.

The Guidelines will be binding. The EU’s diplomatic efforts will revolve around four priorities:

  • Eliminate discriminatory laws and policies, including the death penalty
  • Promote equality and non-discrimination at work, in healthcare and in education
  • Combat state or individual violence against LGBTI persons
  • Support and protect human rights defenders.

They include a comprehensive checklist for EU delegations to track and monitor the situation of the human rights of LGBTI persons in the country concerned. As such, the Guidelines are a very powerful tool for civil society organisations to engage the EU and its Member States’ missions in advancing the situation of LGBTI rights in country.
Download the Guidelines here.
For information on how to make best use of the Guidelines, contact Arben Fetai.