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Discrimination of sexual minorities in Europe

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COWI led the writing of a comprehensive report on the situation regarding discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. The study was extended to all Council of Europe countries.

For The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights and the Council of Europe,
COWI and the Danish Institute of Human Rights carried out a sociological investigation on the situation in all 27 EU Member States from 2007 to 2009. 

In 2009, the project was extended to also include a study of the 20 Council of Europe (CoE) countries that are not part of the EU.  

Combating discrimination

The reports come at a time of heightened interest in the situation of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender persons (LGBT) across Europe.

The report will support the EU institutions and the Member States in their efforts to develop policies to combat discrimination in all areas of social life.

Interviews and participatory research

The project team investigated discrimination in key areas such as employment, health care, education, sports, media, migration etc., and collected information on ‘homophobic’ hate crime, as well as on obstacles to free expression.

A series of sociological country reports prepared by national experts form the background research material for the comparative sociological analysis.

The reports also rely on data and information from interviews with representatives from public authorities, equality bodies and NGOs.

They reveal that homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity exist in all the countries investigated.

Round table discussions

Two round table sessions in Copenhagen allowed the stakeholders to share experiences and work together on cross-cutting findings, identifying best practices and developing evidence-based policy recommendations.

Comprehensive report

The study carried out for the Council of Europe has resulted in one of the most comprehensive reports on homophobia.

The reports will be used by FRA and CoE as a basis for further developing their research, awareness-raising and networking activities against discrimination in the EU and CoE Member States.


LAST UPDATED: 04.11.2017