Harrassment and discrimination within the LGBTI population is still far too prevalent and young people are most at risk
This Sunday 17 May, is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia. Ahead of this important day that draws attention to the continued lack of equality and the barriers that the LGBTI community face, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has released its report ‘A long way to go for LGBTI equality’. The report is claimed to be the largest ever survey on hate crime and discrimination against LGBTI people, with 140,000 respondents across the European Union, the United Kingdom, Serbia and North Macedonia. Importantly, it is the first time that FRA has expanded the survey to include the experiences of young people aged 15-17.
The findings are very concerning. In the past 12 months, 53% of respondents aged 15-17 and 46% of those aged 18-24 in the EU28 felt discriminated against due to being LGBTI. A shocking 1 in 5 young people (18-24) felt discriminated against at work due to being LGBTI.
Cases of violence and abuse that were motivated by the victim being LGBTI, were also shown to adversely impact young people. The survey found that hate-motivated physical or sexual attacks are most commonly experienced by young adults (18–24). Incidents of harassment, where respondents experienced situations that they considered offensive or threatening, were also reportedly high among those aged 15-24. For 51 % of respondents aged 15 to 17, the most recent incident of harassment they experienced due to being LGBTI was perpetrated by someone from school, college or university.
This recent data from FRA not only puts a spotlight on the true extent of the discrimination, harassment and hate speech that the LGBTI population faces in Europe, but it also clearly exposes age as a significant factor in identifying some of those who are the most vulnerable or under threat.
It is essential that the results and findings of this FRA survey are not overlooked or ignored. The Youth Forum calls on European policymakers to address gaps in protection of LGBTI rights, and recognise the specific vulnerability of young LGBTI people, by taking intersectionality into account in equality legislation and policies. We stand in solidarity with the LGBTI community and fully support youth organisations in standing against hate speech and calling for the protection of the human rights of young LGBTI people.
A long way to go for LGBTI equality: 2019 survey on LGBTI people by FRA
Online data explorer tool: interactive tool offering different ways to explore the data behind the survey results
IGLYO Press Release: Reaction to the survey from The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Intersex (LGBTQI) Youth and Student Organisation
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