Press release - DC002(2011)

International day against homophobia and transphobia
Statement of Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland

Strasbourg, 17.05.2011 - Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland issued the following statement on the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO):

The governments of the Council of Europe adopted last year a ground-breaking Recommendation on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.

In Istanbul,  the Council of Europe Group of Eminent Persons noted recently that LGBT persons face deeply rooted prejudice, hostility and widespread discrimination all over Europe.  In particular they noted that the rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression of these persons are violated in several European states.

And, on 23 June, Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg will present his report “Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe”, providing a socio-legal analysis of the human rights situation of LGBT persons across member states. Building on this report, the Council of Europe will begin an assistance project on Combating discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, in the second half of this year.

“Europe has spoken. We know the problems, we know what’s wrong, and we know what to do. Today, I call on European citizens, governments and national human rights structures to move from discussing this urgent issue to start acting to end discrimination of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people.  It’s high time we put our ideas into practice on this matter. Europe must act” he said.

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Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
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