Protecting and promoting the rights of LGBTI persons

As part of our efforts to abolish any kind of discrimination against individuals, the EU works to uphold the human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons – who should be able to live free from discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The EU’s diplomatic efforts in this area are focused on:

  • eliminating discriminatory laws and policies, decriminalisation, and ending the death penalty for same-sex relations (currently applicable in 7 countries)
  • promoting equality and non-discrimination at work, in healthcare and in education
  • combating violence by the state or by individuals against LGBTI persons
  • supporting and protecting human rights defenders

The EU adopted on 24 June 2013 guidelines for supporting LGBTI persons' human rights . These Guidelines:

  • are for use by EU staff around the world and by EU countries' national embassies in connection with human rights country strategies and reports, demarches and public statements, individual cases, court hearings and prison visits, political dialogues, international mechanisms and efforts by civil society 
  • provide a checklist for assessing LGBTI human rights issues
  • explicitly cover the rights of transgender and intersex persons.