In a statement on behalf of the European Union, Vice-President Federica Mogherini says that it is a timely opportunity to remind governments of their obligation to promote the universality of human rights.
“In recent years, remarkable progress has been made around the world to advance the enjoyment of all human rights by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (LGBTI). Several countries have decriminalised homosexuality and others have enacted new statutes to protect individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”
In June 2016, the European Council adopted for the first time conclusions on LGBTI equality responding to the Commission's List of Actions on this issue.
However, great obstacles remain in many places around the globe. “Discrimination and violence against LGBTI persons is still widespread. Engaging in same-sex relations is considered a crime in more than 70 countries and could even lead to the death penalty in some.”
The statement assures “the EU condemns discrimination and violence against LGBTI individuals in the strongest possible terms and will continue working with all partners to advance the human rights of all people regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”
The international day for the rights of LGBTI people was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people internationally.
In some of the new EU Member States and candidate countries the rights of LGBTI people need to be protected.
In for example Albania, the LGBTI community and civil society activists have been carrying out an annual Pride event on bicycles. This year’s message in the Bike (P) Ride was “The time of promises is over” and activists demanded that concrete actions against discrimination of the LGBTI community in Albania are taken.
The Brussels Times