A long way to equality for LGBTI people

People from North Macedonia and Serbia also took part in the largest research on the rights and freedoms of LGBTI people in the EU so far. The situation in the last 10 years has only slightly improved.

The largest survey ever on the rights and freedoms of LGBTI people in Europe involved 140,000 people. The survey was conducted last year by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in the 27 EU member states, the United Kingdom and the candidate countries – North Macedonia and Serbia.

The results of the study, included in the report “A Long Road to LGBTI Equality”, were published on Thursday. For the first time, young LGBTI people aged 15 to 17 are included in the research, as well as data from non-EU countries.

“The results of the survey are devastating,” the agency’s director, Michael O’Flaetri, said in a video tweet, adding that “very little progress has been made in the last 10 years.”

Research has shown that discrimination against LGBTI people in everyday life persists in all 30 countries. As many as 60% of LGBTI people are afraid to hold hands with their partner in public, 2 out of 5 people experienced harassment in the year before the survey was conducted (2018), every third person experiences discrimination when going out to a restaurant, and and the economic situation is not much better – every third person has trouble “making ends meet”. The condition is even more severe in intersex and transgender people, where every second person is affected. When it comes to violence, 10% of respondents have been a victim of sexual or physical violence in the last 5 years, and the percentage is twice as high (20%) among transgender and intersex people.

The results of the survey vary considerably from country to country. When it comes to the EU, in Ireland, Malta and Finland 70% of respondents, for example, said that tolerance for LGBTI people is higher than before, while in Poland and France the majority (68 and 54 percent) think that tolerance is generally lower.

When comparing statistics with EU member states, the results in North Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia are almost always worse.

In North Macedonia and Serbia, 50% of LGBTI people often or always avoid certain locations so as not to be harassed. In Croatia that percentage is 43, while in the EU it is 33%. Only 20% of respondents always or often openly show their LGBTI identity in Serbia, 27% in Croatia, and in Northern Macedonia only 18%. The EU average here is 47%.

In Northern Macedonia and Serbia, 87% of respondents are afraid to hold hands with their same-sex partners, while in Croatia the percentage is slightly lower – 84%.

Source DW