ILGA-Europe – the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

About

Rainbow Europe brings together both the legal index of LGBTI equality based on our Rainbow Europe Map and an overview of the social climate for LGBTI people in each country based on our Annual Review of the Human Rights Situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex People in Europe.

Rainbow Europe ranks all 49 European countries on a scale between 0% (gross violations of human rights, discrimination) and 100% (respect of human rights, full equality). We rank the countries on the basis of laws and policies that have a direct impact on the LGBTI people’s human rights in under 6 categories: equality and non-discrimination; family; bias motivated speech/violence; legal gender recognition; freedom of assembly, association and expression; and asylum.

Rainbow Europe provides insights into the political and social developments in each European country, along with a feeling of what everyday life for LGBTI people is like beyond the laws and policies. Launched in 2015, Rainbow Europe makes it easier to keep up to date with the latest developments in European LGBTI rights.

It is a free online collection of all the data that lies behind the colourful Rainbow Europe Map, accessible to view on your desktop, tablet or smartphone.

Rainbow Europe is designed to make the job of researchers, policy makers, media outlets, students and academics and other interested NGO’s more straightforward. It allows users to filter the map based on different themes, download reference materials for free and compare a particular country’s standing with the European average.

One of the major benefits of the web module is that it can be immediately updated to reflect the latest legislative & policy changes. ILGA-Europe constantly monitor the legal and policy situation for LGBTI people with the help of our member organisations, working with a team of national experts to validate all the relevant data. In addition to this, ILGA-Europe are grateful to our partners ECSOL, Transgender Europe and OII Europe for their expertise and advice which ensures the module is as up-to-date as possible.

Here are all the criteria that ILGA-Europe takes into consideration for each country and the number of ranking points awarded for each one that is fulfilled satisfactorily:

Equality and non-discrimination (Overall weight: 25%)

  • Constitution (sexual orientation) covers constitutional (or similar) anti-discrimination provisions. To comply with this criterion, the country should fall under one of the following categories (weight within category: 5%):
    • The Constitution contains an anti-discrimination article which explicitly includes sexual orientation in the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination.
    • The Constitution contains a general or ambiguous anti-discrimination article, but discrimination based on sexual orientation is effectively prohibited by this article. This must be demonstrated in the Constitution’s preparatory work, legislative history, or in case law from the highest judicial bodies (e.g. Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, etc.).
    • The Constitution indirectly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, e.g. by declaring that the European Convention on Human Rights is part of the Constitution or has a constitutional status.
  • Employment (sexual orientation) covers employment anti-discrimination legislation. Only express mention of sexual orientation should be counted. (weight within category: 5%)
  • Goods & services (sexual orientation) covers goods and services anti-discrimination legislation. Only express mention of sexual orientation only should be counted. (weight within category: 5%)
  • Education (sexual orientation) covers legislation prohibiting discrimination in the field of education. Only express mention of sexual orientation only should be counted. (weight within category: 5%)
  • Health (sexual orientation) covers legislation prohibiting discrimination in the field of health. Only express mention of sexual orientation only should be counted. (weight within category: 5 %)
  • Equality body mandate (sexual orientation) covers when a national human rights institution / equality body is explicitly mandated to work on sexual orientation in its law/founding documents, or where the national human rights institution / equality body is systematically working on issues covering sexual orientation. (weight within category: 6%)
  • Equality action plan (sexual orientation) covers action plans which expressly include sexual orientation, and include specific measures for progress. (weight within category: 10%) In addition, we only take into account when the action plan either entails or is followed up with the following measures:
    • Detailed projects or initiatives within the time span
    • Allocation of resources (financial or human resources)
    • Clear responsibilities for proper implementation
    • Setup of monitoring procedure
  • Constitution (gender identity) covers constitutional (or similar) anti-discrimination provisions. To comply with this criterion, the country should fall under one of the following categories (weight within category: 5%):
    • The Constitution contains an anti-discrimination article which explicitly includes gender identity in the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination. Equivalent ground e.g. sexual identity, gender reassignment, etc accepted too.
    • The Constitution contains a general or ambiguous anti-discrimination article, but discrimination based on gender identity is effectively prohibited by this article. This must be demonstrated in the Constitution’s preparatory work, legislative history, or in case law from the highest judicial bodies (e.g. Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, etc.).
    • The Constitution indirectly prohibits discrimination based on gender identity, e.g. by declaring that the European Convention on Human Rights is part of the Constitution or has a constitutional status.
  • Employment (gender identity) covers employment anti-discrimination legislation. Express mention of gender identity only should be counted. Equivalent ground e.g. sexual identity, gender reassignment, etc accepted too. (weight within category:5%)
  • Goods & services (gender identity) ) covers goods and services anti-discrimination legislation. Express mention of gender identity only should be counted. Equivalent grounds (sexual identity, gender reassignment, etc) are accepted too. (weight within category: 4%)
  • Education (gender identity) covers legislation prohibiting discrimination in the field of education. Express mention of gender identity only should be counted. Equivalent grounds (sexual identity, gender reassignment, etc) are accepted too. (weight within category: 5%)
  • Health (gender identity) covers legislation prohibiting discrimination in the field of health. Express mention of gender identity only should be counted. Equivalent grounds (sexual identity, gender reassignment, etc) are accepted too. (weight within category: 5%)
  • Equality body mandate (gender identity) covers when a national human rights institution / equality body is explicitly mandated to work on gender identity in its law/founding documents, or where the national human rights institution / equality body is systematically working on issues covering gender identity. Equivalent grounds (sexual identity, gender reassignment, etc) are accepted too. (weight within category: 6%)
  • Equality action plan (gender identity) covers action plans which expressly include gender identity, and include specific measures for progress. Equivalent grounds (sexual identity, gender reassignment, etc) accepted too. (weight within category: 10%) In addition, we only take into account when the action plan either entails or is followed up with the following measures:
    • Detailed projects or initiatives within the time span
    • Allocation of resources (financial or human resources)
    • Clear responsibilities for proper implementation
    • Setup of monitoring procedure
  • Law (gender expression) covers anti-discrimination legislation which expressly includes gender expression. (weight within category: 10%)
  • Law and public policy (intersex) covers anti-discrimination legislation and public policies which expressly include sex characteristics or intersex status (weight within category: 10%)

Family (Overall weight: 27%)

  • Marriage equality covers when same-sex couples can marry, with the same level of rights as married different-sex couples. (weight within category: 45%*)
  • Registered partnership (similar rights to marriage) covers when same-sex couples can enter a registered partnership/civil partnership and obtain the same level of rights as they would if they were married. (weight within category: 33.75%*)
  • Registered partnership (limited rights) covers when same-sex couples can enter a registered partnership/civil partnership, but where the level of rights is different to, and is significantly weaker than the rights offered by marriage. (weight within category: 16.88%*)
  • Cohabitation covers when same-sex couples are included in legislation or legal measures on cohabitation. (weight within category: 5.63%*)
  • No constitutional limitation on marriage covers when a constitutional definition (or similar) of marriage as being only a union between a man and a woman does not exist. (weight within category: 7%)
  • Joint adoption covers when same-sex couples can legally apply for joint adoption. (weight within category: 11%)
  • Second parent adoption covers when same-sex couples can legally apply for second parent adoption. (weight within category: 11%)
  • Automatic co-parent recognition covers when children born to couples (regardless the partners’ sexual orientation and/or gender identity) are not facing any barriers in order to be recognised legally from birth to their parents. (weight within category: 11%)
  • Medically assisted insemination (couples) covers when couples (regardless the partners’ sexual orientation and/or gender identity) are not facing any legal barriers in order to get fertility treatment. (weight within category: 7%)
  • Medically assisted insemination (singles) covers when fertility treatment for individuals (regardless their sexual orientation and/or gender identity) is legally possible. (weight within category: 4%)
  • Trans people can marry a person of the other gender covers when trans people are able to marry according to their gender identity after their legal gender recognition (thus entering different-sex marriage). (weight within category: 4%)

*Countries that have more than one form of legal recognition of same-sex partners are only awarded points for the highest legal form of recognition.

Hate crime and hate speech (Overall weight: 20%)

  • Hate crime law (sexual orientation) covers when sexual orientation is expressly included in hate crime legislation as an aggravating factor. (weight within category: 18%)
  • Hate speech law (sexual orientation) covers when sexual orientation is expressly included in hate speech legislation as an aggravating factor. (weight within category: 18%)
  • Policy tackling hate crime and hate speech (sexual orientation) covers when sexual orientation is included in a national strategy tackling hatred. This only refers to actions based on a recurrent and continuing framework by state actors (ad hoc measures do not count). (weight within category: 9%)
  • Hate crime law (gender identity) covers when gender identity is expressly included in hate crime legislation as an aggravating factor. (weight within category: 18%)
  • Hate speech law (gender identity) covers when sexual orientation is expressly included in hate speech legislation as an aggravating factor. (weight within category: 18%)
  • Policy tackling hate crime and hate speech (gender identity) covers when gender identity is included in a national strategy tackling hatred. This only refers to actions based on a recurrent and continuing framework by state actors (ad hoc measures do not count). (weight within category: 9%)
  • Hate crime law (intersex) covers when identity is expressly included in hate crime legislation as an aggravating factor. (weight within category: 10%)

Legal gender recognition & bodily integrity (Overall weight: 15%)

  • Existence of legal measures covers legislation for legal gender recognition. This can include court decisions, as long as there is a procedure that provides consistent results. (weight within category: 10%)
  • Existence of administrative procedures covers procedures for legal gender recognition which are not written in law. This includes change of gender on official documents to reflect the preferred gender. Administrative procedures are only taken into account when consistent implementation with no obstacle has been documented. (weight within category: 7%)
  • Name change covers existence of legislation which makes name change possible without any obstacles. This includes deed poll. (weight within category: 7%)
  • No ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ diagnosis/psychological opinion required covers when a GID diagnosis is not a requirement for legal gender recognition. (weight within category: 13%)
  • No compulsory medical intervention required covers when medical interventions are not a requirement for legal gender recognition. This only refers to non-surgical medical interventions. This criteria only applies when consistent implementation with no obstacle has been documented. (weight within category: 10%)
  • No compulsory surgical intervention required covers when any kind of surgical interventions are not a requirement for legal gender recognition. This criteria only applies when consistent implementation with no obstacle has been documented. (weight within category: 10%)
  • No compulsory sterilisation required covers when sterilisation or proof of infertility is not a requirement for legal gender recognition. (weight within category: 13%)
  • No compulsory divorce required covers when divorce or single status is not a requirement for legal gender recognition. (weight within category: 9%)
  • No age restriction covers when there is no explicit age restriction for minors for changing their legal gender. This criteria only applies when there are no other abusive requirements for legal gender recognition such as sterilisation, GID/medical diagnosis, or surgical/medical intervention. (weight within category: 7%)
  • Prohibition of medical intervention before child is able to give informed consent (intersex) covers when medical practitioners or other professionals are prohibited by law from conducting any kind of surgical or medical intervention on an intersex minor when the intervention has no medical necessity and can be avoided or postponed until the person can provide informed consent. (weight within category: 14%)

Freedom of assembly, association & expression (Overall weight: 8%)

  • Public event held, no state obstruction (last 3 years) covers when laws, policies and practices allow for full exercise of the right to free assembly, so LGBTI public events are held without obstruction and are sufficiently protected by public authorities (e.g. police). (weight within category: 35%)
  • Associations operate, no state obstruction (last 3 years) covers when there are no legal and administrative restrictions on the functioning of LGBTI organisations or publications (e.g. ‘foreign agent’ laws) and when LGBTI human rights defenders are not intimidated and criminalised for their work. (weight within category: 30%).
  • No laws limiting expression (national/local) covers when there is no legislation limiting freedom of expression on LGBTI issues (e.g. anti-propaganda laws, censorship laws etc) either at national or local level. (weight within category: 35%)

Asylum (Overall weight: 5%)

  • Law (sexual orientation) covers when sexual orientation is expressly included in asylum law as a qualification criteria. (weight within category: 25%)
  • Policy/other positive measures (sexual orientation) covers when sexual orientation is expressly included in policy/instructions/other positive measures. This only refers to actions based on a recurrent and continuing framework by state actors (ad hoc measures do not count). (weight within category: 25%)
  • Law (gender identity) covers when gender identity is expressly included in asylum law as a qualification criteria. (weight within category: 25%)
  • Policy/other positive measures (gender identity) covers when gender identity is expressly included in policy/instructions/other positive measures. This only refers to actions based on a recurrent and continuing framework by state actors (ad hoc measures do not count). (weight within category: 25%)
  • Policy/other positive measures (gender identity) covers when gender identity is expressly included in policy/instructions/other positive measures. This only refers to actions based on a recurrent and continuing framework by state actors (ad hoc measures do not count). (weight within category: 20%)