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; hate crime and hate speech; legal gender recognition and bodily integrity; civil society space; 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. 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 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

  • 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:
    • 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 (declarations that have been implemented consistently by the courts)
  • Employment (sexual orientation) covers employment anti-discrimination legislation. Only express mention of sexual orientation should be counted.
  • Goods & services (sexual orientation) covers goods and services anti-discrimination legislation. Only express mention of sexual orientation only should be counted.
  • Education (sexual orientation) covers legislation prohibiting discrimination in the field of education. Only express mention of sexual orientation only should be counted.
  • Health (sexual orientation) covers legislation prohibiting discrimination in the field of health. Only express mention of sexual orientation only should be counted.
    • Conversion therapy (sexual orientation) covers legislation and policies prohibiting reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality/bisexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change their sexual orientation.
  • 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, and where the national human rights institution / equality body is systematically working on issues covering sexual orientation.
  • Equality action plan (sexual orientation) covers action plans which expressly include sexual orientation, and include specific measures for progress. 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:
    • 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 (declarations that have been implemented consistently by the courts)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Conversion therapy (gender identity) covers legislation and policies prohibiting reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that trans identities are per se a mental disorder and can be treated
  • 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, and 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.
  • 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. 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
  • (NEW) Constitution (sex characteristics) covers constitutional (or similar) anti-discrimination provisions. To comply with this criterion, the country should fall under one of the following categories:
    • The Constitution contains an anti-discrimination article which explicitly includes sex characteristics in the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination.
    • The Constitution contains a general or ambiguous anti-discrimination article, but discrimination based on sex characteristics 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 sex characteristics, e.g. by declaring that the European Convention on Human Rights is part of the Constitution or has a constitutional status (declarations that have been implemented consistently by the courts)
  • (NEW) Employment (sex characteristics) covers employment anti-discrimination legislation. Only express mention of sex characteristics should be counted.
  • (NEW) Goods & services (sex characteristics) covers goods and services anti-discrimination legislation. Only express mention of sex characteristics only should be counted.
  • (NEW) Education (sex characteristics) covers legislation prohibiting discrimination in the field of education. Only express mention of sex characteristics only should be counted.
  • (NEW) Health (sex characteristics) covers legislation prohibiting discrimination in the field of health. Only express mention of sex characteristics only should be counted.
  • (NEW) Equality body mandate (sex characteristics) covers when a national human rights institution / equality body is explicitly mandated to work on sex characteristics in its law/founding documents, and where the national human rights institution / equality body is systematically working on issues covering sex characteristics.
  • (NEW) Equality action plan (sex characteristics) covers action plans which expressly include sex characteristics, and include specific measures for progress. 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.
  • (NEW) Blood donation covers when there is no full legislative or administrative ban on donating blood or on any kind of bodily tissues for LGBTI people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Any deferral periods need to be reasonable and justified. This also includes when health authorities and practitioners make sure that:
    • Decisions on time restrictions are taken on individual basis and based on risks assessments related to sexual behaviours of candidates, not on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
    • The sexual history of candidates to blood/tissue donations are treated in a non-judgmental manner.
    • All relevant documents are exempt from use of discriminatory formulations towards men who have sex with men and trans people.

Family

  • Marriage equality* covers when same-sex couples can marry, with the same level of rights as married different-sex couples.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cohabitation* covers when same-sex couples are included in legislation or legal measures on cohabitation.
  • 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.
  • Joint adoption covers when same-sex couples can legally apply for joint adoption.
  • Second parent adoption covers when same-sex couples can legally apply for second parent adoption.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Medically assisted insemination (singles) covers when fertility treatment for individuals (regardless their sexual orientation and/or gender identity) is legally possible.
  • (NEW) Recognition of trans parenthood covers when:
    • Parent’s legal gender identity is recognized in the documentation of kinship (e.g. birth certificate of child respects name, gender marker, gendered denomination “mother”/ “father” (where applicable) according to the parent’s recognised gender identity)
    • Regulations regarding recognition of parenthood is aligned with available gender options where more than 2 gender markers are available, e.g. “mother” and “father” are not the only available options; all parents are recorded as “parent” etc.

*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

  • Hate crime law (sexual orientation) covers when sexual orientation is expressly included in hate crime legislation as an aggravating factor.
  • Hate speech law (sexual orientation) covers when sexual orientation is expressly included in hate speech legislation as an aggravating factor.
  • 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).
  • Hate crime law (gender identity) covers when gender identity is expressly included in hate crime legislation as an aggravating factor.
  • Hate speech law (gender identity) covers when sexual orientation is expressly included in hate speech legislation as an aggravating factor.
  • 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).
  • Hate crime law (intersex) covers when bias based on the victim’s (perceived) sex characteristics or intersex status is expressly included in hate crime legislation as an aggravating factor.
  • Policy tackling hate crime and hate speech (intersex) covers when sex characteristics or intersex status 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).

Legal gender recognition & bodily integrity

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Name change covers existence of legislation which makes name change possible without any obstacles. This includes deed poll.
    • No age restriction, Name change covers when there is no explicit age restriction for minor to change their name.
  • (NEW) Self-determination covers when
    • Legal gender recognition is based exclusively on the expressed wish of the person concerned e.g. by declaration
    • Does not require third party involvement, e.g. judge, medical expert, intercessor
    • Intersex status and/ or sex characteristics are not a contraindication
  • No ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ diagnosis/psychological opinion required covers when a GID diagnosis is not a requirement for legal gender recognition.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • No compulsory sterilisation required covers when sterilisation or proof of infertility is not a requirement for legal gender recognition.
  • No compulsory divorce required covers when divorce or single status is not a requirement for legal gender recognition.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  •  (NEW) Depathologisation covers when:
    • No mental health diagnosis relating to trans identities in national clinical classification standards or equivalent; neither for adults/ adolescents nor for pre-puberty children
    • Access to and cost coverage for trans-specific healthcare (TSHC) for adults/ adolescents is possible without requiring a mental health assessment or diagnosis.
    • Access to and cost coverage for support services for pre-puberty trans and gender variant children is ensured without requesting a diagnosis of “Gender Incongruence in Childhood” (ICD11) or equivalent.

Civil society space

  • (NEW) Public event held, no state obstruction of freedom of assembly (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.
  • (NEW) Public event held, there is enough protection (last 3 years) covers when LGBTI public events are sufficiently protected by public authorities (e.g. police) who ensure their due course, including protection from disruption or attacks.
  • (NEW) Associations operate, no state obstruction of freedom association (last 3 years) covers when there are no legal and administrative restrictions on the functioning of LGBTI organisations or publications, including state registration, cooperation with authorities, access to national funding, etc.
  • (NEW) LGBTI human rights defenders are not at risk covers when LGBTI human rights defenders are not intimidated and criminalised for their work (e.g. no LGBTI HRDs arrested, in jail or harassed by public authorities in relation to their human rights work and activism)
  • (NEW) No laws limiting receipt of funding covers when there are no explicit government regulations banning organisations from receiving funding (national, foreign and/or private) (e.g. ‘foreign agent’ laws).
  • (NEW) 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.

Asylum

  • Law (sexual orientation) covers when sexual orientation is expressly included in asylum law as a qualification criteria.
  • 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).
  • Law (gender identity) covers when gender identity is expressly included in asylum law as a qualification criteria.
  • 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).
  • Law (intersex) covers when intersex status or sex characteristics is expressly included in law as a qualification criterion.
  • Policy /other positive measures (intersex) covers when intersex status or sex characteristics 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).