Equal Treatment and Gender Equality
Digital event on LGBTI rights across Europe, 5 May 2021
“Towards the full recognition of LGBTI rights across Europe – Strategic policy measures to implement the 2010 SOGI Recommendation”
Under the German Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe 2020/21, the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth together with the Observatory hosted a digital event focusing on the Council of Europe’s 2010 Recommendation on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity (CM/Rec(2010)5) on 5 May 2021.
Despite universal human rights standards, acceptance and respect for the rights and needs of LGBTI persons vary considerably among the member states of the European Union and those of the Council of Europe. The event raised awareness for the situation of LGBTI rights across Europe against the backdrop of political backsliding and rising discrimination against LGBTI persons. Furthermore, it was discussed how concrete steps and strategic policy measures such as national action plans contribute to strengthening LGBTIQ rights at the national level and which role institutions such as the Council of Europe and the European Union can and are playing in that regard.
LGBTIQ*Both the social situation and the legal policy framework for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people (LGBTIQ*) presents very heterogeneous features across EU member states. From its European-comparative perspective, the Observatory contributes to explore and examine the key challenges and developments of LGBTIQ* policy issues in Europe.
2016Situación de los Refugiados LGBTI en Europa. Trayectoria y Retos del Derecho de Asilo en la Unión EuropeaPublished in: Tiempo de Paz, No. 120; pp. 81-88. (Article in Spanish)
Intersectionality and LGBTI Policies in Europe: International Conference on 18 and 19 November 2020
Within the framework of the German Presidencies of the Council of the European Union and the Council of Europe in 2020/21, the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth together with the Observatory organised an international conference on the subject of "Intersectionality and LGBTI Policies in Europe – Lived Realities of Lesbian* Women and the Recognition of Rainbow Families" on 18 and 19 November 2020.
Helena Dalli, EU Commissioner for Equality, used the occasion to present the new EU LGBTIQ Equality Strategy (Factsheet). During the ensuing high-level panel, she discussed the new strategy with the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Franziska Giffey, and Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić. Background information on the strategy can be found in the current edition of the Observatory's newsletter (May 2020).
The conference drew attention to the intersectional – overlapping and mutually reinforcing –aspects of discrimination lesbian* women experience in their daily lives as well as the specific needs of rainbow families. A number of discussion formats raised awareness for different aspects of lesbian* visibility in respect to intersectionality, research, the asylum process, civil society participation and capacity building.
Latest Info (Ministry, in German), 18 November 2020
Press Release (Ministry, in German), 19 November 2020
Video (Ministry, in German)
Facebook-Livestream of the High-Level Panel (Facebook-Page of the Ministry)
Violence against Women: Istanbul Convention
The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence is an international treaty in force since August 1, 2014. The Convention contains binding rules for the protection of women against all forms of violence. The Observatory’s work deals with the implementation of the Istanbul convention in several member states of the European Union.
Digital media has added a new dimension to violence against women. On the one hand, existing forms of violence against women find their digital equivalent. On the other hand, the anonymity and reach of the internet, as well as new contact possibilities via social media, allow new forms of violence to emerge. In its work, the Observatory looks at European and national approaches dealing with digital violence against women: How do the European Union and its member states approach this phenomenon of gender-related digital violence and its effects? Which national approaches and initiatives already exist?
UN 2030 Agenda
The member states of the United Nations are responsible for implementing the UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, short SDGs. All member states are confronted with the task of formulating national measures to translate the SDGs into concrete action. SDG 5 addresses gender equality. The Observatory compares in its work the developments and national approaches for the implementation of these SDGs in Germany, Estonia and Sweden.
UN Women Convention (CEDAW)
The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), is the most important human rights tool for women under international law. The Observatory analyses the application of CEDAW in the German and French justice systems and sets out recommendations for its implementation.
Comparing Regulation of Prostitution
Where is prostitution allowed and where is it prohibited by law? And in which countries is the purchase of sexual services forbidden? The German government introduced a law on the regulation of the prostitution business and for the protection of prostitutes. Against this background, the Observatory undertook comprehensive research in this field. The various papers summarize the legal framework and current reform debates in the majority of European States and beyond.