The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) took place on 17 May 2015. The event is celebrated worldwide with cultural and political actions to criticise the remaining discrimination against LGBTQI-persons. On this occasion, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has announced that they are preparing a new survey to better measure homo- and transphobia in Europe. The High Representative, Frederica Mogherini, has published a declaration on the Occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, on behalf of the European Union " to continue to make the case for the respect of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of sexual orientation and gender identity, in line with the EU's Guidelines on the rights of LGBTI persons". The guidelines define following priority areas of actions to promote equality in Europe:

  1. "Decriminalisation and Combatting discriminatory laws and policies"
  2. "Promoting equality and non-discrimination"
  3. "Combating LGBTI-phobic violence"
  4. "Support and protection for human rights defenders"

ETUCE wishes to raise awareness to the pan-European and International LGBTQI EuroPride event, which takes place since 1992 in different European cities. This year's EuroPride is to be celebrated in Riga from 15 June to 21 June 2015, with different events to discuss achievements and challenges on LGBTQI rights in Europe.

Furthermore, ETUCE highlights the importance of education to reach equal opportunities for everyone. The joint ETUCE-ETUC-ILGA Statement against Homophobic bullying states that: "Homophobic and transphobic bullying is much more serious than just the "unpleasant part of a teenage culture". lt has potential long-lasting effects in terms of poor mental health, under-achievement and underemployment." Therefore the member states should encourage teachers' and other members of the school community to address this topic openly and revise "the content of curricular and textbooks removing gender and other stereotypes".

Although many European states have achieved a lot on tackling discrimination of LGBTQI persons, the situation in some countries remains difficult. Both events, the IDAHOT and EuroPride, should be seen as a reminder that equal rights for everyone are not yet accomplished. Therefore ETUCE encourages the European Union as well as the member states to continue their work on tackling homo- and transphobia, supporting LGBTQI-persons and implementing the guidelines on the rights of LGBTI-persons.

To see further information about EuroPride, please click here.