Friday, 31 May 2013

Di-ve: Quarter of gay people across Europe face discrimination
Last Updated 17 | 05 | 2013 at 10:47
Article By: news

A quarter of gay people have been subjeced to attacks or violent threats in the past five years, a major EU poll established. Poorer and younger homosexual respondents said that they were more likely to gace discrimination due to their sexuality.

The EU LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) survey asked lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender respondents whether they had experienced discrimination, violence, verbal abuse or hate speech on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It showed worrying trends of unreported discriminations and increasing abuse and violence.

Most of the hate attacks reported took place in public and were mostly perpetrated by males. More than half of the victims did not report the incident, believing that no action would be taken. Out of 93,000 homosexual participants surveyed, some 20% of gay or bisexual respondents and 29% of transgender respondents said they had suffered discrimination at work or when looking for a job while two-thirds of respondents admitted that they had tried to disguise their sexuality at school.

Meanwhile, the European Students Union (ESU) has called on the United Nations and the Council of Europe to introduce and support a resolution calling for an end to discrimination based on homosexuality and for all citizens of Europe to pursue their life choices freely and without fear or personal danger. Currently, some 300 politicians are gathering at the Hague to implement new policies seeking to stamp out homophobia.

ESU also urges higher education authorities to make sure that students can engage in any studies without any fear of prejudice, oppression or violence.

Today marks the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, reminding people that only 23 years ago the World Health Organisation had finally removed homosexuality from a list of internationally classified diseases.

A report published in 2011 by the Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe revealed that millions of people in Europe were still discriminated, stigmatised or victims of violence because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

“The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia reminds us of the importance to keep fighting for universal human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals. Discrimination due to sexual orientation is clearly still a problem in Europe as it is elsewhere in the world. This applies to all levels of our societies, including the education sector. A shift is needed in the way of thinking, attitudes and behaviours so that people of all sexual orientations can enjoy rights and treatments equal to the rest of the society. As an example, surveys have even shown that in some countries people still believe homosexuality is illegal,” explained ESU’s Vice-Chairperson Taina Moisander.

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