FRA report shows plight of LGBT
By The Holland Times Fri. 17 May 2013
Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), Morten Kjaerum held a speech in The Hague on 17 May, presenting the launch of the EU LGBT Survey Report .
The survey was carried out online and asked over 93,000 LGBT people across all 27 EU Member States and Croatia about their experiences of violence and discrimination. The results show that many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) cannot be themselves in their daily lives.
“A too great number of LGBT people across Europe are being barred from being themselves," Kjaerum said. "Their ability to enjoy their basic human right of living with dignity, to enjoy life and express themselves freely without discrimination, is being denied.”
According to the data collected, LGBT people start facing difficulties early at school, where they regularly experience bullying and harassment. For this reason, anti-bullying policies should be developed and implemented and teachers should be trained about how to better tackle bullying against LGBT students.
The report also draws attention to disturbingly high levels of crime against LGBT people. About a quarter of all respondents said they had been attacked or threatened with violence in the last five years. High levels of under-reporting were also detected: just 22 percent of the most serious violent incidents against LGBT people in the five year preceding the survey were reported to the police. Two thirds of the respondents across all EU Member States were scared of holding hands in public with their same-sex partner. For gay and bisexual men this rose to about 75 percent.
“These figures stress the need for EU-wide and Member State action to counter the many obstacles LGBT people face in the enjoyment of their basic rights in everyday life,” said the Director at the end of his speech, and emphasised that there is a clear need for political leadership and EU-wide action as a catalyst for change.