ILGA-Europe published Rainbow Europe 2022

Published on May 12 2022, ILGA-Europe’s annual Rainbow Europe Map and Index, ranking the legal and policy situation of LGBTI people in 49 European countries, finds that over the past 12 months a new dynamic has appeared to fill in the gaps that exist around LGBTI rights and push standards. 

Among the key findings from this year’s Rainbow Europe are:

  • Denmark has jumped seven places to achieve second spot in the 2022 ranking. The reason for Denmark’s jump is that it is taking the lead in filling in anti-discrimination gaps in current legislation, including the equal treatment law, which covers health, education, employment, goods and services, and the penal code to include sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics as aggravating factors in hate crime.

  • More countries are pushing forward for equality by giving due recognition and protection for people’s lived realities. Iceland was awarded points because of its legislative recognition of trans parenthood, among other things, while Germany introduced a ban on intersex genital mutilation and France banned so-called ‘conversion therapy’ based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • After years of being stalled there is positive legislative movement in Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia, countering the narrative that there is an East/West divide on LGBTI rights in Europe, providing governments in these countries with strong opportunities to underpin democracy through adoption and implementation.

Unfortunately, there remains significant gaps in terms of fundamental protection against discrimination and violence in nearly half of the countries. Currently, 20 countries out of 49 still have no protection against hate crime based on sexual orientation, while 28 countries have no protection against violence based on gender identity. 

How the report was prepared

The report assessed criteria such as equality and non-discrimination, family, hate crimes and hate speech, legal gender recognition, intersex bodily integrity, civil society and asylum.

For the seventh year in a row, Malta continues to occupy the number one spot on the Rainbow Europe Map, with a score of 92%. With 74 points, Denmark now occupies second place - this is a rise of seven places, mainly fuelled by the amendments to its hate crime and equal treatment legislations. Belgium comes third place with a score of 72%.

The three countries at the other end of the Rainbow Europe scale are Azerbaijan (2%), Turkey (4%), and Armenia (8%), exactly the same as the last two years.

It should be noted that Azerbaijan has been ranked last on the ILGA Europe Rainbow Europe map since 2015. You can find the Azerbaijan page of the report here.

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