Words: Eva O’Beirne
Ireland has dropped one place in the rankings since 2021.
ILGA’s “Rainbow Europe” index ranks 49 European countries based on how the laws and policies of each impact the lives of LGBTQ+ people.
The percentage assigned to each country gives an indication of where the countries are positioned on a scale between 0 per cent (gross violations of human rights, discrimination) and 100 per cent (respect of human rights, full equality).
Britain saw the biggest drop in the table, falling from 10th to 14th place, ILGA says factors for this drop include the UK government’s policy on ‘conversion therapy’, its stance on gender recognition and barriers to asylum for LGBTQ+ people.
Ireland ranks at number 16, primarily due to our lack of hate-crime legislation, adoption inequality for LGBTQ+ parents and rates of conversion therapy.
Malta ranks number one for the sixth year in a row. In 2016, it became the first European country to criminalise ‘conversion therapy’. Poland is the lowest-ranked country within the European Union, while Azerbaijan is cited as the overall worst nation in Europe for LGBTQ+ rights.
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.
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