According to data taken from the Rainbow Europe 2018, the Mediterranean country leads the ranking, with states like Turkey, Armenia or Azerbaijan coming last.
In 2009 ILGA Europe decided to draw a map on rights which, in 2013, saw the addition of a ranking and analysis on the advancement achieved in rights in 49 states on the European continent where ILGA is present.
The 2018 analysis shows a downturn in the advancement of rights in Europe, where many of the states at the forefront of equality and LGBTI policies have stagnated. For ILGA Europe this is a worrying trend given that the increased violence against LGBTI persons and that some states are clearly LGBTIphobic shows that LGBTI rights have not only not been achieved, but are experiencing a clear regression. ILGA Europe’s Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis stated that “we see too many signs around us that show that many of the recent victories are fragile: let me state this one more time: we are not done yet”.
One of the facts that show this downturn, according to the 2018 report, is that the Netherlands, one of the countries with a progressive tradition, has been knocked off the group known as the Top 10. Recommendations by ILGA Europe such as laws to counter hate crimes that specifically protect LGBTI persons were not met, despite the commitment to provide increased constitutional protection to LGBTI persons and to amend laws on equality to provide protection against trans and intersex discrimination.
Malta, leader in commitment to LGBTI rights
Malta is the country taking the lead in the legislative and political advances of LGBTI rights in Europe, with a score of 91% according to the Rainbow analysis, which includes a set of 6 fields: equality and non-discrimination; hate crime and speech; legal gender recognition and physical integrity; space for civil society to organize and the right to seek asylum. Besides Malta, Belgium with a score of 79% and Norway, with a score of 78%, lead the ranking; while the countries with the least policies and commitment are: Turkey (9%); Armenia (7%) and Azerbaijan (5%). The Rainbow annual review also contains a series of recommendations that will be studied in next year’s edition based on the States’ level of compliance.