Combatting LGBTI-phobic hate crime discussed in Dublin

CoE/Presidency of the Committee of Ministers

Right to life, security and protection from violence, and combating hate crime based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC-based) across Europe were the themes of a roundtable held in Dublin on 27 October. It was organised under Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of Europe by the Irish Ministry for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, the Irish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Council of Europe SOGI Unit with the support of the United Kingdom Government Equalities Office.

The Irish Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration, Roderic O’Gorman T.D. recalled in his opening remarks that Ireland made protecting LGBTI+ rights a priority of its Presidency of the Committee of Ministers. “Placing combating hate crime on the agenda, in meetings such as this, is key in highlighting the scale of the issue we face all over Europe and the many ways we are working collectively to confront those challenges”, he said.

Chair of the Council of Europe Steering Committee on Anti-Discrimination, Diversity and Inclusion (CDADI), Triantafillos Loukarelis, said: ” As a group often scapegoated and marginalised, an alarmingly high number of LGBTI persons in Europe feel compelled to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity for fear of violence. Our discussion today focuses on the bias of the perpetrator committing a hate crime based on the victim’s sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics – be it real or perceived”. He added that the roundtable is part of the annual thematic review of Council of Europe Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5 on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, and that its outcome will be reflected in the report on hate crime and protection of LGBTI persons from violence to be adopted by CDADI in 2023.

The Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Michael O’ Flaherty, also took part in the opening. The event participants, who included representatives of member states, international institutions; NGOs and academia, discussed international standards, legal protection, institutional cooperation, awareness raising and victims’ rights in relation to SOGIESC-based hate crime, as well as sharing best practice and solutions regarding hate-motivated incidents.

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