In 2013, the protection of LGBTI human rights became officially part of EU foreign policy, when the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union adopted Guidelines To Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons.
The Guidelines is a comprehensive legally binding document which will provide instructions to EU institutions and Member States on how to progress on human rights of LGBTI people in dealing with third countries and at international fora. They prioritise actions around combatting discriminatory laws and policies, LGBTI-phobic violence, and the promotion of equality and non-discrimination.
For more on how to improve the legislation for LGBT people, see the EU Handbook on the protection of LGBT people - good practices in helping victims
Another handbook: LGBT rights in Europe supported by EU, provides tools needed by legal practitioners for better understanding of the protection afforded by European and national law in cases of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
In 2010 the Council of the European Union published a toolkit to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People. The toolkit aims to provide staff in the EU Headquarters, EU Member States’ capitals, EU Delegations, Representations and Embassies with an operational set of tools to be used in contacts with third countries, as well as with international and civil society organisations, in order to promote and protect the human rights enjoyed by LGBT people within its external action. It seeks to enable the EU to proactively react to cases of human rights violations of LGBT people and to structural causes behind these violations.
Priority areas of action included are:
- equality and non-discrimination
- support and protection for human rights defenders
The toolkit lists the operational tools and actions which the headquarters and EU missions have at their disposal to protect LGBT rights. It also provides a useful listst of elements for analysis/checklist of situation regarding LGBT human rights issues (annex 2).