Estonia ranks 21st on the Rainbow Europe map

Estonia ranks 21st among 49 European countries in terms of laws and policies that protect the rights of the LGBT + community, according to an assessment by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

Now in its 10th year, the ILGA-Europe ranking has analyzed laws and policies governing LGBT + issues in 49 European countries over the past 12 months. The ranking – called Rainbow Europe – records a country’s legal standards for comparison with its European neighbors.

ILGA-Europe tracks each country using a wide range of indicators; covering everything from equality, family issues and hate speech to legal gender recognition, freedom of expression and asylum rights.

Estonia is ranked 21st on the list of 49 countries that include non-EU states, and 19th in the EU.

Overcome a legal vacuum

In order to improve the legal and political situation of LGBT + people in Estonia, ILGA-Europe recommends updating the existing legal framework for legal gender recognition in order to establish an administrative process based on self-determination and free of requirements abusive – such as gender identity disorder / medical diagnosis, medical intervention or age limits.

The organization also recommends fully implementing existing registered partnership laws to ensure that same-sex couples are recognized and protected. In 2014, Estonia became the first former Soviet-occupied country to pass a law allowing same-sex couples to legally register their civil partnerships. However, due to the change of government, the implementing laws were never passed in parliament, creating a legal vacuum.

ILGA-Europe also suggests better combating hate speech targeting members of the LGBT + community.

The best country in Europe to protect the rights of the LGBT + community is Malta – a predominantly Catholic country, it should be noted. Among Estonia’s neighbors, Finland ranks fourth, Sweden 10th, Latvia 39th and Russia 46th.

Countries are retreating

For the first time in ten years of existence of the index, countries are backing down with the disappearance of existing laws and policies: Poland no longer gives access to medically assisted procreation to single women, while Bulgaria has abolished all its administrative and legal procedures to change name or sex. marker in official documents for trans people. Serbia and Kosovo have not renewed their equality action plans.

Bulgaria, Hungary and Turkey are countries that fall in the rankings due to their governments’ failure to respect basic civil and political rights such as freedom of assembly, freedom of association and the protection of human rights defenders. humans over the past year. “The result is an increasingly dangerous and unsustainable environment for LGBTI organizations and human rights defenders in a growing number of countries,” ILGA-Europe said in a statement.

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