European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Today is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Today the world is highlighting the issues of racial discrimination and xenophobia.

Last Monday the German Presidency of the EU confirmed its commitment to achieving a consensus on the Framework Decision to combat racism and xenophobia. ILGA-Europe welcomes the efforts to establish a mechanism to fight against and eliminate all form of racial prejudice and discrimination.

We hope that the EU will also develop a specific mechanism for combating homophobia which has been on the rise in the last years. As practices and observations suggest, an increase of one type of discrimination is usually closely linked to a rise in other forms of prejudice and discrimination. Therefore the EU should tackle all forms of discrimination and hatred.

Today we also draw attention to the issue of multiple discrimination. Many people are being disadvantaged and discriminated against because of both their race and sexual orientation and/or gender identity. ILGA-Europe looks forward to continuing its cooperation with the European Network Against Racism and organisations fighting racism and xenophobia to address the issues of racial discrimination.

Patricia Prendiville, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said:

“There is still work to be done within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community to eliminate racism, and equally there are still concerns about homophobia within racial and ethnic groups. We need to demonstrate a unity against all forms of prejudice and discrimination as the consequences of complaisance and segregation can be dangerous. The famous poem by Pastor Martin Niemöllershows that the fight against discrimination and violation of rights is a concern for all:

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Ends

For more information please contact
Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 2 609 54 16 / + 32 496 708 375

Notes for editors:

(1) ILGA-Europe is the European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association and works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Europe.