LGBT campaign group ILGA-Europe has unveiled its European LGBT rights map for this year.
The 2013 review of the human rights situation of LGBT people by the Brussels-based NGO found that “degrading, offensive and defamatory language” is one of the “most common trends” across the continent.
Among the EU member states causing major concern are Hungary and Greece.
The report notes that the economic crisis in Greece has given a platform to extremist groups, such as the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, who target minority groups including LGBT activists.
North Cyprus continues to be the only place on the continent of Europe where homosexuality is a criminal act, while expressions of “overt homophobia and transphobia” by government, religious leaders and extremist groups were “common” in Bulgaria.
Italy is not taking any legislative initiatives despite having a “relatively high level” of violent homophobia and transphobia.
Meanwhile in France, despite the recent passing of the country’s same-sex marriage bill, 1,397 cases of hate crime, hate speech and discrimination incidents against sexual minorities were documented last year.
Gabi Calleja, co-chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, said: “The Annual Review 2013 uncovers the real situation of LGBTI people beyond laws and gives us the whole picture of what it is like to be an LGBTI person in Europe today. The picture is far from satisfactory.
“While some countries are scoring high on the Rainbow Map because they have good laws, the situation on the ground often is very different. Even in countries with the most advanced laws and policies, there is a surprisingly high percentage of LGBTI people who are adjusting their behaviours on a daily basis because they fear violence and harassment when in public.”
Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, added: “Advocacy based on solid facts is what we need for advancing the human rights of LGBTI people. ILGA-Europe and its national member organisations have first-hand knowledge of what is going on and share their insights and concerns through the Annual Review and the Rainbow Map.”
“In addition to holding countries accountable for their actions, the Annual Review also gives a critical account of the steps taken by international organisations. It is a valuable tool for a serious debate about the human rights situation of LGBTI persons across Europe.”