On the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the European Union reaffirms its commitment to combat all forms of discrimination and hate crime, on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics, and to continue to actively promote and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons.
2018 is an important year for human rights, as we mark the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its first article reads "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights". LGBTI persons are no exception, and the EU will therefore continue to fight for "equal rights for all" regardless of sexual orientation.
Under the European neighbourhood policy, the rights of LGBTI people are regularly monitored and addressed in the framework of human rights dialogues with partner countries and regular meetings with NGOs and financial assistance is mobilised. In 2017 the Neighbourhood South regional civil society forum put a spotlight on discriminations against LGBTI people and the marginalisation of the LGBTI community in the Southern Mediterranean civil society. This allowed a large number of local and regional human rights organisations to discuss with EU representatives possible strategies to engage more effectively on the promotion of the rights of LGBTI people.