In conjunction with Poland and the European Commission, France has invited representatives from 56 continental European States, from civil society and regional and international organisations, to a meeting to be held in Paris on 26 March 2013 to address issues relating to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons in Europe.
Discussions will focus on the discrimination and violence suffered by LGBT persons in Europe and how to combat such abuses, as well as the role of regional and international mechanisms for the defence of human rights in this area. The conference is part of a global process, under which the countries committed to combating discrimination and violence aimed at LGBT persons decided early in 2013 to organise wide-ranging consultations on these issues on several continents. As a result, conferences are to be held in Brasilia, Kathmandu and Paris. Their conclusions will be presented to a world conference in Oslo on 15 and16 April 2013.
Combating human rights violations on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity: a major commitment on the part of France
Homosexuality currently remains a crime in almost 80 States, and is subject to the death penalty in seven of them. In many countries, LGBT persons continue to suffer from discrimination, harassment, violence and even murder, with the perpetrators often acting in impunity.
France is deeply committed to combating discrimination and violence against LGBT persons. In 2008, France and the Netherlands jointly presented the text of a Declaration on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to the United General Assembly, to date endorsed by 68 States. In 2011, France supported a further joint statement by the Human Rights Council, adopted by 85 States. In the same year, the HRC adopted its first resolution on LGBT issues, resulting in 2012 in the first report by the United Nations on the status of LGBT persons worldwide.
As long ago as 2007, France supported the adoption by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers of recommendations on the rights of LGBT persons, and is actively involved in the drawing up of EU guidelines on respecting the rights of LGBT persons.
In the knowledge that this will be a lengthy process that can only be accomplished with the aid of civil society, France provides support to organisations working on the ground to promote and protect the rights of LGBT persons.
In a pioneering initiative, France, the Netherlands and Norway joined forces in 2009 to set up the first international support fund for organisations working on behalf of LGBT people, with joint steering provided by donor States and NGOs working to promote and protect human rights.