Malta Remains First In Europe For LGBTQIA+ Rights But Loses Points Due To Expired Strategy
Rainbow Map Index
ILGA-Europe is an independent, international non-governmental umbrella organisation that spans 54 countries across Europe & Central Asia.
They work to create a world where every LGBTQIA+ person is free, equal & safe.
Every year, the organisation creates an index that reflects the legal & policy human rights situation for LGBTQIA+ people in Europe.
It looks at factors like legal gender recognition, equality & non-discrimination, family, hate crimes & hate speech, intersex bodily integrity, civil society space & asylum.
Malta Remains On Top
It’s the 8th consecutive year that Malta has placed 1st on the Rainbow Map Index, but this year’s score has decreased from 93.78% to 89%.
A spokesperson for the organisation explained that Malta originally received extra points on top of last year’s score after the Health Ministry announced that men who have sex with men would be able to donate blood.
However, Malta got points deducted because the country’s LGBTIQ Equality Strategy & Action Plan for 2018- 2022 expired & hasn’t been renewed. Also, recognition for non-binary people is still only available on passports.
Rainbow Europe Map & Index 2023
Advancements In Equality
According to local partners, the Maltese government has plans to launch a new equality strategy on 17th May. It is also working on broadening non-binary markers, with a consultation with non-binary people having taken place earlier this year.
ILGA-Europe explained that despite intense anti-LGBTI attacks in several countries, equality is still advancing across Europe.
Public debate is becoming more polarised & violent, particularly against transgender people. However, the political determination to advance LGBTQIA+ rights is paying off.
Equality Across Europe
The countries with the biggest advancements are those that have introduced legal gender recognition using a self-determination model, & those that have introduced bans on intersex genital mutilation (IGM).
The 2nd-place countries are Belgium & Denmark, but the score drops to 76%. The countries with the worst scores are Azerbaijan (2%), Turkey (4%), & Armenia (9%).
The most improved countries are Spain (74%), Iceland (71%), Finland (70%), Moldova (39%), Switzerland (47%) & Croatia (49%).