IDAHOT-Forum 2024 in The Hague, the Netherlands on 15 May 2024; Credit: MEGA

ILGA-Europe recently published its annual Rainbow Map and Index ranking European countries according to the legal and policy situation for the human rights of LGBTIQ+ people; Luxembourg retained 7th place.

Malta held on to the top spot for the ninth consecutive year, whilst Iceland climbed from 5th place in 2023 to 2nd place in 2024. Last year's No.2, Belgium, dropped to 3rd place. Spain and Denmark rounded out the top 5 in 2024. Finland and Greece jointly ranked 6th (with an identical score). The three worst scoring countries this year were Russia, Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Luxembourg remained in 7th place in 2024, although it had ranked higher in previous years: 5th in 2022, 3rd in 2021 and in 2020. Its overall score of 70.03% is slightly higher than that of 68.04% obtained in 2023.

ILGA-Europe published its ranking ahead of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT), which is observed each year on 17 May. As reported by Luxembourg's Ministry of Gender Equality and Diversity, Anne Goedert, Goodwill Ambassador for Human Rights, and representatives of the ministry represented the Grand Duchy at the IDAHOT+ Forum 2024 in The Hague (Netherlands) on Wednesday 15 May 2024, during which the index presentation took place.

The ranking is determined using various indicators, looking at the following areas: equality and non-discrimination; family; hate crime and hate speech; legal gender recognition; intersex bodily integrity; civil society space; asylum.

The Ministry of Gender Equality and Diversity emphasised Luxembourg's move upwards in the ranking (in terms of points), particularly in the areas of asylum and legal gender recognition.

In terms of room for improvement, ILGA-Europe recommended that Luxembourg: allow for automatic co-parent recognition for all couples, regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity; ban medical interventions on intersex minors when such procedures have no medical necessity and can be avoided or postponed until the individual can give their informed consent; ban conversion practices on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Commenting on the overall index results, Luxembourg's Minister for Gender Equality and Diversity, Yuriko Backes, expressed her delight that "Luxembourg continues to rank among the most progressive European states in terms of the rights of LGBTIQ+ people. But at the same time, these international rankings should not encourage us to rest on our laurels." She added that the coalition agreement contains a number of issues relating to LGBTIQ+ rights on which progress should be made, including questions relating to parentage/adoption, the situation of intersex people and the ban on conversion therapies.

Minister Backes elaborated: "In cooperation with the other responsible ministries, I will intensify efforts so that these projects do not remain a dead letter. In addition, [the ministry] will adapt together with civil society organisations the first national LGBTI action plan of 2018 based on the recommendations of the recently published University of Luxembourg evaluation. A first concrete measure is the reform of the LGBTIQ+ committee now including all ministries to ensure regular and consistent monitoring of LGBTIQ+ policies implemented in our country."

Compared to the general trends noted by the index, the minister expressed particular concern over the rise in physical and psychological violence against LGBTIQ+ communities across Europe: "These facts are fuelled by hate speech propagated by movements of various kinds calling into question the principle of an egalitarian society where all individuals can benefit from the same opportunities and the same rights. The Luxembourg government will not give in to these trends and continues to promote the values of equality of all human beings in all their diversity."

The Rainbow Map and Index 2024 are available on the website