The Netherlands is again out of the top 10 LGBTI rights.

The Netherlands again falls out of the top 10 European countries where the rights of LGBTI persons are well regulated. This is evident from the Rainbow Europe Index that the European LGBTI organization ILGA-Europe will publish on 14 May 2020.

“This is not happy news,” responds COC chairman Astrid Oosenbrug. “But I am hopeful. Various legislative changes and improvements are planned. As far as I am concerned, this is an encouragement to government and parliament: go ahead and quickly adopt those laws. We must and can return to the leading group in Europe when it comes to LGBTI rights! ”

The Netherlands has been in ninth place in Europe for some time since November. This was thanks to a law of D66, PvdA and GroenLinks that prohibits discrimination against transgender and intersex people. The Netherlands has since been overtaken by other countries. We are now eleventh in Europe. The European top three is formed by Malta, Belgium and Luxembourg.

To catch up, COC hopes that LGBTI rights will be quickly enshrined in Article 1 of the Constitution. The House of Representatives is currently examining a bill to the effect of D66, PvdA and GroenLinks. Countries such as Malta, Sweden and Portugal already have a Constitutional ban on LGBTI discrimination.

The COC also calls for more measures to tackle violence against LGBTI people. For example, penalties for crimes with a discriminatory background should be increased. GroenLinks and ChristenUnie previously announced that they would come up with a bill on this point.

Together with NNID, the COC pleads for a ban on involuntary medical treatment of intersex children. At the request of the interest groups and the House of Representatives, the government is currently investigating this possibility. A ban already exists in Malta and Portugal.

With TNN, the COC argues for the abolition of the so-called ‘expert statement’ as a requirement for trans persons to change their gender registration. The organizations also want it to be possible for young people under the age of 16 to change their gender registration. The government has announced that it will improve the transgender law soon.


According to ILGA-Europe, Europe is at a crucial point when it comes to LGBTI rights. “Countries that were once in the lead have lagged behind,” said ILGA. “The COVID-19 pandemic, which affects disproportionate vulnerable groups, is being used by some governments to curb human rights of LGBTI people.”

ILGA-Europe notes that no progress has been made in LGBTI rights in 49% of European countries in the past year. There were also countries that showed decline in the past year. At the very bottom of the rankings of ILGA-Europe, Russia, Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan are dangling.

The ILGA-Europe Index measures the situation in European countries with legislation and rights for LGBTI persons. The Index is therefore not about LGBTI acceptance. A report by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) will be published on 14 May on the acceptance of LGBTIs in Europe.


The speech in the Flemish Parliament. (04.04.2019)

The following are excerpts from our report to the Flemish Parliament.

“LGBT World Beside is an organization founded by refugees who survived the “first wave” of persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya. We, our friends and relatives who remained in Russia, are living witnesses of how the Chechen authorities tried to rape them. Now that a new wave of persecution has begun in Chechnya, we are again afraid for ourselves and for the safety of our loved ones. We demand from the Russian authorities to put an end to the persecution and physical violence against LGBT people in Chechnya and to conduct an effective investigation of all the crimes of recent weeks. We also call on the world community, the authorities of democratic states that have signed the World Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Status of Refugees, not to refuse assistance to LGBT refugees from Chechnya, who literally have to choose between life and death.”

“The work of our organization is very important. LGBT World Beside – allows the world to find out what terrible tortures and murders occur in Chechnya, as well as conveying information for gays and lesbians of Chechnya, that they are normal and can live in society and benefit, that you can no longer hide and not be afraid, they can always Seek help in the civilized countries of Europe.”

The speech in the Flemish Parliament has just ended. The reason was the adoption of a resolution condemning the systematic persecution of gays and lesbians in Chechnya. LGBT World Beside spoke with delegations from various parties about the situation in Chechnya. Afterwards the delegation was received by Jan Peumans, chairman of parliament. On behalf of the Chechen refugees who came to the Flemish Parliament with us, we would like to thank Piet De Bruyn for the opportunity to tell our story.

Europe politicians slam Russia for failing to tackle gay purge in Chechnya.

Dozens of LGBTI people have been locked up and several murdered.

A protest in Berlin to stop the atrocities happening in Chechnya | Photo: Florian Flitzinger

Politicians in Europe have slammed Russia for failing to tackle the homophobic purge in Chechnya.

Hundreds of members of the LGBTI community in Chechnya have been detained, many of which have been tortured and even executed.

A ‘gay purge’, which began in 2016, has been taking place in Chechnya.

There is no sign of the purge slowing down or stopping anytime soon. Since December 2018, 40 more people have been detained and at least 2 more killed.

Due to Russia failing to slow down and end the purge in Chechnya, they have been met with outrage from politicians across Europe. The authorities in Chechnya have denied that ‘gay people exist’ in the area which has provoked an even bigger reaction against Russia.

Terry Reintke, co-chair of the LGBTI Intergroup said: ‘Not only do LGBTI people exist, but they have human rights just like everyone else. We will continue to fight so LGBTI people are safe in Chechnya and everyone else in the world.’

Many international institutions such as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the [Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe] have demanded an end to these human rights violations and condemned Chechnya’s actions.

Sophie in’t Veld, vice-president of the LGBTI Intergroup, demanded immediate action should be taken to stop this obvious violation of human rights and highlighted Russia’s wrong doings.

‘We cannot wait until more people are detained, tortured and killed,’ she said.

‘It is about time Russia listens to the multiple recommendations and requests from the international community.’

We’re inviting you to make a difference today by donating to the Chechyna Appeal.

Every dollar, euro and pound you give will help evacuate LGBTI people in the most danger. And to pressure the Chechen authorities to stop this persecution.


Two rapporteurs condemn the latest alleged murder, torture and illegal detention of LGBTI persons in Chechnya

Frank Schwabe (SOC, Germany), rapporteur on the continuing need to restore human rights and the rule of law in the North Caucasus region, and Piet De Bruyn (NR, Belgium), General Rapporteur on the rights of LGBTI people and former rapporteur on persecution of LGBTI people in the Chechen Republic (Russian Federation), today condemned the recent alleged attacks on the LGBTI community in Chechnya, during which two people were reportedly tortured to death and around forty detained by the authorities.

“Since the first such allegations came to light in 2017, the Assembly has called on the authorities to investigate the persecution of LGBTI people in the Chechen Republic, bring to justice those responsible and ensure the safety of victims,” said Mr De Bruyn. “As stated in Resolution 2230 (2018), the Assembly condemns in the strongest terms all forms of persecution, hate speech, discrimination and harassment, on any grounds, including sexual orientation and gender identity,” he underlined.

“These latest outrages underline the Chechen authorities’ contempt for even the most basic human rights and illustrate the barbaric lawlessness of their rule,” added Mr Schwabe. “The Russian federal authorities must take immediate, effective action to meet their constitutional and international obligations to secure the right to life, the prohibition on torture, the right to liberty and security and the right to an effective remedy, without discrimination on any ground, throughout the national territory. They must put an end to the impunity of the Kadyrov regime,” he concluded.


OSCE Rapporteur’s Report under the Moscow Mechanism on alleged Human Rights Violations and Impunity in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation.

The views, opinions, conclusions and other information expressed in this document are not given nor necessarily endorsed by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) unless the OSCE is explicitly defined as the Author of this document.