Podcast: Gay rights in Europe

Published: March 28, 2013

In this podcast, a Norwegian MP, an activist and a European official discuss the impact of gay rights on European policy-makers and society.

Oslo parliamentarian Håkon Haugli, the Parliamentary Assembly’s lead expert on the rights of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people (LGBT), explains why he fears some countries are “slipping back” on their human rights commitments.

“I’m very worried,” he says. “We are seeing a roll back of basic human rights such as the freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and freedom from violence.”

Juris Lavrikovs, communications manager for the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association (ILGA Europe), shares Haugli’s concerns, especially for LGBT people in some eastern European member states but celebrates the steady progress in the campaign for gay rights over the past two decades.

He says that the improved and positive “visibility” of LGBT people and the “new wave of awareness” among policy-makers have been fundamental, adding that “by building a just society where everybody is recognised – there is a benefit on so many levels to the whole society.”

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