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Today, on May 17, the world celebrates the International Day Against Homophobia (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia). In this regard, we have collected information for you about some of the activities that take place on this day.

The purpose of this Day is to counteract any physical, moral and symbolic violence against people with a different sexual orientation or gender identity; support and coordinate all initiatives around the world that help all citizens achieve equal rights; hold a broader campaign to protect human rights.

Homosexuality is still criminalized in 72 countries, and Rainbow Railroad organization helps people from these countries to avoid persecution.

Along with this, human rights activists in a number of countries that supported the initiative to hold this Day, carry out various actions and events, campaigns and flash mobs on May 17 every year to raise awareness of the people all around the world about the problem of homophobia through the media, as well as to promote bills on equal rights of homosexual and heterosexual people.

The ECOM staff asked the activists from different countries of the EECA, what is homophobia.

For example, Yana Panfilova of the youth project Teenergizer replied: “Homophobia is the failure to accept human rights, which halts further development and moving forward”. The answers of other activists can be found on the ECOM’s Facebook page.

Employees of the Andrei Rylkov Fund, showing solidarity with the goals of this day, asked their gay friends to explain that they are the same as everyone else. One of the quotes: “Most of the interesting personalities are either drug users or gay people. Let’s live amicably”. Valeriy Sozaev (St. Petersburg). 

The special page on Facebook, International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, since 2016 informs about this day and the event dedicated to it.

It should be mentioned that the idea of ​​establishing the International Day Against Homophobia on May 17 was suggested by the French writer and scholar Louis-Georges Tin. It was on this day in 1990 that the General Assembly of the World Health Organization excluded homosexuality from the list of mental diseases.

It is noteworthy that according to the Rainbow Europe 2018 research on the situation of LGBT people in Europe undertaken by the ILGA-Europe organization, the worst situation with the protection of the rights of sexual minorities in the European Union is observed in Latvia.

The Council of Europe notes that over the past year, 47% of the LGBT people in the EU have been physically harmed or threatened, but only 22% of the victims have sought help from the police.

The UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency noted that many refugees and internally displaced persons who leave their communities are LGBT people. And in this case, the risks increase for such people who lose support and face greater challenges in a new location.

Moreover, the European Commission confirmed that every person should be free to love without fear of discrimination.

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