Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia have the most restrictive LGBT+ equality laws and policies in Europe, campaign group ILGA-Europe said on Monday.

Azerbaijan scored just 3% on a scale where zero indicates gross human rights violations and 100% represents the greatest degree of equality under the law, according to Rainbow Europe, a measuring tool created by ILGA-Europe.

The former Soviet republic - host of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest - gained points in just three of the 69 individual categories, which cover areas such as employment rights and marriage equality.

Civil Society

What is the Forum doing to boost inclusion for LGBTI people?

Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity not only violates universal basic human rights, it also adversely impacts the long-term economic prospects of individuals, businesses and countries.

An initiative of the World Economic Forum, the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality (PGLE) leverages the power of business to promote LGBTI equality and inclusion in the workplace and take wider responsibility not just for the impact they have on their employees lives but also on the broader communities in which they operate.

closeup of a young caucasian man waving a small rainbow flag against a rustic blue wooden background
Discrimination against members of the LGBTI community continues to affect millions of people worldwide every day
Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

PGLE partners work together to:

  • Operationalize the five United Nations Standards of Conduct for Business Tackling Discrimination Against LGBTI People by providing a due-diligence framework, tools and resources for companies to advance and implement LGBTI inclusion globally (see here)
  • Provide a peer to peer learning platform connecting committed business leaders through the World Economic Forum in accelerating LGBTI workplace inclusion and promoting human rights for all
  • Share best practices and benchmarks to assist companies in meeting their commitments and responsibilities to global LGBTI equality.

Follow the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality and help us advance this agenda, protecting and promoting human rights in the workplace.

Contact us to become a member or partner of the Forum.

The Azerbaijan embassy in London did not respond to a request for comment.

Turkey and Armenia were awarded 5% and 7% respectively.

A direct comparison with last year's results is not possible, as ILGA-Europe has changed the overall number of categories to give more weight to laws and policies covering civil society and asylum.

However, the countries that did well on this year's list, including top-ranked Malta, Luxembourg (third) and Finland (fourth), have addressed gaps in transgender and intersex rights, said Evelyne Paradis, executive director of ILGA-Europe.

Image: Rainbow Europe

Irrespective of the recalibration, "those countries that continue to do really well and go up are those that ... clicked quite some time ago that the agenda was more than marriage equality", Paradis told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Now in its 10th year, the ILGA-Europe ranking analysed laws and policies governing LGBT+ matters across 49 European countries over the past 12 months.

Due to the shift in the number of categories, several countries that had formerly been seen as leaders of LGBT+ equality, such as Britain, saw their overall percentages slip between 2018 and 2019.

Last year, Britain scored 73% and was ranked equal with Finland and France at fourth, but according to the Rainbow Europe 2019 index, this year fell to 66% cent, tied at seventh with Portugal.

Civil Society

What is the Forum doing to boost inclusion for LGBTI people?

Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity not only violates universal basic human rights, it also adversely impacts the long-term economic prospects of individuals, businesses and countries.

An initiative of the World Economic Forum, the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality (PGLE) leverages the power of business to promote LGBTI equality and inclusion in the workplace and take wider responsibility not just for the impact they have on their employees lives but also on the broader communities in which they operate.

closeup of a young caucasian man waving a small rainbow flag against a rustic blue wooden background
Discrimination against members of the LGBTI community continues to affect millions of people worldwide every day
Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

PGLE partners work together to:

  • Operationalize the five United Nations Standards of Conduct for Business Tackling Discrimination Against LGBTI People by providing a due-diligence framework, tools and resources for companies to advance and implement LGBTI inclusion globally (see here)
  • Provide a peer to peer learning platform connecting committed business leaders through the World Economic Forum in accelerating LGBTI workplace inclusion and promoting human rights for all
  • Share best practices and benchmarks to assist companies in meeting their commitments and responsibilities to global LGBTI equality.

Follow the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality and help us advance this agenda, protecting and promoting human rights in the workplace.

Contact us to become a member or partner of the Forum.

"The UK has a proud record of promoting equality for LGBT people and we continue to be recognised as one of the leading progressive countries in Europe for LGBT rights," a spokeswoman for Britain's Government Equalities Office said in an email.

Germany, France and Norway also saw their percentages fall over the past 12 months. The 2019 index ranked Belgium second, between Malta and Luxembourg. (Reporting by Hugo Greenhalgh @hugo_greenhalgh; Editing by Jason Fields. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)