The IDAHO Forum 2014 in Malta was attended by some 250 delegates from around Europe...17 countries have signed the IDAHO Declaration of Intent
Tomorrow – 17 May – is the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). It is every government’s duty to reflect on the progress achieved as well as the road ahead to ensure that homophobia and transphobia are no more.
During the past year, Government was proactive on LGBTI issues, as clearly shown by ILGA- Europe’s findings that Malta was the country that progressed the fastest on LGBTI legislative developments, followed by Montenegro.
In ILGA-Europe’s statement Co-Chair, Paulo Côrte-Real, said that: “It is very encouraging to see countries like Malta and Montenegro make such huge progress in the space of one year. It shows that so much is possible when there is political leadership, especially when it is coupled with meaningful engagement of civil society.”
Indeed, during the past year, Government worked hand in hand with LGBTI civil society, setting up the LGBTI Consultative Council, composed of LGBTI representatives, mandated to propose laws and policies as deemed necessary.
Legislatively, the Civil Code was changed to allow trans people to marry according to their gender. The institution of civil union was introduced for same-sex and different-sex couples alike, which include all the rights and duties of marriage. Additionally, an amendment to the anti-discrimination article within the Constitution to include protection on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Notably, Malta is the first country in the world to have express protection on the ground of gender identity in its Constitution.
This week, the Maltese government hosted the IDAHO Forum together with the Swedish government at the Mediterranean Conference Centre welcoming some 250 delegates from around Europe. Many, including the various ministers present, congratulated Malta for the leadership shown throughout the year. During his speech the Prime Minister, was clear, that the journey towards equality for all needs to continue.
He also called on like-minded governments to come together and work jointly at the regional and international level. Besides, the Malta co-authored IDAHO Declaration of Intent was signed by 17 countries towards the end of the Forum.
On the domestic front, Government will soon be proposing a Gender Identity Bill, and will explore other legislative initiatives as necessary.