The Malta Independent 17 August 2019, Saturday

Malta top of the list of ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Index

Wednesday, 17 May 2017, 09:00 Last update: about 3 years ago

For the second year running Malta ranks first on ILGA-Europe's Rainbow Index maintaining its classification among 49 Council of Europe Member States where LGBTIQ legislation and policy are concerned, a statement issued by Gabi Calleja, coordinator of the Malta Gay Rights Movement, said.

In 2016 Malta introduced the Affirmation of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression Act, banning harmful conversion practices and also depathologised LGBT identities ensuring that no sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression could be considered an illness or disease. The Trans, Gender Variant and Intersex Inmates Policy was also adopted by Corradino Correctional Services providing guidelines to be followed by correctional services.

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These legal and policy changes were accompanied by a strong civil society sector with a number of LGBTIQ NGO's actively involved in raising awareness, providing training and supporting LGBTIQ individuals and their families through a number of support groups and services. Recognising and celebrating diverse family forms and the love that unites them is also the theme for this year's IDAHOT.

While recognising the progress that has been achieved, some issues remain outstanding particularly in the area of access to health. Malta still lacks trans sensitive and specific health services; its HIV treatment formulary is outdated and far from what could be considered best practice; and access to reproductive health for same sex couples remains criminalised.

The ILGA-Europe Rainbow Index highlights the vast disparities that continue to exist between different countries where LGBTIQ rights are concerned. 

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