The Malta Independent 19 May 2022, Thursday

Malta tops the Rainbow Europe index for seventh year

Thursday, 12 May 2022, 15:10 Last update: about 6 days ago

For the seventh year in a row, Malta continues to occupy the number one spot on the Rainbow Europe Map, with a score of 92%.

Published on Thursday, May 12, at the IDAHOT+ Forum in Cyprus, the ILGA-Europe's annual Rainbow Map and Index ranks 49 European countries on their respective legal and policy practices for LGBTI people from 0-100%.

The Rainbow Map and Index ranks the 49 European countries on their respective legal and policy practices for LGBTI people, from 0-100%. In order to create the country ranking, ILGA-Europe examines the laws and policies in 49 countries using a set of criteria. From May 2022, the number of individual criteria used has risen to 74, divided between seven thematic categories: equality and non-discrimination; family; hate crime and hate speech; legal gender recognition; intersex bodily integrity; civil society space; and asylum.

With 74 points, Denmark now occupies second place - this is a rise of seven places, mainly fuelled by the amendments to its hate crime and equal treatment legislations.

It noted that more countries are pushing forward for equality by giving due recognition and protection for people's lived realities. Iceland was awarded points because of its legislative recognition of trans parenthood, among other things, while Germany introduced a ban on intersex genital mutilation and France banned so-called 'conversion therapy' based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

ILGA-Europe's Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis, said: "It is encouraging to see that several governments actively chose to take real action over the past 12 months to progress LGBTI equality, and as a result, that the Rainbow Map looks positively different compared to this time last year. In the face of anti-LGBTI forces which remain rife across Europe, we welcome the renewed mobilisation by a growing number of politicians and government officials to do what is needed to improve the lived realities of LGBTI people. More is definitely needed to strengthen this upward dynamic in the coming year."

A statement by ILGA-Europe read: "This year, ILGA-Europe is introducing a new category on intersex bodily integrity. With this new headline, we want to send a clear message to governments that protecting the human rights of intersex people requires dedicated efforts and to guide policy-makers on where specific laws and policies are needed. It also allows for better assessment of the work in progress. Germany and Iceland have joined the small number of countries banning non-medically necessary interventions on intersex people without consent, but so far no country, including the leading country Malta, has put in place the necessary implementation and monitoring policies that would allow for fully protection of intersex people's bodily integrity. Legislative work on banning interventions is ongoing in Austria, Cyprus, Belgium and France."


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