The Netherlands falls out of the top 10 EU countries for LGBTI rights

The Netherlands falls out of the top 10 EU countries for LGBTI rights

According to the newly published 2018 Rainbow Europe Index, which reviews the human rights of LGBTI people in European countries, the Netherlands has fallen out of the top 10 and now resides at 11th place.

Rainbow Europe Index

Since 2009, IGLA-Europe has produced the Rainbow Europe Index, an annual ranking of all 49 European countries according to the laws and policies afforded to LGBTI people regarding issues such as equality and non-discrimination.

The ranking brings together both the legal index of LGBTI equality based on the Rainbow Europe Map and the social climate for LGBTI people based on the IGLA-Europe Annual Review of the Human Rights Situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex People in Europe.

Six unequally weighted categories are used to rank the countries, namely:

  • Equality and non-discrimination (25%)
  • Family (27%)
  • Hate crime and hate speech (20%)
  • Legal gender recognition and bodily integrity (15%)
  • Civil society space (8%)
  • Asylum (5%)

These benchmarking categories were first used in 2009 and have been since expanded upon. The factors which make up each category are unequally weighted. Once all the categories are totalled, a percentage is given from 0 to 100. This percentage represents the respect of human rights and full equality. A percentage close to 0 indicates gross violation of human rights and discrimination.

No longer top 10

This year, the Netherlands has fallen out of the top 10 European countries affording and addressing LGBTI human rights. According to the Executive Director of IGLA-Europe, Evelyne Paradis, the reason that the Netherlands has lost its frontrunner position is mainly down to the fact that the rights of transsexuals and intersex peoples are not established.

Last year, the Netherlands scored 10th place with a total percentage of 64. This year, however, the Dutch country scored only 59,64 percent and dropped to 11th place.

The Dutch organisation for LGBT people (COC) is pained by the results, especially as the Netherlands was the first European country to allow same-sex marriage, yet now no longer belongs to the frontrunners for LGBTI rights.

Top ten EU countries for LGBTI rights

This year, the top spot, for the second year in a row, when it comes to LGBTI rights, goes to Malta. The rest of the top 10 EU countries are as follows.

  1. Malta
  2. Belgium
  3. Norway
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Finland
  6. France
  7. Portugal
  8. Denmark
  9. Spain
  10. Sweden

The countries at the bottom of the ranking were Russia in 45th place, Monaco in 46th, Turkey at 47th position, Armenia at number 48 and lastly Azerbaijan in 49th place.

For more information, please visit the Rainbow Europe Index website.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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