Digital event on LGBTI rights across Europe, 5 May 2021
“Towards the full recognition of LGBTI rights across Europe – Strategic policy measures to implement the 2010 SOGI Recommendation”
Under the German Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe 2020/21, the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth together with the Observatory hosted a digital event focusing on the Council of Europe’s 2010 Recommendation on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity (CM/Rec(2010)5) on 5 May 2021.
Despite universal human rights standards, acceptance and respect for the rights and needs of LGBTI persons vary considerably among the member states of the European Union and those of the Council of Europe. The event raised awareness for the situation of LGBTI rights across Europe against the backdrop of political backsliding and rising discrimination against LGBTI persons. Furthermore, it was discussed how concrete steps and strategic policy measures such as national action plans contribute to strengthening LGBTIQ rights at the national level and which role institutions such as the Council of Europe and the European Union can and are playing in that regard.
UN Agenda 2030Elderly people are explicitly mentioned in seven of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the sense of the commitment "leave no one behind". This is shown by brief research of the Observatory on the social aspects of the UN Agenda 2030 in March 2021. However, within the national sustainability strategies of the EU Member States for the implementation of the UN Agenda 2030, concrete targets and indicators in the field of policies for elderly people are mostly missing. In some cases, data systems are used for policy decisions that exclude people outside the age group 15-64. Among other reasons, this is due to a poor data situation regarding older and very old people.
Civil society organisations and older people's interest groups appeal: Sustainable development should also be shaped in the context of population ageing and demographic change, and elderly people, in particular, should be given greater attention in all areas. An important organisation in this field is the Stakeholder Group on Ageing (SGA). It brings together global and national stakeholders for elderly people and is part of the "Major Groups and Other Stakeholders" that accompany the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda.
Children’s rights in the digital environmentSince the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, society has changed in many ways. Digitalisation creates the need to extend the protection of children and their rights to the digital space. This goal has been increasingly pursued in recent years at the international, European and national level. In March 2021 the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child published a general comment on children’s rights in the digital environment. The comment is intended to demonstrate the relevance of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the digital space as well as to support states in protecting and fulfilling children’s rights in the digital environment. The comment was preceded by a two-year consultation in which more than 700 children participated.
In the upcoming newsletter (June 2021), the Observatory will deal with the international initiatives to implement children's rights in the digital space and will further provide insights into the situation in European countries and show their efforts to protect children's rights digitally.
Europe-wide Child Guarantee to Combat Child PovertyChild poverty is widespread in Europe, even in economically strong countries. Almost 22.5 percent of children in the European Union are at risk of poverty and social exclusion. Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic child poverty in Europe can be expected to increase.
The child guarantee was requested by the European Parliament in 2015. It aims to combat child poverty and social exclusion in Europe by ensuring access to affordable, inclusive, and high-quality services, especially for children who are affected by poverty and socially disadvantaged. Since 2018, within the framework of a broad preparatory action at EU level, possibilities for design and implementation have been discussed. In March 2021, the European Commission adopted a Proposal for a Council Recommendation establishing the European Child Guarantee.