In this section you can read about how ILGA-Europe works on health, how we define health and you can find resources on the topic.

Health and LGBTI people

The right to health is considered as a fundamental right at international and European level. However LGBTI people face difficulties in accessing healthcare due to stigmatisation and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Moreover, this has a detrimental impact on their mental and physical health.

Trans and intersex people are facing a variety of specific health related obstacles:

  • The World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases still classifies transsexuality as a mental disorder.
  • Access to gender reassignment is still highly problematic in most countries due to a number of inhuman procedures.
  • Most intersex people face a denial of bodily integrity from health practitioners. In addition, unsatisfactory and un-dignifying medical terms such as Disorders of sex development (DSD) are still used.

Health and ILGA-Europe

The legal and administrative issues related to the health of LGBTI people are issues that ILGA-Europe works on in several different capacities.

Using a rights-based approach, ILGA-Europe has two main long-term objectives: 1) to secure effective legal protection against discrimination in the enjoyment of the right to health and in access to health services and 2) to end the pathologisation of trans identities, so it is no longer being classified as a mental disorder.

To achieve this long-term aim, ILGA-Europe’s specific objectives over the next three years are:

  • To increase legal protection against sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression discrimination in access to health by securing new European Union anti-discrimination legislation and by ensuring proper implementation of relevant existing European legislation and relevant human rights instruments
  • To gain the support of European institutions in the campaign on the depathologisation of trans identities including through joint campaigning with trans organisations, raising awareness of and submitting information to European and national policy-makers and other allies
  • To achieve explicit inclusion of LGBTI health issues in European policies related to access to health care, mental health, and HIV/AIDS by raising awareness of European and national policy-makers.

More specific, ILGA-Europe focuses its efforts on the need to obtain and disseminate accurate information concerning the issues related to LGBTI health. We advocate equal access to health services and non-biased treatment for all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

ILGA-Europe’s work on health is identified as a priority issue for in the Strategic Plan 2011-2013.

More information about the work of ILGA-Europe on health - write to Sophie Aujean, Policy & Programmes Officer.

ILGA-Europe’s definition of health

Find out how ILGA-Europe defines health and the ways we advocate for healthy lives of LGBT people in Europe.

ILGA-Europe publications on health

Find publications and resources produced by ILGA-Europe related to health here.

External resources on health

In this section, we are gathering external resources on the topic.

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