In recent years, the Brazilian government has been working to safeguard the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) populations, by promoting greater awareness among policy-makers. In order to strengthen such efforts, two National LGBT Conferences were held, along with a national campaign against homophobia and a survey of government data concerning homophobia in Brazil. The federal government is also conducting a survey on legislation and legal cases that are favorable to Brazil’s LGBT population.
In 2011, the Supreme Court decreed equal status between stable same-sex unions and heterosexual unions and, moreover, the Superior Court of Justice ruled in favor of a lesbian couple who sought the right to marry. Despite the success of these actions, we have seen a simultaneous growth in reactionary movements in Brazil that run counter to the achievements of the LGBT population. In 2011, 278 murders of lesbians, gays and transvestites were reported in Brazil, besides 6,800 human rights violations against this population (preliminary figures). Among the most common violations are psychological and physical violence and discrimination.
Given this situation, it is important to learn about the experiences of other countries in the fight against homophobic violence. The European Union is seen as a benchmark in this area, by having countries that pioneered the recognition of LGBT rights with regard to public services, criminalisation, and the creation of homophobia-related indices (examples include the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany).
This project aims to compare the progress of strategies in dealing with homophobia in Brazil and those in the European Union with regard to the inclusion of the LGBT population in social security programmes, especially in institutions and public services (health, social care, public safety, education, among others).
Specific objectives and expected results
-Identify and systematise successful European experiences in the support of LGBT victims of violence and in the confrontation of homophobia;
-Carry out a survey of national, state and local experiences in supporting the LGBT population and in the confrontation of homophobia;
· Compare and contrast the European and Brazilian experiences in order to devise a best practices guide;
· Identify the member countries of the European Union that may in the future engage in dialogue and cooperation with Brazil in combating homophobic violence.
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