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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 16.01.2019, 16:37

Survey ranks Estonia as most friendly environment towards sexual minorities in Baltics

BC, Tallinn, 17.05.2018.Print version
Estonia ranks highest of the three Baltic countries, and fourth among countries of Eastern Europe, on LGBTI equality laws and policies, it appears from the Rainbow Europe index released by advocacy group ILGA-Europe, cites LETA/BNS.

According to the advocacy group, Estonia has implemented 39.34% of the requirements and recommendations relating to ensuring the welfare and equal rights of sexual minorities, which puts it in 21st place among 49 European nations.

Lithuania has scored better in a survey on LGBT rights this year but still lags behind many European Union countries.

ILGA-Europe, an association defending rights of sexual minorities, ranked Lithuania 37th out of 49 countries in its annual report. Lithuania inched up from 39th place last year.

Poland came in 38th, Latvia was 40th and Estonia was 21st, leading among the Baltic states.

Malta topped the board for LGBTI rights, scoring 91.04% with positive steps over the past year, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in July. Belgium, Norway, the U.K. and Finland also received high scores for progressive LGBTI laws and policies.

Ranking above Estonia, of former East Bloc countries, were Croatia in 16th place, Slovenia in 17th place, and Hungary in 20th place. Lithuania was 39th and Latvia 40th.

Azerbaijan fared the worst in this year's ranking, scoring 4.7% on criteria measuring policies in areas including equality and non-discrimination, legal gender recognition, hate crime and civil society space. The nations next from bottom were Armenia, Turkey, Monaco and Russia.

ILGA-Europe rankings look at all the policies relating to LGBTI people, including equal treatment, family law, hate speech and freedom of speech, asylum rights, and legal gender recognition.


ILGA-Europe evaluates the situation of sexual minorities based on criteria including possibilities to adopt, get married or register civil partnership. Countries were also judged on whether their laws do not discriminate against homosexuals and whether they are allowed to organize public events.

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