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Macedonia Remains Among the Worst Countries for LGBTI People in the Balkans

Macedonia ranks 31st on ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Map, which assesses the legal and political situation regarding LGBTI human rights across 49 European countries. Most EU accession countries, including ours, are falling behind in their commitments, stalling the introduction of legislation and thus putting their citizens more and more at risk of real backlash and the undermining of fundamental rights.

The Rainbow Map’s top-ranking countries are Malta (88%) in first place, Iceland (83%) in second, and Belgium (78%) in third. The lowest ratings are held by Russia (2%), Azerbaijan (2%), and Turkey (5%).

Macedonia has achieved only 31% of the necessary reforms to improve the position and access to human rights for LGBTI people. In the region, Bulgaria (23%) and Romania (19%) rank worse than us. Serbia, Kosovo, and Albania each have 36%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 40%, Montenegro 48%, Slovenia and Croatia 50%, while Greece leads the Balkans with 71%, currently placing sixth in Europe alongside Finland.

While European countries face attempts to undermine freedom and democracy amidst the rise of far-right forces, findings from the latest LGBTI survey by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights reveal that more than two-thirds of respondents have encountered hate speech and a significant increase in violence since the previous survey in 2019.

For more information, consult the new Rainbow Map website by clicking here.

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