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Athens takes action to combat discrimination against LGBTQI citizens

Athens takes action to combat discrimination against LGBTQI citizens

It seeks to guarantee that all residents feel safe and respected

On 3 August, the Municipality of Athens revealed that it has strengthened the role of its Department of Equality and Discrimination Policies with the aim of creating an inclusive and accepting society. With this action, the municipality demonstrates its commitment to dealing with violence, abuse, and harassment based on gender, identity, sexuality, culture, race, etc.

The Department of Equality and Discrimination Policies will now act as an advisor to overturn and abolish negative stereotypes surrounding the aforementioned topics. Moreover, it will work to prevent all forms of discrimination and harassment by raising awareness and educating the members of the Municipality.

In a press release, the Municipality of Athens revealed that European policies, such as the LGBTQI Equality Strategy 2020-2025, have influenced its decision to make reforms. Similarly, charters like the European Charter for Gender Equality in Local Government and the Charter Citizens’ Rights and Obligations have also been influential.

Everyone deserves to feel safe and respected

In addition to strengthening the role of the Department of Equality and Discrimination Policies, the City of Athens has also established an Inter-Parliamentary Committee for LGBTQI citizens. This committee will be tasked with working on proposals, actions, and initiatives to tackle gender-based violence, xenophobia, homophobia, and transphobia. Stressing the need for reform, Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis stated:

"We are fully aware of the difficulties that LGBT people experience in their daily lives. Everyone should feel safe and free to be themselves. To be able to speak and express themselves as they wish about their sexual orientation, identity, and the characteristics of their gender, without feeling a lack of respect or the existence of a threat. 

In the municipality of Athens, we start from our home. Support and acceptance start from us. The change of mentality, it takes perseverance, a holistic approach and a collective effort."

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