The Council of Europe Problem

Don Hamilton
Latest posts by Don Hamilton (see all)

The Council of Europe is an international organization founded in the wake of World War II (1949) to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.

The Council of Europe has 47 member states and is an entirely separate body from the European Union (currently 27 states). It is not controlled by it. Cooperation between the European Union and the Council of Europe has recently been reinforced, notably on culture and education as well as on the international enforcement of justice and Human Rights.

The Council of Europe cannot make binding laws, but it does have the power to enforce select international agreements reached by European states on various topics. The best known body of the Council of Europe is the European Court of Human Rights, which enforces the European Convention on Human Rights.

This all sounds reasonable, so why is it a problem?

Unsurprisingly, the Council of Europe has been ideologically captured by proponents of gender ideology.

Sarah Phillimore has written an open letter – please sign it:

Or keep on reading to find out more:

Here is a comprehensive blog post by @StillTish

The following is reproduced from a Twitter thread by @feministroar

On 25th January 2022 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution condemning “Hungary, Poland, the Russian Federation, Turkey and the United Kingdom” for “extensive and often virulent attacks on the rights of LGBTI people.” at the Rainbow Index this seems like an odd grouping. The index is created annually by ILGA Europe and ranks countries based on laws and the social climate to give an overview of the state of LGBTI rights in Europe.


In 2021 the Rainbow index ranked the UK 11th* out of 49 countries for LGBTI equality. Ahead of the Netherlands, Iceland, Ireland, Germany…


Out of 49 countries, when it comes to “equality and non discrimination” the UK came 9th, on “family” 4th, on “hate crime and hate speech” 5th, on “asylum” 9th, and *even* on “legal gender recognition” we came 19th.  

So why are we being compared to the countries much lower down the index, like Poland (43rd) Russia (46th) and Turkey (48th)? The answer, in short, is the politics of the author of the resolution and the report behind it: Fourat Ben Chikha.**


The report deals with the UK in a single paragraph (52). The author has seven objections to what is happening in the UK.


1) That people believe sex is immutable and reject the idea that people have innate/fixed gender identities, beliefs he calls “baseless” and a threat to the rights of women and kids.


2) The rejection of legal self identification, which he claims “denies trans identities” and rolls back the rights of people who id as trans or non-binary.

3) An increase in transphobic crimes since 2015 (based on a Galop report), despite the UK ranking 5th best out of 49 when it comes to LGBTI hate crimes in Europe.

4) That ongoing discussions about sex and gender, what they are, how conflicting rights can be balanced etc. and concerns that transition is a form of LGB conversion therapy are not being shut down.

5) That people are questioning the affirmation approach to kids and young people experiencing gender dysphoria and that GRC’s are not available to under 18s.***

6) That feminists are raising issues about possible conflicts of rights, which he thinks is “wrong”.


7) That there have been campaigns against organisations that push a very specific ideology around “trans rights” and “gender identity”.


So, in summary, the author compared the UK to Russia, Poland etc because debates are happening about the rights of women, LGB people, kids and the dominant trans narrative. Despite what the data shows about LGBTI equality.

Yes, that’s right. The report cannot point to any actual legal or social changes affecting the rights of LGBTI people and polling consistently shows people in the UK don’t care how others identify or live their lives until it impacts on more marginalised people.


It could not be more clear that the author’s intention is to impose a specific ideology, one that is not required for LGBTI people to live freely and with full rights and which many LGBT people believe detract from their rights and those of others.

His simplistic conflation of “gender critical” feminists with the rise of right wing opposition to “gender ideology” shows his ignorance and eagerness to demonise women’s rights campaigners.

This report and the inclusion of the clause naming the UK is a blatant attempt to shame the UK Government and policy makers into silencing feminists and shut down debate around how to best manage conflicting rights and worldviews. 

Hopefully the UK Government, like the @UKLabour reps who tried to inject some reality into this resolution with proposed amendments, see it for what it is. @PACE_News should be embarrassed they passed it unamended.

Unsurprisingly, the debate suggests little thought was given to any of these issues. Much easier to just nod it through than put any effort in, have difficult conversations and actually tease out the best way forward for human rights

Thomas Pringle from Ireland did feel emboldened to push his misogyny though and the Netherlands condemned the UK, despite coming 30th to our 5th when it comes to hate crime.

Anyone who denies this is anything but political manoeuvring is being massively dishonest. 

*Bit confused because the ILGA Europe website rates the UK as 10th in the index, whilst the Rainbow Europe site (run by ILGA Europe) rates the UK as 11th. I went with 11th. I don’t know if they’re being constantly updated, the website doesn’t clarify data collection methods > 

**Worth noting that Fourat has been elected as Vice Chairman of the Council of Europe Equality Committee, which gave him huge influence in getting amendments to his resolution rejected and puts a misogynist at the heart of their work. >

*** The *only* person the author of the report spoke to from the UK in writing the report was Lui Asquith from Mermaids. > 

Just to round up, the resolution (with proposed amendments):…
The report:…
The debate transcript:

Here’s an excellent thread highlighting issues with the resolution/report from @obsolete__units:

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