IE SOGI refers to the UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
Due largely to a desire for stronger ties with the EU, Ukrainian authorities have made an effort to progress recognition of the human rights of LGBTIQ people. Kiev hosts a prominent, well-protected Pride march every year. As part of a visa liberalization process with the EU, in 2015 the Ukrainian Parliament approved an employment anti-discrimination law covering sexual orientation and gender identity. Other progress has also been made. In 2016, Ukrainian officials simplified the transition process for transgender people to have their gender legally recognized and began allowing men who have sex with men to donate blood. However, public opinion, while improving, is still largely negative. The ongoing armed conflict with Russian-backed armed groups in parts of the country makes LGBTIQ people in those areas particularly vulnerable. LGBTIQ people in Russian occupied Crimea are particularly vulnerable. Violence by radical hate-groups in the rest of the country also puts LGBTIQ people at risk. Churches and religious organizations continue to oppose the human rights of LGBTIQ people in the name of protecting families, children, and so-called traditional values. The influence of Russian language media perpetuating misinformation and fear-mongering about LGBTIQ people from Russia is strong.