LGBT rights in Europe- does religion influence gay rights policy?


Recently I came accross this map by ILGA-Europe:


The percentages you see on each country represent an aggregated score calculated by ILGA; 0% would mean the lowest score for LGBT rights and 100% the highest.

The East-West divide seems striking, but why is it so?

Freedom House’s Zselyke Csaky discusses  the idea that it may have to do with religion:

“A somewhat more plausible explanation emphasises the conservative-religious component in many of the region’s countries. Religion definitely plays a role in Poland’s constitutional ban on gay marriage, which has been in effect since 1997 and is strongly supported by the Roman Catholic Church. Support from the church was essential to the success of Croatia’s referendum as well, with Catholic bishops urging Croatians to vote “yes” to the amendment outlawing gay marriage. In Romania, an Orthodox priest running on an antigay platform collected the 100,000 signatures necessary to stand as an independent candidate in the European Parliament elections in May. And Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been forging a conservative image for a country that had previously been the first in the region to allow the registration of same-sex partnerships, in 2007.”

Fair does, but let’s try to analyse the data a bit more closely:

So,the most gay-friendly countries: Continue reading

Media literacy: we’ve got a piece of info, now what? (and some data/thoughts on terrorism)


Media literacy (the art of how to consume media smartly and responsibly) is something that I’ve been meaning to write about for ages: and now since I’m back to blogging after a pretty long hiatus seems to be as good of a time as ever.

So, let’s take something that caught my eye today: a tweet from Nigel Farage; because he is, in the great words of Stewart Lee, “a character”.

Riiight…. So we got a simple, straightforward, piece of information: there’s this guy who’s a law enforcement chief (so he should know his stuff) and he’s saying that about 5000 EU nationals are deemed to present a risk of engaging in terrorist acts. Now, what do we make of this? What is it supposed to mean to us? Presented, as it is, by Mr. Farage in a series of anti-EU tweets, it is presumably supposed to mean: “The EU is a scary place full of terrorists, vote for me so I can get you out”.

Yet somehow I’m reminded of an old joke: “The overwhelming majority of adult deaths happen in bed- so keep out of it!”

Continue reading

Get Data on Origins and Destinations of the World’s Migrants, from Pew Global


Discovered via Pew Research’s Fact Tank.

The Global Migrant Stock interactive map lets you see the total number of people living outside their birth countries, counted both as immigrants in the countries they went to and as emigrants in the countries they left. It uses United Nations Population Division data and it’s very user-friendly.

Simply click on any country on the map to see the top origin countries for immigrants living in the respective country; click again on the same country to see the destination countries for its emigrants. Scroll down to read the stats and find out more.

For example:

uk migrants

Notice how the countries where most immigrants come from are not quite the same as the ones most hated by, say, readers of the Daily Express. Apart from Poland, all European countries of migration in the top 15 are Western Europe countries who have joined the EU well before the 80’s. Unsurprinsigly, also, we see quite a lot of Commonwealth countries and/or former British colonies.

Another interesting thing, as outlined by this article, is that The United Kingdom is home to the most diverse immigrant community in the world; which definitely puts the “great” in Great Britain. On the other hand, emigrants from France live in more countries than emigrants from any other nation (the top countries for French emigration being Spain, the US and Belgium, with the UK an honourable 6th). The country with the highest proportion of foreign-born inhabitants are the United Arab Emirates (84% of its population). The next three highest – Qatar (74%), Kuwait (60%) and Bahrain (55%) – also are in the Persian Gulf area.

Also, the same article points out, “countries with the fewest resources send lower shares of migrants”; it may be the casethat poverty pushes people out of their homelands in search of jobs, but at the same time those living in the most extreme poverty are the least likely to afford the initial resources to finance a trip; and the least likely to have information about work abroad opportunities. Therefore, “The Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Niger – countries with some of the lowest U.N. Human Development Index ratings and GDP per capita – all have less than 3% of their population living outside their borders.”