The European Union is calling for action to counter discrimination and violence against homosexuals after a major survey revealed many gays are living in fear across the 27-nation bloc.

Morten Kjaerum of the E.U. Agency for Fundamental Rights says action is needed “to break down the barriers, eliminate the hate and create a society where everyone can fully enjoy their rights.”

The survey of 93,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people showed that more than 80 per cent of the group are verbally abused or bullied at school, nearly one in five feel discriminated against when seeking work and a quarter of the people have been attacked or threatened in recent years.

The survey was released on Friday at a conference in The Hague, Netherlands, on the International Day against Homophobia.

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