European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

ILGA-Europe launches Handbook on Pride Marches Observation

Today ILGA-Europe launches a new publication – a Handbook on Observations of Pride Marches. This Handbook is designed to help lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organisations and those supporting their rights to organise a monitoring of human rights abuse occurring during Pride Marches in an objective and structured way. The Handbook is being launched in Zagreb where ILGA-Europe is organising training on observation of Pride Marches which coincides with the Zagreb Pride.

During the last couple of years some European cities witnessed significant and violent counter-demonstrations and attacks on LGBT Pride Marches. Participants of the LGBT Pride Marches experiences abuse and violence by counter-demonstrators and the police forces not always provided adequate protections.

This Handbook provides advice on how to organise an independent and objective monitoring, lists relevant human rights organisations which can be invoked when the Pride Marches are banned or violent, provides various observation tools, suggest how to compile a report and how to take a case before the court. While the language might appear somewhat technical we tried to make the Handbook as user-friendly as possible.

ILGA-Europe is also working with other partners on the another handbook on pride organising which will be published later this summer as the output from the EuroPride 2006 Prides against Prejudice Conference. This Conference brings together activists from those European countries where Prides Marches were banned or experience fierce opposition and violence. We are also developing more handbooks on dealing with hate crime and hate speech.

Dr Christine Loudes, ILGA-Europe Policy Officer (Research) and the author of the Handbook said:

“We believe this is a very timely and useful aid for our members and other LGBT and human rights organisations. What we are witnessing in some European cities during the Pride Marches is appalling. Therefore it is important to equip and prepare Pride Marches organisers with tools on how to observe the violations and make effective use of gathered information. Freedom of assembly is one of the most fundamental human rights provided by the international and European human rights law and we want to help LGBT people in Europe to make maximal use their right in a professional and objective way.”

Ends

For more information please contact Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 2 609 54 16 / + 32 496 708 375

Notes for editors:

(1) ILGA-Europe is the European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association and works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Europe.

(2) The Handbook will be available on 23 June 2006 at our website: www.ilga-europe.org/europe/publications/non_periodical

(3) Pride against Prejudice Conference, 30 June 2006, London: www.pridelondon.org/conference