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

April 2017

 

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No. 260. April 2017. In this issue...

Chechnya

ILGA-Europe

Civil society space

Equality and non-discrimination

Family

Hate crime

Health

Human rights defenders

Legal gender recognition

Police and law enforcement

Notice board


Chechnya

Grave human rights violations continue

A brutal campaign against gay and bisexual men (or those perceived to be), has been sweeping through Chechnya in the past weeks. Law enforcement and security agency officials have illegally arrested at least 100 men on suspicion of being gay. They have been detained them in two known illegal prisons, and tortured, humiliated and beaten victims for contact details of other gay men. The social media accounts of victims have also been hacked and used to trick their perceived gay or bisexual contacts into meeting and, thus they too have been swept up in the wave of arrests. The location of two illegal prisons has been confirmed, where detainees are being kept in horrendous conditions, with other detainees encouraged to humiliate and beat them. At least three men are confirmed to have been killed. Others have been returned to their families barely alive from beatings, with the expectation that families would “take care of them” (implying honour killings) themselves.
 
The Russian LGBT Network set up a confidential helpline to reach victims and support their evacuation from the region. Dozens of phone calls have been received, and continue to come in on a daily basis. Despite a strong international response to the crisis, local authorities continue to deny even the existence of gay people in Chechnya, while Russian federal authorities maintain that they do not have information about any such persecutions of gay men. Meanwhile, a new wave of arrests is underway, and even those who have escaped the region remain at risk from civilian groups and even their own families elsewhere in Russia.
 
ILGA-Europe and numerous members have been working to support the Russian LGBT Network in efforts to maintain international attention on the situation and support relocation of victims and will continue to do so, as currently no resolution has been achieved.

Make a difference by donating

The cruelties in Chechnya lead many people to question what they can do to support.
 
One thing you can do is to make a donation!  ILGA-Europe opened up a fund to support the victims of the situation in Chechnya. Money will be used to enable people working on the ground directly to help the victims of these violations.
 
We also need you to mobilise – get in action to demand action! Activists all over the world have been standing up, called for action and sent warm solidarity to the victims in Chechnya. We need to keep speaking up. Several groups have announced an international action on 5 May. Contact your local LGBTI group and organisation, and join the international activist outcry.

ILGA-Europe

Get ready to register for Annual Conference 2017

On Tuesday 2 May, the registration for the Annual Conference 2017 will kick off. On the same day we will also launch our scholarship programme and consultation on conference programme. Everything will be on our dedicated website section, and make sure to follow our Facebook event page. The Annual Conference 2017 will take place on 1-4 November in Warsaw.

Get your tickets for European Equality Gala 2017 from 22 May

We don’t want you to miss our biggest fundraising party of the year, and all the networking, dancing and fun that goes along with it. Tickets for the European Equality Gala 2017 will go on sale on 22 May. The event will be taking place in Brussels for the third time on Wednesday, 28 June 2017. Keep an eye on the dedicated Gala web page  for updates on who will be joining us on the night.
Look forward and watch (or re-watch) the after movie from the European Equality Gala 2016

New resource on Community Organising

In April, ILGA-Europe proudly presented our interactive resource, Organising for change: resources to support LGBTI community organising work. The brand new material was used for the first time at a training organised by Labris for 23 participants from the Western Balkans in Belgrade on 7-8 April.
Download the resource here

Job opportunity with ILGA-Europe as Communications Director

Do you have what it takes to lead on developing and implementing communications strategies for ILGA-Europe? If so, keep on reading, or share as we want to reach out to as many and as widely as possible. Trans/gender-variant individuals, as well as people from ethnic and racial minority backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Deadline for applications: 5 May.
Read about the position here

Summer Communications Internship with ILGA-Europe

Looking for your next career step within communications? We are hiring a Summer Intern (paid) to work for two months with our Communications Team in July and August. Please share as we want to reach out to as many and as widely as possible. Trans/gender-variant individuals, as well as people from ethnic and racial minority backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Deadline for applications: 17 May.
Read about the position here

Civil society space

Constitutional referendum held in Turkey

A referendum was held in Turkey on 16 April and narrowly approved 18 proposed amendments to the Turkish constitution, abolishing the office of the Prime Minister and replacing the existing parliamentary system of government with a presidential system, effectively granting president Erdogan significantly more power.  In a country which has, in recent months and years, become increasingly more authoritarian, this is an incredibly worrying development and points to ever increasing authoritarianism and shrinking space for civil society. Protests have been on-going since the results, with many protesters, including LGBTI activists, detained.
 

Equality and non-discrimination

ILGA-Europe endorse the “Vienna Statement” of the 1st European Intersex Community Event

On 30-31 March, OII-Europe organised the first Intersex Community event in Vienna with 28 Intersex people from 16 Council of Europe member states. As a LGBTI organisation and strong supporter of the work of OII-Europe, ILGA-Europe endorse the Vienna Statement coming out of this event.
Read the statement here
 

Family

Study on cases of discrimination emerging from petitions

Same-sex couples in Europe: more rights in more countries

The French Institute for Demographic Studies and the University of Leiden just published the LawsAndFamilies Database and the report “More and more together – Legal family formats for same-sex and different-sex couples in European countries”. 60 experts contributed to this research, from various disciplines and from many countries.
Check out the website here
 

Hate crime

LGBT organisation attacked in Ukraine

On 22 April, the main office of the LGBT Association ‘LIGA’ in Mykolaiv was attacked. An unknown perpetrator neutralised external security system, cut and stole the surveillance cameras, brought down the office’s electrical network that nearly led to the fire in the premise, damaged spotlights and door intercom system. Police has been notified and the investigation is pending.
Read more about the attack here
 

Health

Health4LGBTI project presented in the European Parliament


Human rights defenders

World’s largest intersex human rights forum held in Amsterdam


Legal gender recognition

European court ends forced sterilisation

On 6 April, the European Court of Human Rights found that the sterilisation requirement in legal gender recognition violates human rights. Setting the legal precedent for Europe, this decision will force the remaining 22 countries using the infertility requirement to change their laws.
See more detailed reaction on the website of TGEU - Transgender Europe

Legal gender recognition law enforced in France

On 31 March, the decree which enforces the 2016 legal gender recognition law was published in France. The law is ending inhuman requirements such as diagnosis, medical and surgical interventions, and sterilisation for legal gender recognition.
Check out last year’s ILGA-Europe campaign for the adoption of the law

Lithuanian Minister of Health: Gender reassignment legislation is a challenge

On 23 March, the Government of Lithuania placed two Lithuanian ministries, i.e. the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice, under obligation to prepare legal acts that would enable gender reassignment procedure in Lithuania. Aurelijus Veryga, the Minister of Health of the Republic of Lithuania, claims that it will be “difficult to implement due to the lack of experts specialising on this issue”.
Read more on the website of LGL
 

Police and law enforcement

Grant opportunity: Improving Police/Public Relations and Police Diversity

Open Society Foundations have opened up for applications on Improving Police/Public Relations and Police Diversity. The objective is to promote a police service that is representative of the diversity present in the population it polices, and to develop increased trust in police worthiness, while mitigating criticism that policing is biased against members of particular groups. Closing date for applications is 31May 2017. 
Read more about the grant opportunity here
 

Notice board

Young feminist summer school AGORA 2017: applications are OPEN

European Women’s Lobby is looking for candidates to participate in AGORA, EWL’s Feminist Summer School, taking place in Brussels from 7 to 11 September 2017. AGORA brings together young feminists from across Europe to empower them to act and lead in a changing world.
Read more about the summer school here
 
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