LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

February 2017


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No. 258. February 2017. In this issue...


Data collection

Equality and non-discrimination


Foreign policy

Freedom of assembly

Hate crime


Legal gender recognition

Notice board


Turn on the lights – call for contributions

In December, we launched the campaign Turn on the lights. The campaign is a commitment from ILGA-Europe to putting race and ethnicity within the LGBTI communities centre stage. We would like to hear from your voice – yes, you! Are you a LGBTI person of colour or from an ethnic minority? This is a space for you to share your story. Between now and International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21 March, we want to hear from you. This is where you can tell us how you think the LGBTI communities and the wider movement can be more inclusive, so that no one is left behind.
Check how you can conribute here

Tell us what you think: Member feedback on diversity in the ILGA-Europe election process

During the Annual ILGA-Europe Conference in Cyprus it was agreed that the organisation will review its current governing instruments (Governance Structures, Standing Orders, and Constitution) and embark on a journey to analyse these and bring back amendments to be discussed by the members in the Annual ILGA-Europe Conference in Warsaw in November 2017. Deadline for feedback: 2 March.
Find the short questionnaire here

Data collection

Survey on discrimination against homosexual and bisexual people in Germany

The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (FADA) in Germany published in late January the preliminary results of a survey focusing on the perceptions of the mainstream society in relation to homosexual and bisexual people. The full survey results will be available in spring 2017.
Read more about the survey here

LGBTI survey launched in Western Balkans

The World Bank together with IPSOS, Williams Institute-UCLA, and LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey (ERA) have launched a survey on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in South-East Europe. The research will help to better understand LGBTI discrimination and exclusion in the region and provide data to examine the socio-economic outcomes of LGBTI people in Serbia. This endeavor is the largest data collection initiative on sexual orientation and gender identity in South-Eastern Europe.
If you are based in the region please take the time to fill this out

Equality and non-discrimination

Wanted: greater leadership on LGBTI equality from EU institutions and member states

On 23 February, ILGA-Europe called for greater leadership on LGBTI equality from EU institutions and member states at the “High-level Ministerial Conference on LGBTIQ Equality Mainstreaming” held by the Maltese Presidency of the EU in Malta.
Read more about the call from ILGA-Europe here

Statement: European ‘Gender Revolution’

Many were excited and hailed National Geographic's US special edition, Gender Revolution. The edition has been translated into various languages...and there the celebration stopped. The approach to research and consult trans and intersex people and activists, which was used in the US edition, was not applied to editions in many other countries. This has negatively impacted trans people across Europe, in particular in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania.
What went wrong and what needs to be done? Read and share TGEU - Transgender Europe's statement

New updated resource: Human Rights and Gender Identity: Best Practice Catalogue

Transgender Europe (TGEU) has published an update to the 2011 Human Rights and Gender Identity: Best Practice Catalogue which was produced jointly with ILGA-Europe. In the 2016 edition, TGEU has the ambition to publish the most complete set of best practices that are known to them. The best practices follow the twelve recommendations of the 2009 Issue Paper entitled Human Rights and Gender Identity from the former Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, and how these can be met in legislation, policy and practice.
Read more and download the catalogue here

New EU-Council of Europe programme on anti-discrimination in Serbia

A new EU-Council of Europe programme for Western Balkans (the Horizontal Facility) will be launched in Serbia. Seven projects in the areas of ensuring justice, combating economic crime, promoting anti-discrimination and protecting rights of vulnerable groups will be implemented in Serbia from January 2017 to May 2019.
Read more about the Horizontal Facility here

Turing Law receives Royal Assent

For years, activists in the UK have fought to atone for the thousands of gay and bisexual men who were convicted under discriminatory laws between 1885 and 2003. On 31 January, the UK government pardoned these men. Crucially the pardon was accompanied by an apology to everyone, both living and now dead, persecuted under these laws in the past. ILGA-Europe hope that other European countries, such as Germany, follow this example soon.
Read more in the media release from our UK member organisation, Stonewall

Steps taken towards implementation of Albania’s LGBTI Action Plan

On 22 February, ILGA-Europe participated in a cross ministerial meeting on the implementation of the Albanian National Action Plan on LGBTI people in Albania 2016-2020. The meeting gathered representatives from across ministries, the Ombudsman Institution, the Commissioner for Protection from Discrimination and civil society organisations, including the ILGA-Europe members in Albania. While much work remains on ensuring the action plan is fully implemented, it was encouraging to see the responsible focal points coming together.
More about Albania on

Launch of report on the human rights situation of LGBTI people in Ukraine in 2016

Report on situation of LGBTI people in Ukraine in 2016 Nash Mir Center has published a report on the human rights situation of LGBTI people in Ukraine in 2016 titled "A New Beginning". The publication presents information that reflects the social, legal and political situation of the Ukrainian LGBTI community. It contains data and analysis of the issues related to LGBTI rights and interests in legislation, public and political life, public opinion, as well as examples of discrimination faces by LGBTI persons in Ukraine last year.
Download the report in English and in Ukrainian
More about Ukraine on

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Partnerships available for same-sex couples in Slovenia

Nils Muižnieks: it’s a question of equality

European Parliament demands action on EU-wide recognition of adoptions

Prosecutors Office in Poland wants to control same-sex couples

First assembly of the European Network of Parents of LGBTIQ people

On 21-22 February, the first ever assembly of the European Network of Parents of LGBTIQ people (ENP) was held in Malta. ENP is a network, designed by parents of LGBTIQ people, to be a voice for equality all over Europe. Over two days, parents from 15 European countries engaged in planning, practical workshops and discussions on how to advance LGBTI rights with Maltese Minister Helena Dalli, the European Commission, and MEPs before the official launch.
Have a look behind the scenes here

Foreign policy

“Leave no one behind” - focus on LGBTI issues in development cooperation

ILGA-Europe was invited to deliver a training session to EU Commission staff responsible for development cooperation programming in third countries. The aim of the session was to ensure that issues on sexual orientation and gender identity are taken into account when designing, implementing and monitoring development programming in an effort to, as outlined by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, “leave no one behind”. Sexual orientation and gender identity issues have in the past not been central to development cooperation; as such, ILGA-Europe was thrilled to receive the invitation and engaged in a fruitful discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity issues with those present.

Freedom of assembly

#Pride – send a picture of the first Pride event in your country

Hate crime

Tear gas attack against LGBTIQ themed party in Zagreb

On 12 February, a LGBTIQ themed party which took place in “Super Super” club in Zagreb was attacked with tear gas. This violent act of hatred resulted in several injured persons who were trying to escape from the tear gas. ILGA-Europe and our Croatian members call on the Croatian government to speak out against bias-motivated crimes targeting the LGBTI community in Croatia, including this recent tear gas attack on the Super Super club. We also await a thorough investigation by the authorities. Hate crimes must be condemned in the strongest possible terms – no exceptions.
Read more in the statement from Zagreb Pride

EU institutions’ call for ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention

On 3 February, leaders from the European Union met in Malta to discuss how to end gender-based violence. The meeting ended with a joint statement. The statement calls for ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention both for current EU member states and for accession countries to the EU. ILGA-Europe are welcoming the outcome together with a wide coalition of NGOs, which had made a joint call for ratification of the Istanbul Convention.
Read the statement from the European Union institutions here

Roundtable: Policing Hate Crime against LGBTI persons: Training for a Professional Police Response

On 1 February, the SOGI Unit of the Council of Europe organised a roundtable with government representatives on the occasion of the launch the new manual on “Policing LGBTI Hate Crime: Training for a Professional Police Response”. This manual is designed for police trainers, investigators, managers, hate crime officers and frontline police officers working in the Council of Europe member states.
Read more about the roundtable here

Pro bono technical legal assistance - Justice Works

The American Bar Association launched a new worldwide programme to prevent, reduce and respond to LGBTI-phobic hate crime. They provide targeted pro bono technical legal assistance to civil society, the justice sector and other stakeholders. If you work on cases of violence that has already occurred, you might be eligible for the free support offered by Justice Works. Contact Jordan Long, Director of Justice Works, if you want to know more.
Read more about the programme here


Capacity-building seminar on the role of LGBTI organisations to address HIV and STI

Good news as MEPs vote in favour of LGBTI-specific mental health supports

At the plenary session of the European Parliament on 14 February, Members of the European Parliament voted to adopt a report containing multiple recommendations relevant to the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTI people. ILGA-Europe are delighted to see that all the LGBTI-specific provisions were approved this afternoon. It is the first time that such inclusive language on the mental health of LGBTI people was included in a report from the Parliament.
Read more about the vote here

Mental health is everyone’s concern

Mental health is everyone’s concern. It is central to all our lives and impacts our well-being, our work, our societies, our families and our economies. ILGA-Europe and 16 European partner organisations are concerned by the mental health of millions of Europeans and we have several proposals about how the services and support they receive can be improved and supported by the European Union.
Read the joint statement here

Trans related mental and behavioural diagnostic codes discontinued in Denmark

As of 1 January, the trans related codes of the Danish adaption of ICD-10 are moved from the chapter on mental and behavioural disorders to the chapter on factors influencing health status and contact with health services. At the same time the corresponding texts for the codes are changed.
Read more from LGBT Denmark’s note in English on the changes

Legal gender recognition

Toolkit: Legal Gender Recognition in Europe - 2nd revised version

Transgender Europe has published the revised edition of the Legal Gender Recognition toolkit. The Legal Gender Recognition Toolkit is the most up to date overview based on European human right standards. It provides inspiration and guidance to countries seeking to update their procedures to bring them up to human right standards. Legal gender recognition in Europe is complex but also dynamically evolving. Over a dozen countries are looking into changing or introducing procedures in 2017.
Read more and download the toolkit here

Notice board

Funding opportunity: Intersex Human Rights Fund

The Intersex Human Rights Fund by Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice supports organisations, projects and timely campaigns led by intersex activists working to ensure the human rights, bodily autonomy, physical integrity and self-determination of intersex people. Given the dearth of funding to intersex issues globally, intersex groups/projects based anywhere in the world are eligible to apply.
Deadline for proposals: 15 March.
Read more about the funding opportunity here

‘Movements Matter’: At the Heart of our Feminist Future

The Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) launched in late January ‘Movements Matter', a digital visual art series that illustrates how movements build collective and compelling political power for human rights, equality and justice.  This series comes out of the process of movements engaging and learning from each other in Bahia, Brazil for the 13th AWID international Forum on “Feminist Futures: Building Collective Power for Rights and Justice”, in 2016.
Check out Movement Matter here
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