LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

July 2016


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No. 251. July 2016. In this issue...



Bias motivated speech

Bias motivated violence


Equality and non-discrimination


Freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment


Human rights defenders

Legal gender recognition

Police and law enforcement

Notice board


We are half way in with the celebrations of the ILGA-Europe’s 20th Anniversary. In the start of the year, we launched a timeline with few highlights, ranging from personal ILGA-Europe milestones to major European anti-discrimination legislation and case-law.


Check out the timeline here


Annual Conference 2016 - last month to register

1 September is the magic date: it is the final deadline to register if you want to participate in the Annual Conference 2016. This year the conference is taking place in Nicosia on 19 October to 22 October. Make sure to join the Facebook event page to get updates on the largest LGBTI political event in Europe. We were floored with the massive interest for full or partial scholarships, and we are happy to welcome over 100 scholars to this year’s conference. The ILGA-Europe team is in full swing with logistical and programme preparations, and we are excited to announce the first confirmed set of exciting speakers.
Read more about the Annual Conference 2016 here

Panti Bliss and the European Equality Gala 2016 in pictures

It was dazzling, it was emotional, it was energising. On stage, we were proud to have strong political voices making the case for unity and equality, resilient activists reminding us of the struggles still ahead, and the extraordinary Panti Bliss who urged us all to extend our own ‘bubble’ of understanding in a speech that was as inspiring as it was hilarious!
Check out images from the evening here


European court strikes against Hungary’s arbitrary detention of LGBT asylum seekers

On 5 July, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Hungary’s two-month-long detention of an Iranian gay man applying for asylum is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. In judgment of OM v Hungary, the Court, unanimously ruled that the applicant’s detention was arbitrary and unjustified, in violation of Article 5 (Right to liberty and security) of the European Convention. In particular, the Court found that Hungarian authorities failed to make an individualised assessment and to take into account applicant’s vulnerability in the detention facility based on his sexual orientation.  
Read more about the judgment here

Bias motivated speech

Polish minister blames EU for attacks in France by promoting multiculturalism and LGBT rights

At a press conference following the attack in Nice, the Interior Minister of Poland Mariusz Błaszczak blamed the European Union for failing to respond properly to terrorism. In his opinion, the EU’s approach is tainted by political correctness, and aims at promoting multiculturalism and LGBT rights instead of countering violent extremism.
Read more on the website of Lambda Warszawa (scroll down for text in English)​

Bias motivated violence

Last administrative unit in Bosnia &Herzegovina to adopt hate crime regulation

On 4 July, the Federation of BiH adopted hate crime regulation into its Criminal Code. This means that now all three administrative units in BiH (Republika Srpska, Brčko District and Federation of BiH) have hate crimes regulated within their own criminal codes. The newly adopted regulation includes both sexual orientation and gender identity as protected ground. 
Check out Bosnia & Herzegovina on


IGLYO begins work on the first LGBTQI European Education Index

IGLYO, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer Youth and Student Organisation, is working on an exciting new project to document LGBTQI inclusion within formal education. They are creating a European Education Index which will gather data on inclusive laws, policies and practices at a national level. This will be a powerful advocacy tool to showcase the best policies and practices, and to draw attention to what still needs to be achieved. IGLYO is currently looking for country leads/experts who will be able to provide information on a range of indicators such as legislation and policies, teacher training and the curriculum.
To find out more and/or to apply click here​

Equality and non-discrimination

United Nations makes history on sexual orientation and gender identity

In an historic and long-awaited move, the United Nations has adopted a resolution to appoint the first Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. The resolution was passed at the UN’s Human Rights Council yesterday in Geneva with 23 votes in favour, 18 against and 6 abstentions.
Read more in this statement from ILGA World

European Commission LGBTI campaign at EuroPride 2016

As part of its List of actions, the European Commission is raising awareness of the issue through its #ShareYourDream campaign. The campaign concept is built around the idea that no matter who you love or who you are, we all share the same dreams. Whether it’s spending more time with loved ones, or making a difference in the world, the things we share can bring us together. The concept of the campaign is the theme of the European Commission’s boat at the EuroPride 2016 Canal Parade in Amsterdam on the 6 August. You can check out the campaign and get involved by following #ShareYourDream and @EU_Justice.

ILGA-Europe at Global LGBTI Human Rights Conference

ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis, participated in the “Global LGBTI Human Rights Conference” in Montevideo from 13 to 15 July. One of the outcomes of the conference was the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) which was formally launched on the first day, and before the meeting closed, 30 founding government members were announced. The conference was hosted by Uruguay and co-chaired with the Kingdom of The Netherlands.
Read more about the conference here​

Nils Muižnieks: Protect women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights

On 21 July, Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner released a human rights comment on called “Protect women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights”.
Read the full comment here​

Statement on the inclusion of LGBTI issues in the new cycle of EEA and Norway Grants

During the Oslo Pride in start July activists from various European countries came together to talk about EEA and Norway Grants. The activists had a very constructive meeting with State Secretary Elsbeth Tronstad and her team. During the meeting it became clear that there is interest on the side of the Norwegian government to continue to support LGBTI projects in the funding framework. However, actual support will partially depend on the outcomes of a current consultation on priorities for the funding framework covering the period 2014-2021. Eventually bilateral negotiations with recipient countries may also impact the availability of funding on the ground.
Read more about the meeting here​

Anti-discrimination law updated – great step forward in Bosnia &Herzegovina

On 14 July, the House of the Peoples of Bosnia &Herzegovina adopted amendments to the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination. Sexual orientation and gender identity were more accurately defined in local languages by the new amendments. In addition to these changes, sex characteristics was explicitly added to the list of protected grounds. These amendments had previously been approved by the Representatives House in early July. This means that intersex people will now be protected by law from discrimination in all spheres of life.
Read more about the new updated law here​

Calls for proposals from the European Commission: Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme

Two calls for proposals from the European Commissions are now available. The submission of applications under the two calls ‘Combatting racism, xenophobia and other related intolerance’ will start on 15/9/2016 and will be closed on 5/1/2017. The calls are now available online to provide for a longer period to prepare applications.
Read more about the calls here​

LGBTI Solidarity Network in Armenia and Georgia - Study Reports

The Heinrich Böll Foundation South Caucasus Regional Office has finalised the publication of two very large-scale comprehensive studies on homo/bi/transphobic societal attitudes and the legal and physical conditions for LGBTI persons in Armenia and Georgia. The reports are a product of a three-year action Solidarity Network for LGBTI in Armenia and Georgia.
  • The study for Georgia, implemented by the Women's Initiatives Supporting Group (WISG) (English and Georgian language versions are in one publication).
  • The study for Armenia, conducted by the Public Information and Need of Knowledge (PINK) Armenia NGO.
  • The assessment for Georgia, conducted by the Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC).
  • The assessment for Armenia, conducted by the Society Without Violence NGO (SWV).

New publication: Intersectional discrimination in EU gender equality and non-discrimination law

The European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination has launched a new report which is aiming at answering the following question: to what extent does existing EU gender equality and non-discrimination law address the notion of intersectional discrimination?
Download the publication here


Romanian court gives green light to constitutional referendum proposing discrimination against same-sex couples

Greater equality is on the way for same-sex couples in Slovenia

The Civil Partnership Act will come into force in February 2017, meaning that same-sex partners in Slovenia will be able to enjoy the same rights as married couples, except for access to joint adoption and in-vitro fertilisation.
Read more about the Civil Partnership Act here​

Marriage equality on Isle of Man

On 22 July, the marriage equality law came into effect on the Isle of Man. It's thought the first ceremonies could take place by the end of July. Northern Ireland remains the exception within the UK, as same-sex couples there still cannot marry.
Read more in the media release from Amnesty International UK

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Freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

Information on LGBTI prisoners in 10 European countries

The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture is the main European level body responsible for safeguarding prisoners and others in detention from torture and inhuman and degrading treatment. In 2017 it is to review the treatment of prisoners in 10 countries, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Montenegro, Poland, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine. They are now seeking information about the situation of prisoners in these countries. They have expressed serious concerns over the treatment of LGBTI prisoners in a number of countries in past reports. And it will be very important for any member organisations who have relevant information, or know of others who have such information, to pass it on to the CPT. Click here for more information​. Please send copies of any information you provide to Nigel Warner, ILGA-Europe Advisor to the Council of Europe -​


21st International AIDS Conference in Durban

The 21st International AIDS Conference opened on 18 July in Durban, South Africa. Under the theme “Access equity rights now,” the conference echoes UNAIDS’ call to leave no one behind and provide comprehensive HIV services to everyone in need. ILGA-Europe joined a Community Consensus Statement calling for equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and free choice over whether to take them.
Read the statement here​

Human rights defenders

The European movement has lost a star – Deborah Lambillotte

Deborah Lambillotte, former ILGA-Europe co-chair, long-time board member, former Executive Director of Casa Rosa and board member of Çavaria in Belgium, has passed away. Many activists from all over Europe will remember Deborah for her unwavering optimism, her formidable strength in overcoming any challenge, her heart of gold. Deborah contributed immensely to making what ILGA-Europe is today as an organisation, and in particular a person who led all of us with patience and determination on our journey towards becoming a trans inclusive organisation. Deborah, we thank you for being such an inspiration. You will be dearly missed.
Read more about Deborah on the website of Çavaria (in Dutch), and you can pay your respect this memorial page​

Legal gender recognition

Celebrated & contested – breakthrough towards first French gender recognition law

On 12 July the French National Assembly approved an amendment, which would introduce the first law regulating legal gender recognition in the country. The proposed procedure for changing name and recorded gender marker is part of a larger law “Justice in the 21st century”.
Read more on the website of Transgender Europe​

Police and law enforcement

Russian police detained American pastor Jim Mulcahy in Samara

Pastor Jim Mulcahy of the Metropolitan Community Church, who arrived to Samara, Russia, to meet with the local community, was detained on 9 April in the community center of Avers, a local LGBT organisation. He was fined the equivalent of 27 euro and given five days to leave Russia after a city court ruled that Mulcahy had violated the terms of his tourist visa by engaging in seminars. The team-up of law enforcement and federal media in this case, as well as the harsh measures taken against Pastor Mulcahy indicate that LGBTI communities are being closely watched on the local level and that they continue to be a target of smear campaigns in the big federal media.
Read an account of the incident at Avers’ page (for the English version, scroll down)

Notice board

ILGA World Annual Report 2015 – Uniting communities and movements

ILGA World has launched its Annual Report for 2015. Read about all the passionate and restless activists, along with partners, allies and families, continue to have a profound impact on many LGBTIQ lives around the world.
Download the report here​

Internship with Transgender Europe

Transgender Europe is looking for candidates for a three month Communications Internship with TGEU starting no later than 1 October 2016.  The intern will be working from TGEU’s office in Berlin, Germany. Deadline for applications: 22 August, 18:00 CET
Read more about the opportunity here​

Job opportunity with Eurochild as Child Participation and Network Development Officer

The Eurochild network is seeking candidates for the full-time position of Child Participation and Network Development Officer in its Brussels-based Secretariat. The successful candidate will take forward efforts to put child and youth participation at the heart of our work, and strengthen members’ engagement in design and delivery of the network goals. Deadline for applications: 25 August 2016, midnight (CET).
Read more about the job opportunity here​

Seminar: The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union in Practice

ERA, the Academy of European Law, is organising the seminar The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union in Practice on 15-16 September. This seminar will provide practical training for social law practitioners on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Participants will be able to update their knowledge about the Charter of Fundamental Rights, in particular as applied to social and labour law. They will have the opportunity to discuss with colleagues and experts from across Europe the most relevant practical issues and recent developments in the field and to learn how to make use of the Charter in a case before a court.
Read more about the seminar here​
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