LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

June 2016


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No. 250. June 2016. In this issue...


Equality and non-discrimination


Freedom of assembly

Freedom of assembly

Freedom of expression

Freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment


Legal gender recognition

​​Notice board



ILGA-Europe joined a strategic meeting on public campaigning in Bangkok

LGBTI activists from around the world met in Bangkok from 7 to 10 June for a strategic meeting on public campaigning. Participants came together to identify and strengthen campaigning skills and explore how to share good practices and develop relevant capacity-building programmes. ILGA-Europe's Campaign and Programmes Officer Laura Piazza was there to learn from other activists and share experience from Creating Opportunities.
Read more about Creating Opportunity here​

Study visit to the EU for intersex activists

On 16 June, the European Parliament Committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs (LIBE) hold a hearing on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU in 2015. Dan Christian Ghattas, Co-chair of OII-Europe, was invited to take the floor, as part of the NGOs panel.  ILGA-Europe used the opportunity of this hearing to organise a study-visit for seven intersex activists from the Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, United Kingdom, Iceland, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Read more about the study visit here

Training on Financial Management and Funds Administration

On 6-7 June, ILGA-Europe organised a training session on Financial Management and Funds Administration in Brussels. The training session gathered activists from our member organisations from different European countries.
Read more about how we organise trainings on financial management and funds administration here

Equality and non-discrimination

Trans Rights Europe Map 2016: Trans people remain vulnerable albeit trend towards right to self-determination

In May, Transgender Europe launched its Trans Rights Europe Map 2016. The map strongly indicates that the protection level for trans people remains low in Europe. “Discrimination at the job market is a major factor keeping trans people from thriving. While it is positive that in 2016 26 European states – that is four more than last year – offer now explicit protection. However, public authorities have to do better. Concrete positive measures targeted at the job market plus improved gender recognition procedures are paramount to improve trans people’s position considerably.” Explains Julia Ehrt, Transgender Europe’s Executive Director.
Read more about the Trans Rights Europe Map 2016 here

No ifs or buts – time for the EU to show where it stands on LGBTI equality

On 16 June, a set of conclusions on LGBTI equality was adopted by European social affairs ministers. This is the first time that the Council of the European Union approved LGBTI-specific conclusions that refer to equality within the European Union. That progress, achieved under the Dutch Presidency’s leadership, is welcomed by ILGA-Europe. It sends out a strong signal that EU member states are committed to practical progress. On the other hand, the content of the conclusions themselves raise significant concerns.
Read more about the conclusions here

Reaction to UK referendum result – the ILGA-Europe perspective

"...From ILGA-Europe’s perspective, the message that must be taken from the UK referendum result is the need for more solidarity, not less...
Human rights organisations must come together to articulate a clear vision for the sort of Europe we want, one that is based on our shared vision of social justice, equality, freedom and diversity..."
Read our full statement here

Council of Europe Anti-racism Commission expresses concern at the situation of Roma and LGBT people in Lithuania

On 7 June, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) issues a report on Lithuania. The report welcomed progress made in Lithuania to address discrimination and racism, but also calls upon the authorities to take specific measures to improve the living conditions of Roma and address violence against LGBT people.
Read more about the report here​


Refusal to grant a same-sex (non-EU) partner a residence permit was discrimination based on sexual orientation

First decision of Italy’s highest court on stepchild adoption for same-sex couples

The Court of Cassation upholds the decisions of lower courts recognising stepchild adoption for a same-sex couple. The judgment will inform future decisions of Italian courts on this matter. However, same-sex couples remain unable to adopt each other’s children automatically, as legislators failed to include stepchild adoption in the newly approved civil union bill for same-sex couples.  
Read more about the judgment here​

Lithuanian parliament proceeds with banning same-sex couples from constitutional concept of Family Life

On 28 June, the Lithuanian Parliament voted in favor of the constitutional amendment, which seeks to eliminate same-sex couples from the ambit of the constitutional concept of family life. 74 MPs voted in favor of the constitutional amendment, 19 MPs voted against and 20 MPs abstained. This vote implicates that no later than in ten days the Lithuanian Parliament will hold the first hearing with the view of adopting the constitutional amendment. In order for it to be adopted, the Lithuanian Parliament will have to vote in favor of the amendment twice, securing the majority of 94 votes in favor on both occasions. There has to be at least three (3) months break between the two votes.
Read more on the website of LGL

Ban on adoption by a registered gay or a lesbian declared unconstitutional in Czech Republic

On 28 June, the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic ruled to abolish Sec. 13(2) of the Registered Partnership Act. This provision prohibited gay men and lesbians to adopt a child as individuals once they entered into a registered partnership, even though as a single person, they would be eligible to adopt. The ruling of the Constitutional Court allows the gay men and lesbians to adopt a child as individuals even after they enter into registered partnership. This decision is the first decision in which the Constitutional Court rules in the matter of the Registered Partnership Act and same-sex domestic partnership.
Read more in the media release from Czech LGBT organisation, Proud​

The Swiss National Council approved the step-child adoption bill

On 31 May, the National Council of Switzerland approved a step-child adoption bill with 115 to 64 votes. Right after the vote, the conservative party EDU announced that they will start a collection of signatures for a public referendum in order to abolish the new law. The party has  three months time to collect 50.000 signatures.
Read more about the bill (article from before vote)​

Registration is open for the Road to Marriage Summer School

The International Summer School on campaigning and social change will take place in Dublin on 18-19-20 July 2016. The event brings together a range of expert speakers including, international and Irish marriage equality campaigners, key political figures, campaign allies and political and social commentators. Expert led workshops will provide NGOs, campaigners and activists opportunities to develop practical skills and apply the learning to current campaigns and issues.
Read more about the summer school here

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Freedom of assembly

Istanbul Pride march cancelled, activists and politicians dispersed and arrested

Ban of LGBTI events Ankara and Izmir

Freedom of expression

PACE speaks out on restrictions on freedom of expression and so-called “anti-gay propaganda laws”

Freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

UN experts urge greater protection for LGBTI people in detention

Council of Europe anti-torture Committee announces visits to ten states in 2017


2016 High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS - A half-hearted declaration does not acknowledge the leading role of communities and NGOs

Flash! PrEP in Europe online survey

Legal gender recognition

Norway becomes fourth country in Europe to introduce model of self-determination

On 6 June, the final parliamentary vote on long-awaited updates to the legal gender recognition process took place in Norway. The new law, which will be enforced on 1 July, will ensure that trans people aged 16 and older can have their gender recognised without any compulsory requirements. Trans children and young people aged 6 – 15 can apply with their parents’ permission.
Read more about the new law here​

Members of the French Parliament should ensure respect for the human rights of trans people

On 21 June, a Committee composed of members of the French National Assembly and the Senate discussed a legislative proposal passed by the National Assembly on 19 May. On the basis of the current proposal, trans people will be allowed to obtain legal recognition of their gender, but in order to do so they will have to produce evidence that may include medical certificates. The proposal is expected to be voted on in the Senate after the summer.
Read the joint statement from Amnesty International, ILGA-Europe and Transgender Europe here​

Groundbreaking court decision in Poland on gender recognition abroad

On 1 June, a court in Warsaw issued a decision that allows a Polish citizen, who transitioned legally in Germany, to change her personal data (gender marker and first as well as last name) without obtaining a transsexual diagnosis and going through a civil court case in Poland.
Read more on the website of Transfuzja​

Notice board

ILGA World Conference 2016: Important update on scholarship and session proposal application

ILGA World received an impressive number of applications for their scholarship programme for the upcoming ILGA World Conference in Bangkok, (28 November – 2 December 2016).
If you submitted an application, then have a look at the update here​

Making the UN work for you – A toolkit for trans activists

As an individual activist, informal group, or small or national NGO, one may become overwhelmed by the thought of engaging with the UN and think that you need to be an expert on the entire system to become involved. This is not the case.
Find here the tool kit developed by Transgender Europe here​

Research fellow posts - SOGICA project at University of Sussex

School of Law, Politics and Sociology - Sussex Law School is recruiting three research fellows for the ERC funded project ‘Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Claims of Asylum: A European human rights challenge’ (SOGICA).  The research fellows will be engaged with this project over its four year duration. They will carry out field work in Germany, Italy and the UK, and analyse the data from several theoretical perspectives. A range of linguistic, empirical and theoretical skills are therefore required. The closing date is 13 July and interviews will take place on week commencing 25 July.
Read more about this opportunity here​
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