LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

May 2017


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No. 261. May 2017. In this issue...






Equality and non-discrimination


Hate crime

Legal gender recognition

Notice board


Join Amnesty International's action on Chechnya on 2 June

Amnesty International is organising a world-wide action to put spotlight on the cruelties conducted against perceived gay and bisexual men in Chechnya. The action will take place on 2 June. Take contact with your local/national Amnesty International office, and join this massive outcry.
Read more on the website of Amnesty International here

European Parliament’s resolution on Chechnya

On 18 May, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the situation in Chechnya. The resolution condemns the widespread human rights violations in the region and the relevant climate of impunity which allows for these acts to take place (para 5). It calls for an immediate release of those detained, and an effective investigation to be conducted (para 1). ILGA-Europe share the concerns expressed by the European Parliament and welcome its call for increased engagement from EU delegations, National Embassies, the European Commission and Council of Europe.
Read more about the resolution here

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.
Read more about what you can do here


Rainbow Europe 2017: Act now or risk rollback on LGBTI equality. It’s that simple.

On 17 May, ILGA-Europe launched the 2017 Rainbow Europe package, to coincide with International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). The Rainbow Europe package consists of the Annual Review and the Rainbow Map/Index. As ILGA-Europe worked to put together the 2017 Rainbow Europe package, several observations about the current legal and policy landscape in Europe became clear: 1. Progress exists – but it’s slowing down and is at risk. 2. Progress exists – however Europe needs more political courage to protect it. 3. Progress exists – in new forms and in new places.
Read the whole media release following the launch here

Apply for scholarship to Annual Conference 2017

5 June is the deadline to apply for our scholarship programme to attend ILGA-Europe Annual Conference 2017 in Warsaw. Make our conference as diverse as possible by applying or by donating to our Diversity Fund. Even the smallest donation helps bringing activists from various backgrounds to exchange ideas and spread the knowledge.
Read more about the scholarship programme and how you can donate to the Diversity Fund here

Help us with input to this year’s Annual Conference programme

Would you like to contribute to the building of ILGA-Europe Annual Conference 2017 programme? Are there topics you would like us to discuss? Would you like to organise a workshop?  Help us shape the programme of this year conference in Warsaw with the theme ‘CHANGE! - Communities Mobilising, Movements Rising’. Send us your proposals before Monday 5 June.
Read more how you can contribute here

Got your ticket for the European Equality Gala 2017?

By purchasing a ticket, you aren’t just guaranteeing yourself an evening of sparkling conversation and top-class entertainment (although you will get that too!). Your help allows us to continue supporting LGBTI activists across Europe. The European Equality Gala 2017 will take place on 28 June in Brussels.
Read more about the Gala 2017 and buy your tickets here


EpsiLon: project on LGBTI asylum

Epsilon is an international research project co-funded by Erasmus+ Programme. The project studies the legal and social situation of LGBTI migrants and refugees in United Kingdom, Italy, The Netherlands, Greece and  Cyprus. The project has to different goals; the first is to study the situation and to understand the needs of LGBTI migrants and refugees; the second is to create trainings (on line and vis à vis) about these topics and share good practices.
Read more about the project here


Coming up: LGBTQI Inclusive Education Index

IGLYO has created the LGBTQI Inclusive Education Index to support national governments and civil society organisations within the Council of Europe to ensure the right to education for all young people. In May 2017, IGLYO launched the description of how the index will benchmark local inclusive education laws, policies and practices. This could be a starting point for governments and civil society to evaluate the current levels of inclusion within their own country, learn from good experiences and build international commitment.
Learn more about the Education Index in this description and video


New resource 'Understanding sex work as work: a brief guide for labour rights activists'

On 1 May, the International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) launched a new resource ‘Understanding sex work: a brief guide for labour rights activists’. This briefing paper is intended as an introduction to sex workers’ rights from a labour rights perspective. The resources can be used as an advocacy tool for trade unionists and labour rights activists, including sex workers’ rights activists.
Read more about the resource here

Equality and non-discrimination

IDAHOT 2017 - what did I miss?

17 May was a busy day in the calendar of LGBTI activists all over Europe. Here is a round-up of events, statements and celebrations that took place to mark International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 2017.

Trans Rights Europe Map & Index 2017

On 19 May, TGEU (Transgender Europe) published the 2017 edition of the Trans Rights Europe Map & Index. As a new addition, the Trans Rights Europe Map on Mental Health Diagnosis has been added in 2017 to reflect the current situation; 36 countries in Europe require a mental health diagnosis for legal gender recognition.
Check out the map and index here

UN releases reports on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

The first report by the United Nation’s Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity was released in May. The official version of the report will be available soon in all six UN languages.
Download the report here

Conference on information campaigns for LGBTI rights in Moldova

A regional conference on information campaigns for LGBT rights took place in Chisinau on Friday, 19 May in the context of Moldova Pride Week. The conference, organised by GENDERDOC-M, focused on information campaigns as one of the most efficient tools for bringing about social change and advocating for LGBT equality. Activists from the EU Eastern Partnership countries and Russia participated and presented campaign case studies from their respective countries. ILGA-Europe contributed to one of the conference panels with an overview of documented campaign tactics and good practices in Europe.The conference was part of Moldova Pride 2017.
Read more about the Pride here
More about Moldova on

Calls for project proposals coming up from the European Commission 

Later this year, the European Commission will launch several new calls for NGOs working on non-discrimination and hate crime. Ranging from gender-based violence, to non-discrimination, hate crime, and online hate speech, this might provide for interesting opportunities.
Stay tuned here

Update: online resource on educating and informing on intersectional issues 

Update is an Ukrainian project which via a website and Facebook page is aiming to educate and inform about various intersectional issues. Themes are LGBT+, women's issues, ecology, urbanism, and other minorities. The project is primarily in Russian.
Find the website and the Facebook page here

Illuminator: web resource with basic information on sexual orientation and gender identity

On 17 May, a new Russian-language online resource, Illuminator, on sexual orientation and gender identity was officially launched. The website is addressed to people who are in need of basic information about diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity, primarily – to parents of LGBT children.
Have a look here


International Family Equality Day 2017: Celebrations of rainbow families in 44 countries

Legal framework of same-sex partnerships on its way in Lithuania?

In May, discussions of providing a legal framework to same-sex couples started in the parliament of Lithuania. Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of the Republic of Lithuania commented: “The issue of cohabitation is very important to a wide range of people. Therefore, the legal regulation of human relationships is a mature decision.”
Read more about the discussions here

New campaign on parents of LGBTI people

All Out has launched a new campaign Equality Parents. The campaign is featuring parents of LGBTI people from across Europe. In videos they are sharing their stories.
Check out the campaign here

Hate crime

Acquittal for the sexual assault to Turkish LGBTI activist

Three men who in July 2015 attacked Kemal Ördek (Turkish LGBTI activist and Chair of Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association) was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months imprisonment for the attempted pillage.  The case was concluded on 24 May. However the defendant, whom Ördek has accused of raping them, was acquitted of sexual assault.
Read more about the assault against Kemal here
More about Turkey on

Launch of the social campaign on domestic violence against LGBT people

On 17 May, a new campaign “If you hear it, if you say it” was launched in Poland. The campaign is organised by Association Lambda Warsaw, and co-founded by the City of Warsaw. It is the first campaign in Poland focused on domestic violence against LGBT people. The title, as well as the design of the campaign, recalls the phrases that LGBT people hear every day in their houses.
Find more information here (in Polish)
More about Poland on

Legal gender recognition

New legal gender recognition legislation approved in Belgium

On 24 May, the Belgian parliament voted in favour of a new legal gender recognition law. ILGA-Europe welcome Belgium’s decision to put an end to the sterilisation requirements and the mental health diagnosis previously required in order to have access to legal gender recognition. The fact that the new procedure is largely based on self-determination, and is open to minors, is also positive news. However, the new procedure falls short in several aspects.
Read more about the new legal gender recognition law here
More about Belgium on

Workshop on campaigning for legal gender recognition

Ten activists from Montenegro, Bosnia Herzegovina, Greece, Germany, Croatia and Czech Republic came together on 22 and 23 May in Brussels to discuss strategies for their upcoming campaigns for better legal gender recognition legislation. The workshop, organised by ILGA-Europe and co-facilitated with TGEU, focused on legal standards and good practices from European countries, message framing, campaign building blocks and tactics, testing techniques, storytelling. During the workshop activists worked in teams in the definition step by step of their respective campaign plans.
Find tips on how to campaign for legal gender recognition in a toolkit from Transgender Europe

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Three job opportunities with Transgender Europe

Transgender Europe is looking for three new members to their staff team in Berlin: Operations Officer, Community Building Officer and Health Officer. Find more information on the website.
Operations Officer; Closing date: 13 June, noon CET
Community Building Officer; Closing date: 16 June, noon CET
Health Officer; Closing date: 20 June, noon CET
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