LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

October 2015

No. 242. October 2015. In this issue...



Bias motivated speech

Bias motivated violence



Equality and non-discrimination



Legal gender recognition

Notice board



Gearing up for Annual Conference 2015


Intersex Awareness Day 26 October - #AllAboutTheI

ILGA-Europe were #AllAboutTheI on 26 October. We marked International Intersex Awareness Day by gathering together messages of support for intersex activists. Using the hashtag #AllAboutTheI, we shared ideas on how to keep the advocacy momentum up in 2016.
Have a look at all the messages here

ILGA has a new Gender Identity and Gender Expression Strategy

The ILGA World Board passed a new Gender Identity and Gender Expression Strategy at the recent board meeting in Bangkok. The strategy has been developed by the Gender Identity and Gender Expression Officer, Zhan Chiam at the ILGA World Office in Geneva and Mikee Mikee Nunez-Inton of the Trans Secretariat in consultation with a number of global Trans organisations, including TGEU.

Internship with ILGA-Europe

ILGA-Europe is looking for an intern from December 2015 to April 2016 to work with the staff team in Brussels. This is a paid internship.
Closing date for receipt of applications: Sunday 8 November 2015.



Third Party Intervention on asylum case before European Court

On 21 October, ILGA-Europe together with AIRE Centre, ECRE and ICJ submitted a third party intervention in a pending case on asylum before the European Court of Human Rights, O.M. v. Hungary. The case concerns immigration detention of an Iranian asylum seeker for nearly two months before granting refugee status in Hungary.

Bias motivated speech


Campaign on reporting discrimination and hate speech in Spain, ConLaVozBienAlta


Extremist hate campaign is nothing short of an attack on women in Europe and worldwide

ILGA-Europe stands with our friends from International Planned Parenthood – the hateful agenda against sexual reproductive health and rights is an attack on all of us. Women’s fundamental rights are under direct attack by a group of extremist right winged Members of the European Parliament. The group is spearheading an unprecedented aggressive and misleading ‘hate campaign’ against International Planned Parenthood manufactured by fundamentalists in the US and their affiliates in Europe.

Bias motivated violence


Counter-protesters found not guilty in disrupting IDAHOT 2013 rally

On 23 October, Tbilisi City Court acquitted four people for organising a violent rally against LGBTI activists. The four, who also included clergy in the Georgian Orthodox Church, were on trial for urging protesters who disrupted a peaceful rally to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on 17 May 2013.

Four lesbians cruelly attacked in a café in Belgrade

During the night between Saturday 26 September and Sunday 27 September, four lesbian women were attacked in the centre of Belgrade.
Read more on the website of our Serbian member organisation, Labris



Joint report on bullying submitted to United Nations

In late September, ILGA-Europe and OutRight Action International jointly submitted a report on bullying that the Special Representative to the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children has been asked to prepare by the General Assembly.



EU Parliament calls for action to improve trans people’s job situation

On 8 October, the European Parliament adopted a report on Equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation, the so-called Zaborska Report. The report calls upon EU Member States to “clearly include[e] in their national legislation the prohibition of any discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity” and asking the EU Commission to “include explicitly a ban on discrimination on grounds of gender identity in any future recast”.
Read more about the report here

Equality and non-discrimination


New Transrespect vs Transphobia website

Transgender Europe has launched a new website for their Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide research project. The website brings together all the research data from project, in easy-to-use and comprehensive interactive maps. The data which has been collected from 190 countries worldwide is separated into 81 maps, to allow website visitors to take a closer look, and compare country situations on various topics.
Check out the website here

Far from finished: Fight for LGBTI equality needs political will and activist spirit 

Increased awareness of LGBTI issues across Europe is a success in itself, but it isn’t the end of the equality story, not by a long way.
Read the latest ILGA-Europe article in the Focus section of the EU Observer, pointing out the need to combine mobilised LGBTI activism with committed political leadership.
Read the article here

Human Rights Commissioner recommends the Slovak authorities to promote respect for the rights of LGBTI people

Following February’s referendum, ILGA-Europe had hoped that an honest conversation on legal recognition for same-sex couples and their families could take place in Slovakia. So far, the government has not initiated any such debate. In this context, ILGA-Europe wholeheartedly agree with Nils Muižnieks, the CoE Commissioner for Human Rights’, recommendation that the Slovak authorities should promote respect for the rights of LGBTI people and take a stronger position when their human rights are violated.
Read the recommendations to Slovakia here

Eurobarometer on discrimination in the EU in 2015

The European Commission launched in October a special Eurobarometer on Discrimination in the EU in 2015. The report is based on a survey which repeats several questions asked in previous years in order to provide insight into the evolution of perceptions, attitudes, knowledge and awareness of discrimination in the European Union. A number of new questions have been added to further explore social acceptance of some groups at risk of discrimination, hereunder a spotlight on attitudes towards LGBT people, covering public attitudes towards sexual orientation and gender identity.


Ban Ki-moon: “Abuses and indignity suffered by members of the LGBT community are an outrage”

United Nation's General Secretary gave a very strong reply on how he saw human rights applying to LGBT people. It was the Belgian delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Piet de Bruyn, who asked the question to Ban Ki-moon during his visit to the Assembly in June.


Reports on intolerance in Austria, the Czech Republic and Estonia

On 13 October, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance published monitoring reports on Austria, the Czech Republic and Estonia.
Find the reports here

To the top



Constitutional Court in Slovenia allows referendum and questions equal rights for same-sex couples

Constitutional Court of Slovenia decided to permit a referendum on the amended Law on Marriage and Family Relations. The law was amended by Parliament in March 2015 and redefines marriage as “between two people” instead of “between a man and a woman.” Slovenian LGBT activists are deeply disappointed that the Constitutional Court did not recognise the law’s intended purpose to protect the rights of all.

Call for proposals: data-collection on the situation of rainbow families in Europe

ILGA-Europe's Documentation & Advocacy Fund is calling for proposals with a focus on data-collection regarding the situations of rainbow families, including same-sex couples, families with trans parents and single LGBTI parents, across Europe. It focuses on the lack of recognition and on discriminatory practices when it comes to the partnership and parenting rights of rainbow families.

The 4th European Rainbow Families Meeting held in Oeiras, Portugal

The 2015 European Rainbow Families Meeting took place in Oeiras, Portugal, between 15 and 18 October 2015. The meeting was organised by the Network of European LGBT Families Associations (NELFA) and by ILGA Portugal, one of the founding members of NELFA. Parents and their children from Belgium, Brazil, Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and USA met for a long weekend of networking, family fun and capacity building workshops and lectures on LGBTI family issues.
Read more about the event here

UK Court rules same-sex couples are not entitled pension boost

A Court in the United Kingdom ruled that same-sex couples are not entitled to the same pension rights as different-sex couples.
Read more about the ruling here

Landmark case in Spain: all lesbians are entitled to IVF treatment

A landmark ruling means that the Spanish health system has to compensate a lesbian couple who were denied access to assisted fertility treatment. Spanish judges defined the national law that bans women without a male partner from accessing a service that is free for all others as a “serious discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation”.



World Medical Association adopts trans guidelines


European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week 2015


New website to educate and agitate for PrEP access


EATG publishes new position paper on prevention

Legal gender recognition


Shock in Poland as gender recognition act falls

Poland’s Gender Accordance Act will not come into force, following the unexpected failure of a parliamentary committee to prepare a report required in advance of a vote planned for Friday 9 October. This means that Poland will not have a legal gender recognition process defined in legislation.

The Finnish Government should respect human rights of trans people


It’s time to stop treating transgender people as diseased, says PACE rapporteur

“We must stop treating transgender people as if they are diseased,” said the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly’s General Rapporteur on the rights of LGBT people Jonas Gunnarsson (Sweden, SOC), on the eve of the International Day of Action for Trans Depathologisation.

Notice board


Job opportunity - UN Programme Officer with ILGA World

ILGA World is recruiting a UN Programme Officer for their office in Geneva. Deadline for applications is Monday 2 November 2015.

Job opportunity - Transrespect Officer with Transgender Europe

Transgender Europe is looking for a part time (65%, 26h per week) Transrespect Officer.The place of work is located in Berlin, Germany. Deadline for applications is 26 November 26, 2015 noon CET.
Read more about the job opportunity here