European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Documenting and monitoring human rights violations

Collecting evidence of human rights violations is a vital component of the work of LGBTI activists. It is hard to reject advocacy work which is based on hard facts about the reality of LGBTI people’s life. It tells the story of why change is needed. When human rights violations are documented, it gives credibility to the LGBTI organisations asking for change.

The main reason for documenting human rights violations is to trigger reactions or responses that can help prevent such violations from being repeated. Another aim is also to monitor states’ compliance with international standards and to keep track of how situations on the ground are changing.

Monitoring is a key means of collecting information. This could be done by keeping track of the latest media reports, through attending events, frequent exchange with member organisations etc. Information could be also collected by fact-finding activities including interviews, questionnaires or surveys.

ILGA-Europe advise our member organisations on how to collect and standardise the evidence, so it can be presented in a useful, accessible and organised way. We do this via trainings and by making resources available on our website.

It is important to make the evidence as accessible as possible since the data is used for many different purposes – for example for reports and submissions to national human rights institutions, United Nations, European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) and Organization of Co-Operation and Security in Europe.

Additionally,  ILGA-Europe support small grant applications from member organisations through our Documentation and Advocacy Fund.  The national focused projects within the fund collect valuable evidence about LGBTI human rights violations on a systematic basis.