Rainbow Digest January 2024

Trans man’s landmark case was heard by the EU court, acceptance of LGBTI people on the rise across the EU…

 

Help transform realities for LGBTI communities across Europe and Central Asia.With your support we can do more. Make change happen here.

No. 340. January 2024. In this issue…

ILGA-Europe

Data collection

Equality and non-discrimination

Foreign policy

Freedom of expression

Hate speech and hate crime

Human rights defenders

Legal gender recognition

Notice board

 

ILGA-Europe

New call for project proposals working with racialised LGBTI communities towards justice

We have launched a new call under our programme focused on work done by and for racialised LGBTI communities. LGBTI organisations in Europe that are led by racialised LGBTI people and work with and for racialised LGBTI communities are welcome to apply with their project proposals. The programme includes financial support and regular partner meetings.
Read more and apply before 2 April.
 

We’re looking for a consultant for the review of the Committee of Ministers LGBT Recommendation

ILGA-Europe is seeking a consultant or team of consultants to develop a regional report for the 2024 comprehensive review of the Committee of Ministers Recommendation on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. The purpose of this consultancy is to develop a regional civil society report for the CM/Rec(2010)5 comprehensive review process.
Read more and apply before 4 February.

Data collection

Acceptance of LGBTI people is on the rise across EU

Published last month, the latest Eurobarometer report, charting public opinion in the European Union, shows acceptance of LGBTI people is clearly on the rise across all EU countries. The results, however, reflect clearly that ongoing attacks on LGBTI rights have had an impact. The report has found that more than half of the general public say there is widespread discrimination in their country on the basis of gender identity (being transgender, 57%) or sexual orientation (54%). Discrimination against intersex people is in the high numbers too, at 47%. (Photo: Jennifer Jacquemart / European Union)

Equality and non-discrimination

PACE members signed a declaration on the draft bill on anti-discrimination in Armenia

On 23 January, 20 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) signed a written statement regarding the Armenian Government’s law proposal for the “Law on Ensuring Equality.” The signatory parliamentarians that it is “a significant opportunity to enshrine explicit protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics into law” and appeal the government and the parliament in Armenia to ensure the protection of the rights of LGBTI people in the final law.
 

Michael O’Flaherty elected Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

On 24 January, Michael O’Flaherty, the previous Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, was elected as the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights by the organisation’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) at its plenary session in Strasbourg. He will serve a non-renewable term of six years starting on 1 April 2024. The Commissioner for Human Rights is an independent and impartial non-judicial institution by the Council of Europe to promote awareness of and respect for human rights in the 46 member States. (Photo: PACE)
 

IDAHOBIT 2024 theme announced: “No one left behind”

IDAHOBIT, celebrated annually on 17 May, is a global initiative that aims to raise awareness about discrimination, violence, and challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community. The Secretaria announced the theme for the 2024 edition as “No one left behind: equality, freedom and justice for all”. As of January 2023 ILGA World has taken a more active role around the IDAHOBIT, by coordinating the Working Group and hosting its Secretariat.

Foreign policy

European Parliament urges governments of Central Asia to respect LGBTI rights

On 17 January, the European Parliament issued a resolution assessing the EU-Central Asia Strategy adopted in 2019. While broadly examining EU-Central Asia relations and trade, the resolution notably underscores deteriorating human rights situations across all Central Asian nations. It specifically addresses concerns about LGBTI rights and stresses the international obligations of Central Asian governments to uphold human rights commitments. This is particularly pertinent for Central Asian countries benefiting from GSP+ status in their trade with the EU (Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan) and those planning to attain this status (Tajikistan). GSP+ necessitates non-EU countries trading with the EU to adhere to 27 international conventions on human rights, labour rights, and environmental standards.
 

EBRD approves its new country strategy for Uzbekistan mentioning LGBTI issues

On 26 January, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved its new strategy for Uzbekistan spanning 2024-2029. Notably, the updated document addresses the issue of LGBTI rights, acknowledging that consensual same-sex relations are deemed illegal in Uzbekistan. Unlike the prior strategy (2018-2023), this new approach makes a few references about this concern, partly influenced by the subtle advocacy efforts of LGBTI individuals in Uzbekistan. This marks a historic moment, as it is the first time an international financial institution incorporates LGBTI issues into their strategic documents.

Freedom of expression

LGBTI activists under attack over a website providing information for LGBTI teenagers

A group of LGBTI activists in Kazakhstan faced opposition from anti-gender movements due to their awareness-raising efforts. The activists developed a website in Russian and Kazakh languages, focusing on providing information for LGBTI teenagers as a crucial initiative in a country where information on LGBTI rights in Kazakh is limited. However, anti-gender organisations ‘Senimen Bolashak’ and the Union of Parents of Kazakhstan initiated a petition urging the government to ban the website. This occurred shortly after another petition called on the Kazakh Parliament to pass a law against so-called gay propaganda. Both petitions, as of now, have not gained significant public support.
Read more (in Russian).

Hate speech and hate crime

EP calls for the criminalisation of hate speech and hate crime under EU law

On 18 January, the European Parliament adopted a report to call for the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU to prioritise the Commission’s proposal on extending the list of EU crimes to hate speech and hate crime in their agenda. The list of EU crimes are crimes of a particularly serious nature with a cross-border dimension, for which Parliament and Council can establish minimum rules to define criminal offences and sanctions. The Parliament also called for the European Commission to consider an open-ended approach to the list of grounds for motivation, acknowledging the evolving nature of hate speech and crimes.
Read more.

Human rights defenders

First case of “extremism” has been opened in Russia

On 18 January, a local newspaper reported that a blogger in Russia is facing charges after posting a rainbow flag on Instagram. This is the first reported case initiated under the November-dated Supreme Court decision banning “international LGBT movement” as extremist. The blogger might receive a fine up to RUB2,000 or up to 15 days of detainment and a criminal case in case of repeated “offence”. This first case, however, gave the opportunity to lawyers to access and publish the full text (source in Russian) of the Supreme Court’s extremism ruling, which gives insights about what is considered as “international LGBTI movement” and what might be signs of belonging to it according to Russian authorities. (Photo: InkBoB, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Kyrgyzstan’s parliament plans to criminalise and obstruct civic activism

On 23 January, the Committee on Constitutional Legislation of Kyrgyzstan’s parliament gave its final approval for a draft law, which is based on corresponding Russian legislation, proposing to introduce a series of amendments to Kyrgyzstan’s law on non-profit organisations and its Criminal Code. Although some changes have been made to the initial version of the draft law, it remains fundamentally flawed and introduces far-reaching restrictions on the activities of foreign-funded groups. If passed by the full parliament on two more readings, the draft law will be sent to the president for signature.

Legal gender recognition

Romanian trans man’s landmark case heard by the Court of Justice of the European Union

On 23 January, the Court of Justice of the European Union Grand Chamber held the hearing of the case of Arian who is a trans man with Romanian and British citizenship and has filed a lawsuit against Romanian authorities over their refusal to recognise his new male name and gender identity acquired in the United Kingdom (while still treated as an EU Member State). At the oral hearing, the governments of the Netherlands, Germany and Poland, as well as the European Commission all stressed that EU citizens have the fundamental right to have their gender identity recognised across the EU. The Advocate general of the Court will issue an opinion about the case on 7 May.
Read more about the case.

Notice board

IGLYO are searching participants for the 2024 class of their Global Online Activist Academy

IGLYO — The International LGBTQI Youth & Student Organisation are searching for their next class of young queer activists for their Global Online Activist Academy, a skills-based training programme for young people across the world. If you are LGBTQI, aged 18-30 and can work through English, you can apply for the training taking place on 3-22 April.
Read more and apply before 11 February.

ERA is looking for two project coordinators

ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association for the Western Balkans and Turkey is hiring two project coordinators who will lead the implementation of assigned projects, conduct research on LGBTI issues and develop advocacy strategies to promote LGBTI rights and equality. It is a remote work with one year contract with a possibility of extension.
Read more and apply by 15 February.

Red Umbrella Fund is recruiting for its Coordinator

Red Umbrella Fund is the first and only global fund dedicated to supporting the rights of sex workers. Red Umbrella Fund is recruiting for its next Coordinator. The Red Umbrella Fund Coordinator is the senior staff member responsible for the day-to-day management of the Red Umbrella Fund secretariat. The position is available for individuals working remotely and/or for individuals working in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Applicants with sex work experience are strongly encouraged to apply.
Read more and apply by 12 February.

GPP is seeking a Director of Development and Advancement

Global Philanthropy Project (GPP) is hiring a Director of Development and Advancement who will oversee all aspects of development for the organisation, including the advancement and implementation of a multi-year fundraising strategy, grant writing, reporting, and general management and oversight of related revenue forecasting, budgeting, and administrative systems. The position is 100% remote.
Read more and apply by 5 February.

Nebula Fund is hiring a Grantmaking Strategist

Nebula Fund supports movements advancing gender justice and LGBTQI+ rights to expand their narrative power. They’re looking for a Grantmaking Strategist who is responsible for developing and sustaining grantmaking portfolios. The job operates in a virtual home office or co-working environment, with occasional travel.
Read more and apply by 14 February.

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