LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Make It Work: Six steps to effective LGBT HR advocacy, 2010

The advocacy manual which has been produced by ILGA-Europe to provide a logical structure and a set of methods, tools and skills which human rights defenders can use in planning and implementing their advocacy work. It is primarily concerned with how and where LGBT human rights defenders in the domestic setting can employ international and regional human rights instruments to frame their arguments and achieve their advocacy objectives.

The Guide is available in English, Turkish and Russian.

(Published : October 2010)

People become motivated to work on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) issues for all sorts of reasons – both personal and political. At the core of most activism is the desire for inclusion, equality, non-discrimination and a sense of community. The sense of purpose of working for a meaningful cause inspires passionate activism. Globally, the LGBT experience of promoting and achieving change and understanding with policy makers and the general population is that progress is extremely slow. Those living in environments particularly hostile to LGBT people often meet refusal and obstinacy from public representatives when they try to claim a space in civil society – by holding public assemblies, participating in public policy formulation, having their relationships recognised, etc.

LGBT people living in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine – the seven countries for which this manual was primarily written – are well aware of how deeply ingrained homophobia is at societal and institutional levels. The authority of the State, the societal power of tradition and religion, and the political weight of national identity combine to deny recognition of diversity in sexual orientation or gender identity. International human rights standards, as articulated through many legal and political instruments, provide a secure potential framework for LGBT activists to use in their work. Because the countries this manual is directed to have adopted core legal human rights agreements those States are obliged to protect, respect and fulfil those rights for all citizens. This is the fundamental basis for advocacy for the human rights of LGBT people. The task means demonstrating to both the government and the public that the State is required to apply those standards to people who are excluded or whose rights are being violated because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity.