LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

April 2018

Strategic planning process, two webinars for activists, new legislation in Portugal, and much more...

 

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No. 271. April 2018. In this issue...

Chechnya

ILGA-Europe

Civil society space

Enlargement

Equality and non-discrimination

Family

Freedom of expression

Hate crime

Legal gender recognition

Notice board

Chechnya

Donate and help more victims

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we have helped resettle more than 20 refugees fleeing persecution in Chechnya. However, the crisis is not over. Victims continue to flee the region and seek safety across Europe. We need your help. Please give now so we can help more victims from Chechnya.
Donate now

ILGA-Europe

Got your ticket for the European Equality Gala 2018?

Tickets for the 2018 European Equality Gala are on sale now! New venue, amazing entertainment and special guests – all guaranteed at Brussels’ biggest fundraising party for the European LGBTI movement. The 2018 Gala will take place on 27 June at BOZAR in Brussels. Help us continue our work supporting our member organisations across Europe and Central Asia!
Read more about the Gala and buy your tickets.
 

ILGA-Europe launched report Funding for LGBTI Activism in Europe and Central Asia

We have just launched the report Funding for LGBTI Activism in Europe and Central Asia: priorities and access to resources. The stories and direct experiences of LGBTI activists working throughout Europe and Central Asia are at the very core of this new publication. It distils the survey responses of 287 LGBTI organisations into one report. Put simply, this report shows where funding is needed and signposts ways for funders to fund LGBTI activists in an ever-more strategic and sustainable way.
Click here for more about the report.

Register for webinar: 'Funding for LGBTI Activism in Europe and Central Asia - Introduction to Key Findings'

We will introduce the key findings of the report Funding for LGBTI Activism in Europe and Central Asia: priorities and access to resources. Björn van Roozendaal from ILGA-Europe will talk about why ILGA-Europe worked on this report. Its authors, Erin Howe and Somjen Frazer from Strength in Numbers will talk about the findings and Matthew Hart from the Global Philantrophy Project will talk about the significance of this report for funders. Activists will have the opportunity to ask questions.
Register here.

ILGA-Europe’s strategic planning process 2019-2023

ILGA-Europe member organisations are invited to take part in a series of consultations – online and in person – which will contribute to our strategic priorities for the next five years. The ILGA-Europe board and staff team are committed to creating as much space as possible to hear from members over the coming months, as members’ input will ensure ILGA-Europe remains relevant.. We have already completed an online survey consultation and collected applications for a meeting in June. Please contact us if you are a member organisation and have not received the emails about ILGA-Europe’s strategic planning process 2019-2023.

Register for webinar: ‘Choosing the right words – building narratives for LGBTI equality’

ILGA-Europe will host an online panel discussion on strategic communications. We will discuss examples of communication from different regions and examine how activists and organisations can increase their capacity and overcome challenges. The panellists have played leading roles in strategic communications work in Europe and beyond: Thalia Zepatos, from Freedom to Marry Global; Allison Jernow, Director of Wellspring’s Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Program; and Evelyne Paradis, ILGA-Europe Executive Director.
Register here.  
 

From ILGA-Europe Blog this month: ‘Explainer: marriage equality and Northern Ireland’

Check out the latest guest post on the ILGA-Europe blog from John O'Doherty, director of the Belfast-based Rainbow Project. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that still has not introduced marriage equality – and in his post John talks about the movement’s ongoing campaign for recognition and protection. He tells us the story behind the Love Equality coalition and the most recent push for marriage equality.
Read the blog post.
 

Civil society space

European Parliament backs call for civil society supports in the EU

On 19 April, 489 MEPs voted in favour of an instrument to support civil society organisations which promote democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights. There are several great mechanisms available for human rights defenders reworking outside the EU’s borders, but nothing similar for EU-based civil society to turn to. That is why ILGA-Europe is delighted to see that MEPs in Strasbourg in a resolution clearly call for a funding mechanism for human rights organisations working in the EU.
Read more.
 

Enlargement

Albania and FYR Macedonia accession talks recommended


Equality and non-discrimination

Lesbian Visibility Day and the stories of Suzi and Krystyna

 

Family

LGBTI Intergroup MEPs’ open letter to Latvian government on family rights

On 12 April, members of the European Parliament’s LGBTI Intergroup wrote to the Latvian government to “enquire about what Latvia will do in the future to give the protection and recognition that all families deserve in Latvia, including same-sex couples”. In March 2018, the Latvian Parliament dismissed a petition for introduction of partnership legislation, which would recognise all unmarried couples, including same-sex couples. This is the second time the Saeima rejected such an initiative.
Read the letter.

 


Freedom of expression

Expression Abridged - new report from IGLYO

IGLYO’s latest report “Expression Abridged” was officially launched at the European Parliament in Brussels on 24 April. The report contains a thorough legal analysis of the anti-LGBTI ‘propaganda’ laws that exist or have been proposed in Europe and Central Asia.
You can access the Expression Abridged executive summary here.
 

Hate crime

LGBTI-phobic attacks reported in Armenia

According to the latest updates by our member organisations PINK Armenia and Right Side NGO, a 15-year-old was stabbed on 1 April; one of Right Side NGO’s employees was subjected to violence during a visit to a military commissariat station on 11 April; and a trans woman in Yerevan was attacked on 15 April. These shocking events are not isolated incidents and have prompted calls for adequate investigations into LGBTI-phobic hate crimes. ILGA-Europe add our voice to the demand for an immediate and thorough investigations.
Read more.

The Croatian Parliament has ratified the Istanbul Convention

On 13 April, with a large majority in favour, Croatia’s parliament ratified the Istanbul Convention (the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence).
See the list of countries that have signed and ratified the Convention.

Istanbul Convention: We achieved a lot together and we will not stop there!

Nine European umbrella civil society organisations - including ILGA-Europe - wrote to Thorbjorn Jagland (Council of Europe Secretary General) on why the Istanbul Convention is still so important: “We have no doubt that the Council of Europe will continue to demonstrate leadership towards protecting all women from gender-based violence and to encourage all the CoE Member States to ratify the Convention and to fully implement it.”
Read the letter to Thorbjorn Jagland in full here.
 

Kyrgyz Indigo’s annual report on LGBT rights in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz Indigo, a human rights organisation based in Bishkek, has published an analytical review of the situation for LGBT people in Kyrgyzstan. The 2017 annual review provides a brief overview of the situation for LGBT people living there and the response of the Kyrgyz Indigo team to the crisis situations, which arose during the year.
Read the report.
 

Legal gender recognition

Urgent letter to the President of Portugal

The Portuguese parliament voted to adopt a ground-breaking law on 13 April, which better protects and respects the right to self-determination and bodily integrity of trans and intersex people. However, this success was followed by news that a possible presidential veto could derail the progress that LGBTI activists have worked for years to secure. ILGA-Europe, TGEU and OII Europe wrote to President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, urging him to sign the historic law.
Read more.

 


Notice board

Apply for RFSL’s Rainbow Advocacy Program

RFSL, the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer rights, has created a 13-month advocacy training and mentoring programme for LGBTIQ+ activists from Global South and East focusing on advocating at the United Nations. The first phase of the program will be between 5 - 14 September in Geneva, the second phase between October 2018 and July 2019, and the last phase in in July 2019 in New York. Applications due by 15 May.
Read more about the programme and apply.
https://www.workingonourpower.org/

“Working on Our Power” training programme for womxn of colour

Working on Our Power is a nine-month leadership programme for Womxn of Colour across Europe. It’s designed to deepen inner knowing, empowering WoC and personal transformation as well as provide tools for organisational development and concrete leadership tools. Applications close at midnight on 21 May and interviews will be held during the week beginning 28 May.
Read more about the opportunities here