LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

August 2017

 

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No. 264. August 2017. In this issue...

Chechnya

ILGA-Europe

Asylum

Employment

Equality and non-discrimination

Family

Freedom of assembly

Goods and services

Hate crime

    Health

    Notice board

    Chechnya

    Powerful new report released by Russian LGBT Network

    In a major report just released by the Russian LGBT Network, three main ‘waves’ of violations of the rights of LGBT people are identified. The so-called third wave, which commenced in June after Ramadan, is still ongoing. Powerful personal testimonies of more than 30 people are contained in the pages of the Network’s report, along with background on the overall human rights context in Chechnya, and the Network’s own conclusions.
    Download and read the report here

    Nils Muižnieks speaks out on the situation in Chechnya

    The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Nils Muižnieks, included strong language regarding the situation in Chechnya in his latest human rights comment: "It is crucial that decisive and effective action be taken to ensure that the persecution stops and that those responsible for it are investigated, prosecuted and punished. Failing to do so will only prolong the deplorable patterns of impunity in this region."
    Read the whole human rights comment here

    ILGA-Europe

    Why should you register for our Annual Conference in Warsaw?

    This year we are bringing the conference to Poland, a country that is currently characterised by a deep democratic crisis and divided by populism. Our conference this year aims to reflect on what our shared values as community are. We want to push forward the vision of inclusive societies that respect and embrace the diversity of each and every one of us. We hope that this year’s conference can be a platform for change in Poland and beyond.
    Read more about the theme CHANGE! Communities Mobilising, Movements Rising.
    Join us and register before 11 September.

    Join #TeamILGAEurope and run for LGBTI rights

    Take on the Brussels Marathon (or Half Marathon) challenge and raise vital funds and awareness for LGBTI rights across Europe. Visit our website to find out more. Not a runner? No problem, there are plenty of other ways to get involved.

    Seminar on LGBTI asylum and a roundtable with public authorities

    ILGA-Europe and Transgender Europe invite you to apply to participate in a capacity building seminar on LGBTI asylum and a roundtable with public authorities in Brussels, from 27-28 November 2017. Deadline for applications: 10 September 2017
    Read more about the seminar here 
     

    Coming up: social media campaign on mental health

    In October, ILGA-Europe will launch a social media campaign on mental health, and we want you to get involved! We are calling our member organisations and partner organisations which are providing support and assistance on mental health for LGBTI people. This is not only an opportunity for raising awareness on mental health issues, but also an occasion for you to promote your organisation and services. Get in touch with us by sending an email to Nanna Moe, Senior Communications Officer.
    Read more our work on LGBTI health here 
     

    Asylum

    Win in UK asylum case puts spotlight on situation for LGBTI asylum seekers

    On 14 August, the United Kingdom granted refugee status to a prominent Nigerian LGBT activist, Aderonke Apata. The win ended a 13-year battle over her right to stay in the UK. We asked Paul Dillane from Kaleidoscope Trust, one of our UK members involved in the case, to describe the case and reflect on the situation for LGBTI asylum seekers in the UK.
    Read the article here
     

    Employment

    Does the Lithuanian military need gay service members?

    In March 2015, in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine and in accordance with amendments to laws on military obligation, 3500 young people were drafted into compulsory military service. National LGBT* rights organisation LGL received a number of inquiries regarding gay and transeligibility for service, submitted by those fearing potential discrimination in the military.
    Read the article on the website of LGL here
     

    Equality and non-discrimination

    Statement on Nils Muižnieks’ comment on homophobia and transphobia

    On 31 August, the Council of Europe's High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, issued a comprehensive statement on homophobia and transphobia. ILGA-Europe welcome his comment and urge national governments across Europe to take action especially on hate crime and protection from discrimination.
    Read more about the comment here

    Upcoming LGBTI action plan in Denmark

    The Danish government announced an upcoming LGBTI national action plan. The long expected plan will be introduced in 2018. Beside the announcing the plan, the government also announced a cross ministerial LGBTI working group and a responsible minister, Karen Ellemann. ILGA-Europe hope that the plan will entail adequate funding, clear objectives, and include actions that cover sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics in order to fully embrace LGBTI issues in Denmark.
    Read more about the upcoming action plan here

     


    Family

    Same-sex couples can marry in Malta as from 1 September

    The wait for equal marriage for couples living in Northern Ireland continues

    On 17 August, the High Court dismissed two cases challenging Northern Ireland's lack of marriage equality. Delivering his judgement, a judge said it was for the Stormont Assembly, and not a judge, to decide social policy. Northern Ireland is the only nation within the United Kingdom without marriage equality. Same-sex couples in England, Wales and Scotland have been able to tie the knot since 2014.
    Read more about the cases in Northern Ireland here
     

    Freedom of assembly

    Attacks on LGBTI activists during street action in St Petersburg


    Goods and services

    Highest ever fine imposed on swimming-pool discriminating against LGBTQ sports club in Hungary


    Hate crime

    Hateful violent attack in Georgia

    On 25 August in Batumi, Georgia, three trans persons and two members of the Equality Movement were insulted and beaten by several men outside a night club. The police representatives were nearby, but did nothing to stop the violence, neither did they arrest the perpetrators. Instead, the police detained the two members of Equality Movement, whilst physically and verbally aggressing them on homophobic grounds. The two victims got fined in court with 300 Lari each (~100EUR), which they have decided to contest at a higher court.
    Read ILGA-Europe's reaction here
    Read more about the incident on the Facebook page of the Equality Movement

    Several hate crime incidents in Copenhagen

    The successfull and colourful Copenhagen Pride celebrations were sadly followed with several violent individual incidents. One of the attacks was in particular violent when a group up to 15 persons attacked one individual. The Lord Mayor of Copenhagen (link only in Danish) reacted with disgust about the hate crimes, and stated that he would push for full police investigation in order to arrest the perpetrators.
    Read more about the incidents here (only in Danish)
     

    Hate Crime Matters campaign in England and Wales

    The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in England and Wales has published new public statements, including information on how they prosecute homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime as part of their #HateCrimeMatters campaign. ILGA-Europe are pleased to see that, for the first time, CPS policy will recognise that victims of biphobic hate crime have different experiences and needs to victims of homophobic and transphobic offences.
    Read more about the campaign here
     

    Health

    European testing finder tool now available in several languages

    The UK based organisation NAM has launched an online tool to find where you can have a test for HIV, hepatitis or other sexually transmitted infections across Europe. Their testing finder tool is available in 11 European languages.
    Find the test finder here

    Call for good practices on patient organisations’ cooperation with LGBTI organisations

    In 2016, the European Patients' Forum (EPF) together with a number of organisations developed a roadmap for the inclusion of vulnerable and underserved groups’ perspectives within patients’ organisations, including LGBTI people. As a follow-up to this roadmap, the EPF is now collecting good practices of patient organisations’ cooperation with organisations representing underserved groups and groups vulnerable to health inequalities and discrimination. The collected good practices will be published at a later stage. If interested, please send your good practices to Katie Gallagher, EPF by 15 September 2017. Information relating to lack of cooperation and why this is the case are also welcome.
     

    Notice board

    Consultancy with UNESCO 

    UNESCO is seeking an international expert or team of experts to develop a technical brief that will provide evidence-based recommendations to national policy-makers from the education sector and institutions managing surveys, on how to routinely monitor violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in educational institutions. The assignment shall be completed by mid-December 2017. Interested individuals or entities should submit a cover letter, CV(s) and electronic copies of two publications of which they are the main author(s), together with a brief proposal on the approach to and estimated costs for the assignment by email by COB 8 September 2017.

    Two job opportunities with IETM - administration officer and membership officer

    One of our Brussels based partners, IETM - International network for contemporary performing arts, is looking for two new members to their staff team. Deadlines are 13 September for the position as Administration Officer, and 20 September for the position as Membership Officer.

    Two job opportunities with ENAR - Senior Budget Officer and Secretary

    ENAR, European Network Against Racism, is recruiting a Senior Budget Officer and a Secretary to join their team in Brussels. Contribute to the fight against racism in Europe and apply! Deadline for both positions is 17 September.

    Seminar on « the role of NGO in Remembrance of the Holocaust »

    In cooperation with the Polish Ministry of Education, the Krakow pedagogical University and the Auschwitz-Birkenau International centre, the Council of Europe, in the frame work of the program “Remembrance of the Holocaust and prevention of crimes against Humanity”, co-organise a seminar on the “ role of NGO in remembrance of the Holocaust”. The seminar will take place 22-28 October. Deadline for applications is 18 September.
    Find a presentation of the seminar, its programme as well as the application form here