LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

November 2021

Russian LGBT Network labelled as a ‘foreign agent’, LGBTI community centre attacked in Sofia...

 

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

No. 314. November 2021. In this issue...

ILGA-Europe

Asylum

Equality and non-discrimination

Family

Freedom of association

Hate crime

Health

Legal gender recognition

Sexual and reproductive rights

Notice board

 

ILGA-Europe

New episode of the podcast: Navigating change as an LGBTI activist

In the latest episode of our podcast, The Frontline, our Executive Director Evelyne Paradis is joined by queer activist Natia Gvianishvili from Georgia to talk about resilience and self-empowerment in the LGBTI movement at a time of great change in the world. Director at Women's Initiatives Supporting Group, Natia has been actively engaged with local, regional and international LGBTI and feminist movements for over 10 years, and she currently also works with the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights.
Listen to the new episode on your favourite podcast platform.
Have a look at the previous episodes.
 

What we learned at Europe’s largest online LGBTI conference

In a new blog post, Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe reflects on the annual Gathering, the online version of Europe and Central Asia’s LGBTI conference, and what it affirmed for the movement at this time of momentous change.
 

Holiday gifts in support of ILGA-Europe

Looking for Christmas gift ideas? We’ve gathered some from our creative and talented supporters and supportive brands. Sylvia Pride Earrings, by feminist and queer art store Ctrl Art Del, and Onda Pride Ring by Belgian jewellery brand Georgina Sanginés both support our work with 10% of profits. Berlin-based design agency ag-prop have created a unique poster based on ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Europe 2021 data, with €10 from each one sold donated to our work, while Portuguese brand TOINO ABEL will donate €20 from each of their sold rainbow dyed reed basket. Rainbow Stories is both a storybook for children and guide for parents, available in English and Italian with all proceeds donated to ILGA-Europe. Finally, when you purchase from underwear brand Andrew Christian’s Project Love collection online, you can add a donation to ILGA-Europe when checking out.

Asylum

Joint call on the EU: Restore rights and values at Europe’s borders

On 26 November, ILGA-Europe, along with the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) and other civil society and professional organisations, called upon the European Union to ensure a clear-headed response to the situation of asylum seekers at the borders with Belarus, which includes a firm defence of the right to asylum of people with particular attention to vulnerable groups, including LGBTI people.

Equality and non-discrimination

Spanish government is urged to withdraw from any attempts to criminalise sex work

Following the announcement made on 17 October by the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, during his party's congress about his very personal commitment to “abolish prostitution,” ILGA-Europe joined and the European Sex Workers’ rights Alliance (ESWA) and 11 other civil society organisations in calling on the Spanish government to withdraw from attempts to criminalise sex work. The signatory organisations firmly oppose the criminalisation of sex work (sex workers, clients or third parties).

New campaign video with trans allies expressing support for trans persons in Slovenia

On 22 November, ILGA-Europe member organisation TransAkcija in Slovenia, published a YouTube video of interviews with 20 trans allies presenting a unique message: “Trans people are among us.” With the video campaign, TransAkcija aims at expressing support for trans persons and topics from a diverse group of members of the general society. The video was supported by ILGA-Europe’s Creating Opportunities programme and can be a useful tool for learning about trans topics, breaking stereotypes and an inspiration for tackling transphobia.

Family

Take part in an international research study about same-sex couples

The Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) is looking for participants for a research study about socialisation among same-sex couples who have children conceived through ART (assisted reproduction techniques). The research team at ULB is taking part in an international study with research teams from Israel, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy.

Freedom of association

The Russian LGBT Network labelled as a ‘foreign agent’ and targeted by a smear campaign

On 8 November, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation designated the Russian LGBT Network as a ‘foreign agent’ organisation. On 12 November, the MoJ also designated Igor Kochetkov, the co-founder of the Network, as a “foreign agent” media in his individual capacity. At the same time, the Russian LGBT Network, its partner “Sphere” Charitabel Foundation, as well as its former and current leadership were targeted in several broadcasts by the federal media, in what appears to be another turn of the state-sponsored smear and intimidation campaign against LGBTI groups and activists.

Hate crime

LGBTI community centre attacked in Sofia

On 30 October, an LGBTI community centre was attacked in Sofia, Bulgaria. During a trans community gathering, a group of about 10 people stormed the office, punching one of Bilitis’ employees in the face and vandalising the space – smashing equipment and furniture. One of the attackers, and also the person who assaulted the Bilitis employee, is Boyan Rasate, founder and leader of the far-right Bulgarian National Union, and candidate for the Presidential elections which took place on 14 November. Rasate has been charged with hooliganism with extreme audacity. Bulgarian activists are demanding proper investigation and prosecution of all those who committed the crime, including Rasate, for the relevant government figures and institutions to publicly condemn this attack, and for SOGIESC based hate crimes to be included in the Criminal Code.
 

“The murders of 375 trans and gender-diverse people were reported last year

On the occasion of the International Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR), TGEU released the 2021 update of Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM). The murders of 375 trans and gender-diverse people were reported between October 2020 and September 2021, according to the latest TMM update, and 2021 is set to be the deadliest year for trans communities since TGEU began collecting data. The data shows that a total of 4042 trans and gender-diverse people reported being murdered between 1 January 2008 and 30 September 2021.

Health

First ever European-wide HIV stigma survey launched

The European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG), AIDS Action Europe (AAE) and the EU HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and TB Civil Society Forum (CSF) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) launched the first ever European-wide HIV stigma survey. The purpose of this survey is to ask people living with HIV across Europe and Central Asia about their experience of stigma. The results from this survey will be used to inform decision and policy makers on the importance of addressing stigma among people living with HIV.
 

European Commission calls for grant applications on promotion of healthy lifestyles

The European Commission launched a call for grants to support the ‘HealthyLifestyle4All’ initiative by strengthening the health literacy component for the promotion of healthy lifestyles with a focus on the school setting, ensuring equal access to the activities by all socio-economic groups, and thereby reducing health inequalities. The grants were established under the EU4Health Regulation which was adopted to support Member States in building stronger, more resilient and accessible health systems as part of the EU Multiannual Financial Framework for the 2021-2027 period. Deadline for grant applications is 25 January 2022, 17:00 (CET).
 

Join EMSP’s Young People’s Network and advocate for the equality of people with MS

The European Multiple Sclerosis Platform (EMSP) established the Young People’s Network, a place where young people advocate of the multiple sclerosis (MS) movement, share their unique stories to create change and connections with other MSers across the EU. You can join this active network and campaigns where you can tell your individual stories.

Legal gender recognition

Dutch government publicly apologises trans people who were forcibly sterilised

On 27 November, the Dutch government publicly apologised trans and intersex people and announced the start of the implementation of their commitment to provide reparations to trans people who were previously required to be sterilised to have legal gender recognition between 1985 and 2014.

Sexual and reproductive rights

Spain expands the access to assisted reproduction techniques to single women, lesbians, bisexuals and trans people

On 5 November, the Ministry of Health in Spain expended the access to assisted reproduction techniques (including IVF) in public healthcare to single women, lesbians, bisexuals and trans people. “We hope to see this model put forth as a good practice so that other countries can learn and follow suit," said Cianan Russell, Senior Policy Officer at ILGA-Europe. (Photo source: FELGTBI+)

Notice board

ILGA World seeks a Director of Programmes

ILGA World seeks a Director of Programmes to conceptualise, lead and oversee the programmatic work of the organisation, to supervise the Programmes Team staff and to strategically develop ILGA World’s programmatic work. In addition, the Director of Programmes will be responsible to oversee and deliver the programme of the upcoming 30th ILGA World Conference. Deadline for applications is Friday 3 December.
Read more and apply for the position of the Director of Programmes.
Check out ILGA World’s other opportunities, including junior consultancies.

PICUM’s job vacancy for Advocacy Officer – Access to Justice and Health

PICUM, the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants, is looking for an experienced advocacy professional to lead the creation, implementation and assessment of its advocacy strategy on access to justice and health to achieve safe reporting for undocumented people who have been victimised and for the further development of PICUM’s work on anti-racism and discriminatory policing and profiling. The deadline for applications is Thursday, 16 December at midnight (CET).
Read more and apply.

GATE is looking for a Program Officer and a Communications Assistant

GATE is hiring a Program Officer to lead the organisation’s work to increase the capacity of trans, gender diverse and intersex movements to respond to anti-gender movements operating at the international, regional and national levels. GATE is also seeking a Part-Time Communications Assistant who will assist with all aspects of communications work under the supervision of the Communications Manager.

Call for grant applications to advance digital rights in Europe

The Digital Freedom Fund (DFF) announced a call for grant applications to support for strategic litigation to advance digital rights in Europe. DFF provides two types of grant support: Litigation track support for litigation of a case and Pre-litigation research support for activities to prepare for litigation. DFF will accept grant applications from 24 January to 1 March 2022.