LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

September 2017

 

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No. 265. September 2017. In this issue...

Azerbaijan

ILGA-Europe

Asylum

Equality and non-discrimination

Family

Foreign policy

Freedom of assembly

Hate speech

    Hate crime

    Hate speech

    Human rights defenders

    Legal gender recognition

    Notice board

    Azerbaijan

    International attention must focus on LGBTI people in Azerbaijan after police raids

    ILGA-Europe are extremely concerned by news of human rights abuses emerging from Azerbaijan. Members of the LGBTI community in Baku are being actively targeted by police raids, with those detained being assaulted, forcibly medically examined, fined or forced to reveal contact details from their mobile phones.
    Read more in our media release here

    Azerbaijan crisis: donate now

    ILGA-Europe have launched an urgent appeal for donations to help organisations on the ground to support these victims. Based on our experience in responding to the human rights crisis in Chechnya, with your help we can provide grants to activists working with victims to meet their needs. This might be used to provide psychosocial support, medical assistance, help with rehousing, or legal fees when someone is under arrest, and for court hearings.
    Find out more and donate here

    ILGA-Europe

    Get ready for Annual Conference 2017 in Warsaw

    The preparations for the Annual Conference 2017 are in full speed now and we are very excited to announce this year’s speakers. QueerEd will be presented by Urszula Kuczyńska, the Black Protest organiser and some of panel speakers include: Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Luca Stevenson, Lisa Power and Alice Coffin. More speaker announcements and information about the programme will follow mid October.
    Read more about the speakers here

    #TeamILGAEurope are running for LGBTI rights in Brussels

    #TeamILGAEurope are running for LGBTI rights this Sunday 1 October! Join us in cheering them on at the Belfius Brussels Half Marathon this Sunday 1 October. We will meet from 10.30AM in front of Hotel Solvay (224 Avenue Louise). and set up a cheering station nearby, close to the 5km point. Look out for the ILGA-Europe banner. If you’re unable to come along but would like to support the team with their fundraising, you can make a donation of any size on our website and enter ‘Marathon’ in the comment box.

    Voting Rainbow - LGBTI equality and election campaigns

    Elections will be held in many countries in the near future. In some contexts, the election campaigns will be dominated by a populistic, xenophobic, discriminatory discourse. In others, they will be the opportunity to build new alliances and include LGBTI issues in the political debate. In some places, it might be both at the same time. Either way, elections will shape the national political landscape for the next few years, often with a tangible impact on the lives of LGBTI people. How can we make the most out of the opportunities that these elections represent for our movement across Europe? How can we mitigate the risks, counteract LGBTI-phobic attacks and make politicians commit to promoting LGBTI rights? To discuss all these topics, ILGA-Europe will host a live chat on Voting Rainbow - LGBTI equality and election campaigns on 6 October 2017 at 11.00 CET. You will hear from activists, all fresh from their own recent experiences working on election campaigns in the Netherlands, Albania and France. Should you be interested send an email to Laura Piazza, Campaign and Programmes Officer

    Coming up: ILGA-Europe come out 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

    Two asylum seekers stabbed themselves outside the Finnish parliament

    On 22 September, two gay asylum seekers went to the steps of the parliament in Helsinki and stabbed themselves in the stomach. They survived, but have said they want to die in Finland rather than return to Russia after they have been denied asylum in Finland.
    Read more about the incident here
     

    Equality and non-discrimination

    Four homophobic legislative initiatives on the Lithuanian parliament’s agenda

    The Lithuanian parliament is preparing to debate on four legislative amendments and legislative initiatives that would restrict LGBT rights. Even though a certain progress may be observed, as legislative initiatives clearly infringing upon freedoms of association and expression have not been registered, the proposed amendment to the Constitution, Law on Strengthening the Family, Child Rights Protection legislative initiatives and amendments to Civil Code are ought to redefine the concept of the family, eliminating any possibility for same-sex couples to exercise the right to family.
    Read more on the website of LGL

     


    Family

    Same-sex couples can marry in Germany as from 1 October

     

    Foreign policy

    Hearing in the European Parliament on human rights of LGBTI people outside the EU


    Freedom of assembly

    Successful Pride marches in Belgrade and Podgorica

    Pride participants stopped by security agents on return to Russia


    Hate crime

    Revealing the realities of hate crime - new Stonewall report

    On 7 September, our member organisation Stonewall published a report on homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime in the UK. The report, LGBT in Britain, reveals the results of a Stonewall-commissioned survey with 5000 LGBT people in England, Scotland and Wales… and the publication makes for unsettling reading.
    Read more about the report here

    Update on the EU and the Istanbul Convention

    On 12 September, the European Union’s journey to full ratification of the Istanbul Convention continued in Strasbourg. The report on the EU conclusion of the Istanbul Convention was approved by a large majority, with 489 MEPs voting in favour. The Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention is a vital instrument in the fight against violence against women and girls and a key tool to eradicate gender-based violence.
    Read more about the vote here

    ILGA -Europe seminar on hate crime and hate speech

    On 28-29 September, ILGA-Europe members got together with representatives from EU institutions and Member State governments and law enforcement to address the issue of hate crime and hate speech. How to improve cooperation and align different activities was the topic du jour, in active efforts to improve the reach, impact and coherence of existing and future tools and projects. Very interesting discussions and insights arose from having such a variety of stakeholders from across Europe together in one room - and are sure to inform our way forward.
    Read more about our work on hate crime and hate speech here
     

    UNI-FORM: new app and website to report hate crime

    On Thursday 28 September, the official launch of the mobile app and website, UNI-FORM, took place in the European Parliament. UNI-FORM is the first-ever online platform connecting LGBTI NGOs and police forces in EU countries to work together to encourage reporting and tackle LGBTI hate crime and online hate speech. The project is coordinated by our member organisation, ILGA Portugal.
    Check out the mobile and website here
     

    Hate speech

    #HerNetHerRights online conference on cyberviolence against women and girls

    On 13 October, European Women's Lobby is organising an online conference which will bring together the main actors on the issue of online violence against women and girls in Europe: researchers and activists, decision-makers and youth, survivors and women’s organisations.
    Find out more here
     

    Human rights defenders

    Call for action! LGBTI activist charged with "homosexual propaganda"

    LGBTI activist and Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights member from Russia, Evdokia Romanova, was charged with “homosexual propaganda” on 26 July for reposting links to the international Youth Coalition for Sexual Reproductive Rights website and to articles that promoted LGBT equality. The case is still pending.
    Find out how you can act on the website of Amnesty International Canada
     

    Legal gender recognition

    Malta introduces ‘X’ marker on passports, ID cards and work permits

    On 5 September, the Maltese government launched the ‘X’ marker for official documentation, including passports, identity cards and residence permits. Individuals were able to apply for the change already on 6 September.
    Read more about the change here

    Petition: Support the Greek trans movement

    Greece has drafted a new law to reform legal gender recognition. In an important step forward, the new law expressly states that trans people can change their papers without the requirement of medical interventions or tests. But it still contains serious flaws. You can support the Greek trans movement and nd tell Greece to do it right by signing a petition by Amnesty International, Colour Youth, Κοινότητα Lgbtq Νέων Αθήνας, Greek Transgender Support Association and All Out.
    Find the petition here
     

    Notice board

    Recommended reading: Anti-Gender Campaigns in Europe - Mobilizing against Equality

    About the book: This collection is a transnational and comparative attempt to better understand anti-gender mobilizations in Europe. It focuses on national manifestations in eleven European countries, including Russia, from massive street protests to forms of resistance such as email bombarding and street vigils. It examines the intersection of religious politics with rising populism and nationalistic anxieties in contemporary Europe.
    Find out more about the book here
    http://www.feantsa.org/en/newsletter/2017/09/28/autumn-2017

    Magazine of FEANTSA: LGBTIQ Homelessness

    The autumn edition of the magazine of FEANTSA, the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless, is focusing on LGBTIQ homelessness. By dedicating this edition of Homeless in Europe magazine to the issue of LGBTIQ homelessness, FEANTSA hopes to make a useful contribution to the conversation and to take a first step towards further FEANTSA work on the topic.
    Read the magazine here