LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

September 2018

Referendum in Romania, new action plan in Malta, BiVisibilityDay, Annual Conference, and much more…

 

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No. 276. September 2018. In this issue...

ILGA-Europe

Creating Opportunities

Bi Visibility Day 2018

Bodily integrity

Equality and non-discrimination

Education

Family

Hate crime

Notice board

ILGA-Europe

Annual Conference 2018:
See you in Brussels between 24-27 October

We are one step closer to the ILGA-Europe Annual Conference 2018, the largest annual gathering of LGBTI activists and allies in Europe and Central Asia. This year, under the theme “Politics for Change: from Words into Action”, we expect to welcome 500 participants – including activists, our NGO partners, policymakers, European institutions and supportive businesses between 24-27 October. The Annual Conference sets the agenda for LGBTI movements and promotes political action. It will connect activists and enablers of change from multiple areas with the aim of promoting LGBTI civil rights through capacity building.
Follow and share with the hashtags #IEBrussels2018 and #Politics4Change on social media.
Read more about the conference.
 

Businesses, LGBTI equality and pinkwashing.

Do businesses have a role to play in advancing LGBTI equality? Debate on this topic really erupted around Europe during Pride season this summer. In the latest entry on the ILGA-Europe Blog, our Fundraising Manager Anna Shepherd shows people want real engagement from companies – not pinkwashing – and how ILGA-Europe has not only teamed up with supportive partners but also how we hold businesses accountable to their LGBTI inclusion promises. More on this topic will be coming up at the Brussels 2018 Annual Conference, watch this space!
Read Anna’s new blog here.

 


Creating Opportunities

Help us continue our work supporting campaign efforts

Creating Opportunities helps activists create campaigns that have an impact. And campaigning doesn’t always have to be expensive. With less than €8000 we supported 5 campaigns. But due to our limited funds this year we’ve had to turn down many great applications. Could you help us? Get in touch to discuss investing in a project, or make a donation to support activists.
Donate to the Creating Opportunities programme.
Read more about the programme.
 

The activist experience and a researcher’s point of view

LGBTI activists from Europe and Central Asia shared their own Creating Opportunities experiences with us on ILGA-Europe Blog. We welcomed contributions from activists Farkhad Musazov from Kyrgyz Indigo; Monica Panayi from Accept Cyprus; Stefan Sparavalo from Da Se Zna! in Serbia. Daniela Ferrazza, a researcher from Italy also blogged and shared her thoughts on being part of an intersex campaign from the social research perspective.
Read the blog posts.
 

Training on campaigning for activists and researchers in Sofia

More than 20 activists and researchers partners of the “Call it Hate” project met in Sofia for 2 days to work on campaigning and message framing. Call It Hate aims to raise awareness of anti-LGBT hate crime among the general public and within the LGBT communities, to emphasise the need to report, and to empower victims. Participants at the training (facilitated by ILGA-Europe’s Senior Campaign and Programmes Officer Laura Piazza) explored campaigning good practices, framing and testing tactics and worked on their forthcoming campaign plans to combat hate crime.
Read more about the project.
 

Strategic communications webinar series available online

This year, ILGA-Europe hosted four different interactive webinars focusing on strategic communications for LGBTI rights. If you missed them the first time around, don’t worry! They are now available online for you to watch again. The webinars were about framing equality, building narrative and testing messages and featured communications experts, as well as activists sharing the best examples. If you are interested in campaigning and communications, visit our website for thematic resources on strategic communication - from ILGA-Europe and external sources too.
Watch the webinars here.

 


Bi Visibility Day 2018

Why is it important?

Bi Visibility Day has been marked each year on 23 September since 1999 to highlight visibility of the bisexual community. We used this opportunity this year to raise the voice of bisexual community and reveal the biphobia we face in Europe and Central Asia. Bella Fitzpatrick from Ireland; Umut Erdem from Turkey; Hilde Vossen from the Netherlands; and Temir Kalbaev from Kyrgyzstan all told us their stories and why BiVisibility Day is important to them.
Read the blog posts on #BiVisibilityDay2018.

 


Bodily integrity

Stop mutilation of intersex children in France

 


Equality and non-discrimination

New equality action plan in Malta


Education

Event at the European Parliament on inclusive education

On Thursday 11 October, ILGA-Europe and IGLYO will be discussing inclusive education with MEPs and EU policy makers. Hosted by Julie Ward MEP and Jill Evans MEP, representatives from ILGA-Europe and IGLYO will present three recent reports which prove the need for inclusive education and safe school climates for LGBTI students across Europe. If you want to join the discussion, then you need to register by 4 October.

 


Family

Romania to hold referendum that could violate the rights of rainbow families

In a decision issued on 17 September, the Romanian Constitutional Court has approved a proposal (by 7 votes to 2) to hold a referendum on the definition of family. This means that a referendum will now be organised on whether or not to amend the existing definition of family and replace it with text that limits constitutional protection to the marriage of a different-sex couple only. (The call for a referendum was originally initiated in 2015 by the Coalition for Family - 23 NGOs purporting to support ‘family values’.)
Read more.
Visit the Rainbow Europe module for more information on Romania’s LGBTI law and policy.

“Romania’s dangerous family referendum”

In an op-ed for Politico Europe, our executive director Evelyne Paradis calls out the upcoming vote on 6/7 October for the divisive, hurtful and anti-family campaign that it really is. It has the potential to infringe the human rights of families all over Romania, which is why many civil society groups are already calling for a boycott, and Evelyne points out that “This referendum is an attack on human rights happening within the European Union’s borders”.
Read Evelyne’s opinion piece.

Debate on rainbow families at the PACE

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will have a debate on rainbow families at 15.30 on Wednesday, 10 October. The debate is based on a report entitled “Private and family life: achieving equality regardless of sexual orientation” written by PACE member from Sweden Jonas Gunnarsson. The Assembly will evaluate recent developments, identify good practices and formulate recommendations as regards achieving equality in the field of private and family life regardless of sexual orientation.

 


Hate crime

Message from Colour Youth NGO for Zak Kostopoulos

“Founding member of Colour Youth, Zak has been for many of us known, friend, and for some of us almost family. A gifted man, deeply noble, with intense sense of solidarity and deeply rooted in him the opposition to violence, with body reason, special artistic temperament and sharp humour, whose memory will always accompany us. At the expense of this huge loss for our community, we want to express our sincere condolences and support to his family. We will never forget him. Zak, you were a special man. We miss you.”
Read the message in full.

 


Notice board

ERA’s annual conference is in Skopje: “We Claim the Future”

ERA – the Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey - is organising its third annual conference in Macedonia’s capital city Skopje on 3-6 October. Under the theme “Against All Odds: We Claim the Future”, the event brings together around 200 activists and allies from the region for a two-day regional conference and a day-long general assembly. This year, there will be also the regional ministerial meeting which will host the newly-established intergroup of the Macedonian parliament and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
Read more about the conference.
 

New resources on hate crime for LGBTI people

University of Brescia (Italy), Lambda Warsaw (Poland), and GLAS Foundation (Bulgaria) (together with partners from 10 European countries) implement the EU-funded project “Come Forward”. It aims to empower and support the victims of anti-LGBTI hate crimes. The project team has published an info pack with practical tools on how to recognise and report a possible hate crime or hate speech incident, available in 10 different languages for LGBTI people.
Download the info packs.

Two job opportunities at the European AIDS Treatment Group

The European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG) is looking for an executive director and a financial assistant. EATG is an European network of nationally-based volunteer activists comprised of more than 175 members from 47 European countries. The position of executive director is full-time, on a permanent contract and the deadline to apply is 2 October. The position of financial assistant is half-time, temporary position. You can apply for the job until 5 October.
More information about the executive director job.
More information about the financial assistant job.

International HIV/AIDS Alliance looking for a leader for programmes

The International HIV/AIDS Alliance has opened an application process for a position in their secretariat in Brighton. The position is ‘Lead: Programmes Rapid Response Fund (FTC)’ and the person selected will shape the Alliance’s Rapid Response Fund which is a programme to support emergency responses LGBTI groups. You can apply for the vacancy until 15 October.
Read more and apply.