European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

November 2016

 

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No. 255. November 2016. In this issue...

ILGA-Europe

Bias motivated speech

Bias motivated violence

Education

Employment

Equality and non-discrimination

EU Enlargement

Family

Freedom of association

    Freedom of expression

    Notice board


    ILGA-Europe

    Memories of Annual Conference 2016

    ILGA-Europe’s 20th Annual Conference gathered over 400 LGBTI activists and allies in Nicosia. Lots of memories were created – check the videos, photos and conference materials, including the report by our conference host Miguel Vale de Almeida.

    The latest Destination>>Equality is online

    This issue is a very first step for us at ILGA-Europe towards naming the specific challenges faced by people of different races and ethnicities in our movement, and making the realities of LGBTI people of colour or from ethnic minority backgrounds visible. Our fight for equality for LGBTI people demands that we genuinely look at how racism intersects with LGBTI-phobia, patriarchy and heterosexism. Raise your voice, educate yourself, reach out, let’s eradicate racism together.
    Download the magazine here
     

    ILGA-Europe and the LGBTI Community: 20 Years of Pride

    As part of our 20th Anniversary, the following article provides a look into the effect ILGA-Europe has had in the past two decades of the LGBTI movement, influencing institutions and being influenced itself by its member organisations, staff, and volunteers, as well as by the evolving LGBTI situation in Europe.
    Read the article here
     
     

    Bias motivated speech

    Open letter on the remarks by Günther Öttinger

    On 9 November, ILGA-Europe with European Women's Lobby and European Network Against Racism sent an open letter calling for the resignation of Commissioner Günther Öttinger, following his racist, homophobic and sexist comments in early November. We must all – leaders, media and individuals – actively and at every opportunity speak out and act against division, marginalisation of different groups in society and those that play on fears for their own political ends.
    Read the open letter here

    Bias motivated violence

    Wave of attacks on trans people in Georgia

    In late November, a trans woman died in hospital after she was brutally attacked in mid-October. She suffered severe head fractures, skull trauma, neck injury and was on life support in intensive care before dying. One suspect of the attack has been arrested and charged with attempted murder, and is awaiting a court hearing which will be held on 8 December. Moreover, it has been reported that two trans sex workers were attacked on 26 November near the Circus area in Tbilisi. ILGA-Europe is closely monitoring the deteriorating security situation for trans people with our Georgian member organisations.
    Read more about the passing of the Georgian trans woman here
    More about Georgia on www.rainbow-europe.org

    Perpetrators of racist-homophobic attack receive prison sentence in Hungary

    Every year on 20 November activists all over the world commemorate Trans Day of Remembrance (TdoR) to honour and remember trans people who lost their lives during the year. According to the Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide research project of Transgender Europe, at least 116 trans people were reported murdered in Europe since 2008. This year, the PACE LGBT rapporteur, Jonas Gunnarsson, issued a statement on the day with the title “a time to stand up for equality as we honour those who have gone”.
    Read more about the TdoR on the website of Transgender Europe

    2017 European Year of focused action to fight violence against women: will the EU walk the talk?

    This year’s celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of violence against women is marked by two instrumental political initiatives at EU level: the European Commission’s decision to dedicate 2017 to combating violence against women, and the European Parliament’s resolution calling for the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention. ILGA-Europe joined 25 European networks in a factsheet on EU accession to the Istanbul convention, where references to LBTI women were included.
    Read more about the two political initiatives here

    Perpetrators of racist-homophobic attack receive prison sentence in Hungary

    Five men were found guilty of violence against a member of a community for attacking three participants of the Budapest Pride in 2013 while chanting homophobic and racists insults. Two perpetrators will have to go to prison; the prison sentence was suspended for the other three. The judgement is not binding. The inactivity of the police after the attack was met with widespread criticism, opposition parties and the Ministry of Human Resources condemned the attacks.
    Read more on the website of Háttér Society
    More about Hungary on www.rainbow-europe.org

    Just & Safer Cities for All

    The European Forum for Urban Security (Efus) has launched a call to identify good practices at the local level throughout Europe to combat hate crime. 50 practices will be selected for publication in a manual and disseminated across Europe to promote local action. The call is extended until the mid of December, so don’t hesitate to respond.
    Get more information on the website of Efus
     

    Education

    New report on bullying and school violence

    Bullying in schools can take many different forms and has serious, long-term effects (on both victims and the whole school community). A detailed report on school bullying with a specific focus on gender and sexual orientation (although not gender identity or sex characteristics) was published last week. It was commissioned by European Commission, and it was the first-ever EU study on school bullying to specifically include sexual orientation.
    You can read the full report on how to prevent and tackle this problem from the NESET II network of experts on education here
     

    Employment

    Good Practices for promoting LGBT inclusion in the workplace

    The European Commission has published the report "The Business Case for Diversity in the Workplace: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity."  According to the report, it makes good business sense for companies to try and make their LGBT employees feel more included in the workplace.  LGBT employees who feel included and supported are more likely to make positive contributions and display a greater commitment to their jobs.  And companies with LGBT-supportive policies may be seen as better companies from which to buy products or for whom to work.
    Download the report here
    Read more about how ILGA-Europe is working on employment issues here
     

    Equality and non-discrimination

    Mandate of UN expert on sexual orientation and gender identity safeguarded in face of hostility

    On 21 November, the United Nations mandate of the Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity was safeguarded despite hostile contestation at the 71st Session of the 3rd Committee of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.
    Read more about the vote here

    Australia pushes Iceland to enact legislation protecting intersex people

    In early November, the first-ever recommendation on intersex issues was made during the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR), where Australia recommended Iceland to enact legislation that includes protection from discrimination on the basis of intersex status. Following the session, Iceland accepted the recommendation.
    Watch the UPR session of Iceland here​

    IGLYO presents video for Intersex Awareness Day - We Are Here

    Intersex young people speak out about their experiences to raise visibility and reach out to others through IGLYO’s new film, 'We Are Here' in partnership with OII Europe and interACT Youth. We Are Here is a short, but powerful film, highlighting the experiences of five young intersex individuals. The film aims to reach out to other intersex youth and reduce the stigma and isolation associated with being intersex. The message from all involved is clear- intersex young people can live full and rewarding lives just like everyone else.
    Watch the video here

    Intervisibility – new website

    In connection with Intersex Solidarity Day 2016, OII Europe launched its project website, intervisibility.eu. Over time intervisibility.eu will gather audio-visual testimonials from all over Europe, as well as articles about the situation of intersex people in different European countries. It will be a platform for intersex people to share and a resourceful website for allies and NGOs to learn directly from such expertise. The website is full of information on intersex issues and is available in 23 languages.
    Check out the website here

    Heroes of football

    On 10 November, 10 European football associations attended the signing of a European Diversity Statement in Amsterdam. An initiative of Heroes of Football, this declaration of intent unites these 10 countries to work towards European collaboration in fighting homophobia in football.
    Read more about the Heroes of Football project here

    Queer People Unite

    On 17 November, Members of the European Parliament Terry Reinke, Ulrike Lunacek and Igor Šoltes hosted the “Queer People Unite. Fighting Societal Backlash” event at the European Parliament. With over 50 activists from across Europe taking part, the panel discussions aimed to address questions of how to tackle the harsh attacks of repressive, neo-conservative, religious right-wing and right-wing movements attempts to push back against the achievements in LGBTI rights that have been long fought for. ILGA-Europe was pleased to participate with our Executive Director Evelyne Paradis speaking on the opening panel, and activists from member organisations present on panels throughout the day.  
    Read more about the event here
     

    EU Enlargement

    2016 EU Enlargement Package published

    Within Reach. Making LGBTI Rights a Reality in South East Europe by 2020

    The same week as the EU Enlargement Package was published ILGA-Europe issued “Within Reach. Making LGBTI Rights a Reality in South East Europe by 2020” - a policy paper outlining advocacy priorities regarding LGBTI issues in Western Balkans in the coming year. The situation for LGBTI people is at a pivotal moment in most accession countries.
    Read more about the ILGA-Europe policy paper here or read the blog post about the policy paper by Daina Ruduša, Advocacy & Programmes Officer ILGA-Europe, on the website of Sarajevo Open Centre

    Western Balkans EU study visit

    On 14-15 November, ILGA-Europe hosted an EU study visit for LGBTI rights activists from the Western Balkans. The purpose of the study visit was to engage with relevant EU institutions and bodies about LGBTI rights in the region, the particular priorities activists are pursuing in the next few years, and the role the EU can play in supporting these efforts.
    Read more about the study visit here or read the blog post by Daina Ruduša, Advocacy & Programmes Officer ILGA-Europe, on the website of Sarajevo Open Centre

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    Family

    Definitive answer within reach for same-sex couple seeking recognition in Romania

    Bill in Denmark to damage reproductive health in Europe

    A new bill in the Danish parliament will prohibit sales from sperm banks to individuals. This will remove access to controlled sperm for single women and lesbian couples in many countries in Europe. When female couples and single women are denied access to fertility treatment, they often resort to home insemination, and often sperm is obtained from Danish sperm banks.
    Read more in the letter from LGBT Denmark to the Danish Health Authorities
     

    Freedom of association

    State of emergency continues in Turkey


    Freedom of expression

    Kaos GL vs Turkey – a positive decision at a timely moment

    On 22 November, the European Court of Human Rights launched a unanimous decision, which upheld freedom of expression in the case of Kaos GL vs Turkey. The judgment is very timely as it ties together a number of issues that have been leading news bulletins all over Europe recently – the work of civil society groups in the country, freedom of expression and human rights.
    Read ILGA-Europe’s reaction here

    Encryption is under threat in Europe

    Digital security is vital to protect the work of LGBTI activists and organisations in parts of Europe. However the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union has been asking delegates from all EU countries to detail their national legislative position on encryption. We’ve been down this road before. Encryption is critical for the right to privacy and to digital security. ILGA-Europe is calling our friends to support Access Now’s petition that demands that our representatives protect these rights — not undermine them in secret.
    Read more and sign the petition here

    Call for solidarity with LGBTI+ community in northern Cyprus

    On 1 November, the Queer Cyprus Association unveiled a major outdoor advertising campaign. Within 48 hours, several billboards in Dikmen and Mağusa had been defaced or torn down. In addition, those in İskele were ordered to be removed by the local council, with no satisfactory explanation given to either the company responsible for the billboards or the Association.
    Read more about the call for action here
     

    Notice board

    ISHR 2017 training for human rights defenders: now open for applicants

    ISHR (International Service for Human Rights) is calling for applications for its flagship Human Rights Defenders Advocacy Program in 2017 - the extensive training programme for human rights defenders. The training will take place in Geneva between 29 May and 9 June 2017 and provides defenders with opportunities to put their advocacy skills directly into action at the 35th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
    Read more about the training opportunity here
     
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