Rainbow Digest August 2022


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

No. 323. August 2022. In this issue…


Data collection

Freedom of assembly

Hate crime


Legal gender recognition

Notice board



Join our webinar on volunteer engagement

On 22 September between 11.00 – 12.30 CEST, ILGA-Europe will organise a webinar to discuss different approaches of LGBTI organisations in working with volunteers. The webinar will reflect on why engaging volunteers is important and often times even necessary as part of a strategic community organising work. Participants will share their experiences of engaging volunteers in LGBTI movement.
Read more and register.

Take part in our next Skills Boost on media relations for LGBTI activists

The next of our popular Skills Boost sessions for LGBTI activists will take place on 14 September (12:00-13:30 CET), giving you practical advice on how to make the most of media opportunities as an LGBTI activist, without getting overwhelmed. This will be an interactive Skills Boost structured around a ‘typical day’ for ILGA-Europe’s Media Officer. At the end of this session you will be given resources and a small assignment and you will get personalised advice and group feedback on your assignment.
Read more and register.

Theme for the ILGA-Europe 2022 Conference announced

As ILGA-Europe gears up in the organisation of our annual conference, which takes place in Sofia this October, the theme ‘Shaping the world to come’ has been announced. This has been identified by the staff and board of ILGA-Europe at a moment in history when change is taking place on so many diverse levels, and when the LGBTI movement needs to clarify its power and position in the evolving world.
Read more about our conference.

We’re looking for two new colleagues who will join our Programmes team

We’re looking for two new colleagues who will join our Programmes team to work on supporting and strengthening LGBTI movement in Europe and Central Asia. Are you a skilled project coordinator and facilitator who will enjoy working hand-in-hand with LGBTI groups to support their work? Take a look at the Programmes Officer vacancy, open until 19 September. Are you a movement support champion who is equally good at strategic thinking and planning and at carrying out programmes? Take a look at the Senior Programmes Officer vacancy, open until 12 September.

Apply for the consultancy to conduct an inventory of SOGIESC case-law

Since 2010 ILGA-Europe has been conducting an annual inventory of SOGIESC case-law as part of its strategic litigation work. In order to focus our strategic litigation efforts across Europe to fully protect and advance LGBTI rights, with this inventory ILGA-Europe wants to support members and partners across the region to identify trends and gaps in protection at the European level, which can commonly be tackled through litigation. We are currently looking for a consultant to continue this process.
Read more and apply before 4 September.

Data collection

Join the first-ever global survey on perceptions of human rights from the LGBTQI community

The Franklin & Marshall Global Barometers, a research team based at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, USA, partnering with the Council for Global Equality, launched the LGBTQI Perception Index, which is the first global survey on perceptions of human rights from the LGBTQI community itself. The survey is available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish.

Freedom of assembly

President Vučić of Serbia announces the cancellation of EuroPride 2022

On 27 August, President Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia announced that the EuroPride 2022 taking place in Belgrade between 12-18 September would be cancelled. ILGA-Europe strongly condemned it and reminded the President’s commitments under the European Convention of Human Rights, especially with respect to ensuring the effective enjoyment of right to freedom of assembly and expression.

Hate crime

The killer of LGBTI activist in Azerbaijan was sentenced to nine years

On 29 July, the Azeri LGBTQ+ activist and journalist Avaz Hafizli’s killer Amrulla Gulaliyev was sentenced to nine years and six months in prison by Baku Court of Grave Crimes. Local LGBTI activists in Azerbaijan believe the murder was motivated by homophobic bias and to protect the “honour” of the family. It is unclear to civil society whether the court’s decision will be appealed, as there is no contact with Avaz’ mother, who is his legal representative in this case.

LGBTI activist in North Macedonia attacked for the second time this year

On 9 August, LGBTI activist Bekim Asani was physically attacked for the second time this year during an event in North Macedonia. Despite asking for police protection for the event, it was not provided. When reporting the incident to police, Asani was discriminated against by one of the police officers. Due to the slow police follow-up, two other LGBTI activists were attacked by the same assailant the following day. This series of attacks brutally demonstrates how systemic inaction of the police leads to further violence. ILGA-Europe call on all relevant authorities to bring the perpetrator to justice and ensure proper protection for LGBTI events when requested.

Massive rise in anti-LGBTQ hate crime reports in UK

On 15 August, VICE World News revealed that the number of homophobic hate crime reports in the UK has doubled and the number of transphobic hate crime reports has tripled over the last five years. The new data shows police received 26,824 reports of hate crimes based on sexual orientation in 2021-22, compared to 10,003 in 2016-17 – a 168 percent increase. The most recent reporting year also saw a 32 percent increase compared to the previous year, which is the biggest yearly rise ever recorded. For reports of transphobic hate crimes, there were 1,292 reports recorded in 2016-17 and 4,399 in 2021-22. There was a 59 percent increase compared to 2020-21 – which is also the largest increase ever recorded.


What does the monkeypox outbreak mean for people living with HIV and key populations?

On 6 September, Global Network on People Living with HIV, Prevention Access Campaign, MPact, and Global Black Gay Men Connect are organising a webinar hosting global leaders and scientists to discuss what the monkeypox outbreak mean for people living with HIV and key populations. The event will provide update on the global response from WHO, UNAIDS, PEPFAR and USG, review the clinical and epidemiological aspects of the virus and discuss strategies to mitigate stigma and discrimination.

HIV self-test company looking to connect with NGOs

The Simplitude™ ByMe™ is looking for NGOs to connect about their product which is the world’s first all-in-one HIV self-test designed to make testing easier. Self-testing offers a quick and reliable solution to screen on HIV infection. The Simplitude™ ByMe™ has an accuracy of 99.6% and a specificity of 99.6%, similar or better than laboratory testing. The product is WHO Pre-qualified, CE approved and has a multi-language packing. The test is both suitable for testing at home and at HIV check points.

European countries fighting against ‘conversion therapies’

France and Malta are the two single countries in Europe that have fully banned so-called ‘conversion therapies’, but they are not alone in taking active steps against this harmful practice, which aims to change LGBTI people’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The Danish government continued with its banning plans, a citizens initiative in Finland was on its way to parliament, while in Ireland civil society set up an Anti-Conversion Therapy Coalition.

Legal gender recognition

Sweden proposes new law on legal gender recognition

On 29 July, the Swedish government submitted a proposal for a new law for legal gender recognition (LGR) to the Legislative Council. RFSL and RFSL Ungdom welcome that the government is finally acting but are critical of several parts of the bill. The proposal means that it will be easier to access LGR, but a medical examination of the gender identity by a licensed doctor or psychologist will still be required, which means the law is not based on self-determination.

Notice board

Registrations open for the OII Europe Community Event and Public Conference

OII Europe calls for participants for their Online Community Event and Public Conference, taking place online on 30 September and 1 October. The Public Conference is open for everybody, while The Community Event is organised for intersex people and their families, loved ones and support persons. The theme of this year’s event is “Staying Safe in Troubling Times”.
Read more and register before 15 September.

IGLYO accepts registrations for their Annual Members’ Conference

IGLYO will gather with representatives of their member organisations in Brussels, Belgium, on 13-17 October for an in-person IGLYO Annual Members’ Conference (AMC). Only representatives of IGLYO Member Organisations can register for the IGLYO AMC. The agenda will include networking, taking part in workshops, learning about the organisation’s current structure and activities, casting your vote on statutory issues, and more.
Read more and register before 9 September.

Applications continue for the online learning labs on artistic activism

The Center for Artistic Activism is organising the Learning Labs – a six-week remote training programme connecting, strategising, brainstorming and being inspired to take activism to the next level. The next training course will take place between 26 October and 30 November.
Read more and apply before 16 October.

Digital Defenders Partnership seeks a consultant

The Digital Defenders Partnership, a programme hosted by Hivos, seeks a consultant to support their grants and networking work in the Eastern Europe Central Asia Region. It is a remote position for 6 months with the possibility to extend until the end of 2023.
Read more and apply by 11 September.