Rainbow Digest July 2023

Belgium bans conversion practices, Russia further restricts trans rights, Tbilisi Pride cancelled…

 

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

No. 334. July 2023. In this issue…

ILGA-Europe

Bodily integrity

Equality and non-discrimination

Family

Freedom of assembly

Freedom of expression

Rule of law

Legal gender recognition

Notice board

 

ILGA-Europe

New report on trans and non-binary people’s experiences in Europe

On 26 July, ILGA-Europe published a new report, in association with Transgender Europe (TGEU), taking a deep dive into the European Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) 2019 LGBTI II Survey. The report on trans and non-binary people summarises the findings of data analysis disaggregating the responses of trans and non-binary people from the responses provided by all LGBTI respondents to the FRA survey, in order to show the differences in their lived experiences.
Read more and download your own copy of the report.
 

The ways we’re working with private companies this Pride season

This year, as we do every year, ILGA-Europe have worked with private companies who wish to support our work. But we don’t take every offer that comes our way. In a blog post, we explain why, how, and what for partnering with corporates to enhance our vital work with organisations across Europe and Central Asia. (Photo credit: Toyota ACOR)
Read our blog post.
 

Looking for consultants for a research on gender-based violence against LGBTI people

ILGA-Europe is looking for a consultant or a team of consultants to assess current strategies and initiatives, including policy and legislative initiatives in addressing gender-based violence against LGBTI people in EU member states, with a specific emphasis on LBTI women and non-binary individuals. ILGA-Europe aims to identify and promote good practices in tackling gender-based violence against LGBTI people, with particular focus on LBTI women and non-binary people, contributing to the ongoing efforts to combat gender-based violence against all in the EU.
Read more and apply before 1 September.

Bodily integrity

Belgium bans conversion practices

On 20 July, the Belgian Parliament adopted a ban on conversion practices based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. The ban protects adults and minors, while perpetrators against minors and vulnerable adults face enhanced criminal penalties. Belgium is the eighth country in Europe banning conversion practices.
Download the text of the amendment.

Equality and non-discrimination

Ground breaking judgment from the European Court against discrimination based on sex characteristics

On 11 July, the European Court of Human Rights issued a judgment in the case of Semenya v Switzerland. For the first time the Court confirmed sex characteristics as a protected ground of discrimination falling within the ambit of article 14. The case concerned discrimination against an international-level athlete who was not afforded sufficient procedural safeguards when challenging World Athletics regulations. The Court relied on the reports by PACE and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights raising concerns about discrimination against women in the sports domain, including intersex athletes.
Download the Court’s judgment.
Read ILGA-Europe’s submission on this case, written jointly with ELC, TGEU, OII Europe, and EGLSF.
 

16 EU member states signed a declaration on LGBTIQ rights

On 5 July, the Spanish Ministry of Equality organised a high-level event entitled “LGBTIQ rights in the European Union” within the framework of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The ministers responsible for LGBIQ policies in 16 Member States of the European Union signed a declaration on advancing LGBTIQ rights in Europe.
Read the declaration in full.
 

Take the EU LGBTIQ survey III to make your voice heard

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has opened the third LGBTIQ survey. If you’re LGBTIQ person living in the 27 EU Member States or Albania, Serbia and North Macedonia, you can take the survey to make your voice and experiences heard in the largest survey of its kind. The survey takes 20 minutes to complete and is available in various languages.
Take the survey by 22 August.

Family

Italy begins stripping same-sex parents of their parental rights

On 17 July, the media outlets reported that the Italian authorities began retroactively stripping same-sex parents of their legal connection to their children. Until March, there were several Italian cities where same-sex couples could be listed as “parents”—as opposed to “mother” and “father”—on birth registrations. But the Interior Ministry began sending letters ordering an end to the practice. So far, 27 families in the northern city of Padua have received a warning letter, affecting the lives of 33 children.

Freedom of assembly

Pride in Tbilisi is cancelled after attacks

On 8 July, The Tbilisi Pride cancelled the scheduled Pride event in the city after violent far-right groups’ mobs attacked the event and the participants. The organisers declared that they were compelled to cancel the Pride and evacuate the territory. ILGA-Europe condemned the attacks and said that “Public statements that stoke such hatred against LGBTI people is at the foundation of this violence, and must be confronted by all who care about democracy, safety and freedom in our societies”. (Photo credit: Tbilisi Pride)

Freedom of expression

European Parliament to urge Kyrgyz authorities to withdraw so-called “LGBTI propaganda law”

On 13 July, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the crackdown on the media and freedom of expression in Kyrgyzstan. They urge the Kyrgyz authorities to withdraw and review a number of laws that are inconsistent with the country’s international commitments. This includes the controversial law on “false information” as well as the draft laws on “foreign representatives”, “mass media” and “protecting children from harmful information”, the so-called “LGBTI propaganda law”.

Rule of law

EC’s report on rule of law highlights LGBTI rights

On 5 July, the European Commission published its annual Rule of Law report. ILGA-Europe worked with LGBTI organisations across the EU to provide input on the violations of LGBTI rights in the ERU rule of law framework. The report highlights in various country chapters how LGBTI people are impacted by inadequate respect for the rule of law, government control of media, corruption, attacks on civic space and HRDs, and manipulation of legal processes to directly curtail the rights of LGBTI people. Attacks on fundamental rights of LGBTI people are an attack on democracy, and EU institutions and member states need to use all tools available to hold governments accountable to their commitments to democracy and human rights for all.

Legal gender recognition

Commissioner for Human Rights calls on North Macedonia to adopt an LGR legislation

On 7 July, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović shared an open letter addressed to the Macedonian Parliament. The Commissioner calls on North Macedonia to adopt amendments that would implement the 2019 ECtHR judgement regarding access to legal gender recognition. Importantly she encourages resisting pressure from groups which promote misinformation about LGBTI people and their rights.
 

Russia bans legal gender recognition

On 24 July, the Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new legislation into law, introducing a comprehensive ban on trans-specific healthcare and legal gender recognition, effectively limiting individuals’ autonomy over their own bodies and identities. ILGA-Europe stand united and in solidarity with our allies and partner organisations in demanding justice, equality, and dignity for trans, gender-diverse and intersex people in Russia. We will continue to advocate tirelessly for the full recognition of their human rights, including bodily autonomy, access to comprehensive healthcare, legal gender recognition based on self-determination, and the right to form families of trans and gender diverse people in Russia.
 

New draft law in Hungary seeks to exclude trans women from pension benefits

On 26 July, ILGA-Europe and the Hungarian LGBT Organisation Háttér Society sent a joint letter to the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen alerting her to the recent introduction of a new bill to further curtail the rights of transgender people in Hungary and of the intensification of the enforcement of the so-called “Child Protection Law”. On 13 July Members of Hungarian Parliament submitted a new bill to exclude trans women from accessing pension benefits available only for women.
Read more.

Notice board

Report violence against trans people in and from Ukraine

TGEU – Transgender Europe published a call for data and reports on violence and discrimination trans people in and from Ukraine. The survey will help TGEU understand the types of violence trans people in and from Ukraine are experiencing, TGEU will use this data to advocate at the UN and EU level. Any trans person who experienced violence or discrimination can make a report. Additionally, any allies who have contact with a trans person who experienced discrimination or violence can make a report on that person’s behalf, with their consent.
Read more and submit your report.

New fellowship programme on digital skills

The European Center for Digital Action has opened a call for fellowship participants in their programme on scaling up digital skills for campaigning and fundraising. It targets non-governmental, civil society organisations or political parties based in the EU working on a variety of socially progressive issues, including LGBTI rights. The programme runs from 18 September to 14 December 2023.
Read more and submit your application before 1 September.

Submit your best practice on mental health to the European Commission

As part of the new comprehensive approach to mental health, the European Commission is calling for best and promising practices focusing on mental health promotion, prevention, and early detection and intervention. Governmental and non-governmental actors can submit their practices. With 20 flagship initiatives and €1.23 billion in EU funding from different financial instruments, the Commission will support Member States putting people and their mental health first.
Read more and send your input by 29 September.

International Rescue Committee is hiring for a position to build diverse SOGIESC inclusion in humanitarian response

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Edge Effect launched a project ‘TRANSFORM’ to develop mechanisms for humanitarian organisations to systematically embed diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) considerations in conflict and displacement response. For this project, they’re looking for a manager who will oversee the implementation of TRANSFORM initiative in Ukraine, being responsible for the implementation of all key objectives and deliverables at the country level.
Read more and apply before 1 September.
Source

Photo credit: Tbilisi Pride

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