Rainbow Digest: May 2022

 

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No. 320. May 2022. In this issue…

ILGA-Europe

Bodily integrity

Enlargement

Family

Hate crime and hate speech

Health

Freedom of assembly

Legal gender recognition

Notice board

 

ILGA-Europe

A new dynamic has appeared in LGBTI rights across Europe, Rainbow Map reveals

Published on 12 May at the IDAHOT+ Forum in Cyprus, ILGA-Europe’s annual Rainbow Europe Map and Index, ranking the legal and policy situation of LGBTI people in 49 European countries, finds that over the past 12 months a new dynamic has appeared to fill in the gaps that exist around LGBTI rights and push standards, giving governments ground to build upon as democracy in Europe faces exceptional challenges.
Read more on our press release.
Find out your country ranking on the interactive module.
 

Panel addressing the vulnerabilities and challenges facing LGBTI people in and fleeing from Ukraine

On 17 May, UNAIDS and ILGA-Europe co-hosted an event to mark IDAHOBIT. Panellists addressed the existing gaps within the humanitarian response in the context of the war in Ukraine, and concluded with recommendations and commitment to better protect the human rights of LGBTIQ+ people staying in Ukraine or who have left. Moderated by Cianán B. Russell, Senior Policy Officer of ILGA-Europe, the event brought together LGBTI representatives and a wide range of thought leaders, policymakers and practitioners.
Read more about the outcomes of the event and watch back the recording.
Read UNAIDS’s interview with Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe.
 

6 tips for LGBTI organisations partnering alongside a business in Pride season

In the new mini-series of our podcast The Frontline, we are talking about how businesses engage with LGBTI inclusion. Today, more businesses actively seek to work together with civil society organisations, while these may find new allies in the private sector. Our new mini-series was recorded before the war began, but with it’s deep dive into how actors in the private sector, from big corporates to small and medium businesses, can work with LGBTI organisations to shape a better future for us all, we think it is more important than ever to have this discussion.
Listen to the mini-series of the podcast.

Bodily integrity

The European Court sets the basis for the qualification of IGM as torture

On 19 May, the European Court of Human Rights communicated its decision on the case M c. France. While the Court rejected the application on procedural grounds, it paved the way for future positive decisions on the qualification of non-vital medical interventions performed on intersex persons without their personal prior free and fully informed consent as intersex genital mutilation (IGM) and therefore as a form of torture.
Read more.

Enlargement

European Parliament adopted reports on Albania and North Macedonia

On 19 May, the European Parliament adopted its annual country reports for Albania and North Macedonia. The report on Albania calls for proper resolution of hate crime and speech cases against LGBTI people, full implementation and budgeting of the LGBTI action plan and collection of LGBTI disaggregated data, among others. The report on North Macedonia calls for adoption of LGR based on self-determination, adoption of inclusive education laws and proper investigation of hate crime and threats against LGBTI people which have starkly increased.

Family

Bulgarian Court rules Baby Sara must be issued birth certificate

On 16 May, a Bulgarian court has ordered city hall authorities in the capital city of Sofia to issue a birth certificate to the baby born to a same-sex couple from Bulgaria and Gibraltar, known as ‘Baby Sara’. The court’s decision follows a ruling last December by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), saying that if one EU member state recognises a parental relationship between a child and its parents, then all member states should, in order to give the child its right to freedom of movement.
 

High Court in Croatia paves the way for adoption by same-sex couples

On 26 May, NGO Dugine Obitelji announced that the High Administrative Court of Croatia confirmed that same-sex couples can adopt children, indicating that parents cannot be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation. The Court decision rejects the appeal of the competent Ministry against the judgment of the Administrative Court in Zagreb from April 2021, which should have given a same-sex couple access to the adoption procedure.  

Hate crime and hate speech

European Court rules against Armenia’s inaction in anti-LGBTI hate crime case

On 17 May, The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Armenian authorities failed to protect an LGBT bar owner and activist from homophobic physical and verbal attacks, and arson, and to carry out effective investigation. According to ILGA-Europe’s Head of Litigation, Arpi Avetisyan: “The judgment makes it clear that without legislation which explicitly covers bias-motivated crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity, such crimes will remain invisible and foster impunity”.  
 

Council of Europe proposes a comprehensive legal and policy framework to combat hate speech

On 20 May, the Council of Europe issued a set of guidelines to its 46 member states aimed at preventing and combating hate speech, both online and offline. The guidelines recommend that member states differentiate between, firstly, the most serious cases of hate speech, which are to be prohibited by criminal law, secondly, hate speech subject to civil and administrative law and, finally, offensive or harmful types of expressions which are not sufficiently severe to be legitimately restricted under the European Convention on Human Rights but nevertheless call for alternative responses.

Health

New report on the impact of the pandemic on transgender health care

European Professional Association for Transgender Health (EPATH), in cooperation with the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf and Ghent University, have published the results of their cross-sectional survey in 63 upper-middle-income and high-income countries on “How the COVID-19 pandemic affects transgender health care”. The study found that the COVID-19 pandemic has an extraordinary impact on the transgender population in upper-middle-income and high-income countries, and that transgender people might suffer under the severity of the pandemic even more than the general population.

Freedom of assembly

Police attacks a university Pride event in Turkey

On 20 May, police brutally attacked the Pride March that was planned to take place on the campus of the Bo?aziçi University in Istanbul. 70 people including students and academics were taken into custody and released at around 3am local time, after roughly 10 hours, after submitting their testimonies. Prior to the event, the university administration announced that they wouldn’t let any event happen on the campus other than a music festival scheduled for the same day, however there was no official ban. The administration also set up x-ray machines at the entrances to the campus. (Photo: ÜniKuir)

Legal gender recognition

UK’s Supreme Court refused application against puberty blockers

On 5 May, the Supreme Court in the UK has refused Quincy Bell’s application for permission to appeal in the matter of Bell v Tavistock – a challenge to Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust’s Gender Identity Development Service – “GIDS” – and its practice of referring patients under the age of 18 for prescription of puberty-blocking treatment. The Court decision protects the right to health for trans youth and importantly reaffirms that trans youth should be assessed in the same way as their peers as to their competence.

Notice board

Join Social Platform as a Senior Policy & Advocacy Officer

Social Platform is currently looking for a Senior Policy & Advocacy Officer to join their team on a full-time basis. The Senior Officer will lead on the policy and advocacy work related to the European Pillar of Social Rights, more specifically on income, social services, equality and anti-discrimination, and civil dialogue in the social sector.
Read more and apply before 6 June.

Apply for Equinet’s traineeships

The European Network of Equality Bodies (Equinet) has opened three traineeship positions. You can apply to be their Communication Trainee, Network Administration Trainee, or Policy and Legal Trainee. You are eligible if you are a recent graduate in a field of studies related to the responsibilities at stake in the position, less than 30 years old, and already living in Belgium or authorised to work in Belgium.
Read more and apply before 6 June.