Rainbow Digest May 2023

Cyprus bans conversion practices, European Court decision on same-sex couples, and much more…

 

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

No. 332. May 2023. In this issue…

ILGA-Europe

Bodily integrity

Family

Health

Intersectionality

Human rights defenders

Sexual and reproductive rights

Notice board

 

ILGA-Europe

Rainbow Map and Index 2023 is launched

On 11 May, ILGA-Europe launched the 2023 version of the Rainbow Map and Index, examining the laws and policies in European countries. Trans and intersex rights at the forefront of positive change for LGBTI people in Europe, this year’s Rainbow Map finds. While the public discourse is becoming more polarised and violent, particularly against trans people, political determination to advance LGBTI rights is paying off. The largest gains on the Map are for countries that introduced legal gender recognition (LGR) using a self-determination model.
Find out your country score and ranking.
Read our press release.
 

New call for applications for LGBTI groups in Poland

ILGA-Europe invites applications from LGBTI organisations and groups in Poland that see a concrete opportunity to propel their agendas and the work of the LGBTI movement in the country, and have a clear practical idea how to seize this opportunity but have been lacking dedicated resources and support to take action. The programme will bring together six LGBTI organisations and groups in Poland over a period of 18 months and will support their work through a combination of project funding, coordination and learning. (Photo by Konrad Żurawowicz / KPH)
Read more and apply before 25 June.
 

New briefing on intersex people published

On 3 March, we published the briefing on intersex people, the fourth of our series of Intersections reports, deep-diving into the findings from the European Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) 2019 LGBTI Survey II. We have collaborated with OII Europe, to further understand the challenges faced by intersex people in Europe, and recommend ways forward.
Read more and download your own copy.
 

Join the second session of the Skills Boost on data visualisation for LGBTI communication

On 6 June, we are organising the second session of the Skills Boost for LGBTI activists on data visualisation for LGBTI communication. At the second session on data visualisation, you can receive individual feedback to every exercise sent to sho@ilga-europe.org before 5 June. There will be more time for questions, discussions and peer-learning, so join us even if you are not doing “homework”.
Read more and register.
 

Equality Fundraiser 2023 to take place on 29 June

Join our special event in Brussels on 29 June and lend your support as we work for the equality, freedom and safety of all LGBTI people across Europe and Central Asia at a time when freedom and safety are under threat. The ILGA-Europe Equality Fundraiser is a relaxed summer party bringing together supporters of equality in solidarity with the LGBTI movement, including many high-level politicians.
Get your tickets now.

Bodily integrity

Cyprus banned conversion practices

On 26 May, the Parliament of Cyprus passed a bill criminalising conversion practices that claim to modify an LGBTI person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. The amendment to the Criminal Code states that “any person practicing for the purpose of changing, suppressing or eliminating one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression of another person’s sex, is guilty of an offence and, if convicted, is liable to a prison sentence not exceeding two years or in a penalty not exceeding five thousand euros or both of these penalties.”
Read more.

Family

Romania failed to protect same-sex couples, European court rules

On 23 May, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) made a decision in a case finding that Romania breached the right to respect for the family life of 21 same-sex Romanian couples by failing to recognise their relationships. The couples had declared that they were unable to access numerous rights available for married couples such as protections in property or inheritance, and other obstacles all same-sex couples in Romania face. ILGA-Europe provided third-party submissions jointly with FIDH, NELFA and ECSOL.
Read more.

Health

Which countries are pushing to end discrimination in blood donation?

For decades, men who have sex with men (MSM) have been barred from donating blood or subject to discriminatory rules. Now, as both our Rainbow Map and Annual Review 2023 show, an increasing number of countries in Europe are dismantling these discriminatory practices. In 2022, 11 countries lifted bans or reduced deferral periods for blood donations from MSM (and trans people in some cases). Bans were lifted in France, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Slovenia, Austria, and Armenia.

Intersectionality

Looking back from 2040: Future activism interviews

We asked nine LGBTI activists to project themselves into 2040 and imagine different futures for the LGBTI movement across Europe and Central Asia: How did we get better at mobilising with others on social justice issues? The interviews are published in a zine that doesn’t intend or aspire to present the future, but rather to present a snapshot and selection of possible futures without any demand that we fix on one. It’s the act of multiple imaginings that matters.

Human rights defenders

LGBTI activists unfurl rainbow flag at a mausoleum in Kazakhstan

On 16 May, LGBTI activists Zhannar Sekerbayeva and Gulzada Serzhan from a feminist initiative Feminita raised a rainbow flag at the Mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmad Yasawi in Kazakhstan. The event aimed to promote LGBTI rights and visibility. Kazakhstan prohibits same-sex marriages and discriminates against trans people by restricting legal gender recognition. The action by Feminita sheds light on ongoing efforts for LGBTI rights in the country.
 

Activist harassed during European development bank meeting in Uzbekistan

On 17 May, during a European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) meeting in Uzbekistan, LGBTI rights activist Nezir Sinani was harassed by Uzbek authorities. Sinani, co-director of Re-course, was prevented from entering the meeting venue in Samarkand and had his meeting materials confiscated. The authorities seized Pride-themed tote bags. Sinani’s case urged the EBRD and other international financial institutions, supporting Uzbekistan, to condemn such actions and demand the repeal of discriminatory laws targeting the LGBTI community. (Photo courtesy of Caspar Veldkamp/Twitter)

Sexual and reproductive rights

State-funded LGBTI-phobia endangers HIV funding and access to care in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan risks losing a $29 million grant for HIV prevention and treatment as MPs dissolved the coordinating committee fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria last month. MPs opposed the committee’s support to projects targeting men who have sex with men, stating it goes against “national traditions.” The dissolution reflects a concerning pattern of instrumentalising LGBTI issues and stifling social debates in the name of so-called “traditional values.”
 

New survey on HIV response during humanitarian crises and emergencies

UNAIDS launched an online survey to get feedback from communities on the impact of humanitarian emergencies on people living with HIV, and their perspective on a minimum package of service interventions for people living with HIV during such emergencies. The survey results will help UNAIDS to write a report on HIV response for people living with HIV during humanitarian crises and emergencies. The survey has 13 questions and takes 15-20 minutes to finish.
 

WHO launched a new campaign on mpox

Although mpox is no longer a global health emergency, mpox continues to pose public health challenges that require a robust, proactive and sustainable response. The work of community organisations, together with public health authorities, had a huge impact on the decline of mpox cases globally. In an effort to engage with community groups, the World Health Organization Europe launched a new campaign on mpox elimination.
Download editable files for your campaign.
Download the toolkit for mpox elimination.
Download the case studies compendium.

Notice board

TGEU published its Trans Rights Map

On 11 May, Transgender Europe (TGEU) launched the latest version of their Trans Rights Index and Map. According to the research, the past 12 months saw an increase in trans rights in the region on the whole, however, the risk of regression and anti-trans backlash is pressing at the same time. Some countries lost points in 2023, and are in danger of further regression.
Access the interactive map.

OII Europe launched their Good Practice Map on intersex human rights

On 11 May, OII Europe presented its Good Practice Map 2022. The map highlights advancements achieved in 2022 towards the better protection of intersex human rights across Europe. The section “In the Making” features newly adopted IGM legislation and analyses their protective elements. This year, this section is dedicated to the IGM ban in Greece.
Read more and download a copy of the Map.

New guidelines on LGBTI policy for European municipalities

On 17 May, the Rainbow Cities Network (RCN) published guidelines on how to create an LGBTI policy for cities that do not yet have such a policy in place. They recommend areas to focus on as well as issues to address and actions to implement. They also present a selection of good practice examples that can serve as templates for the development of customised measures. RCN is an international network of municipalities who have adopted a dedicated LGBTIQ policy, actively working against discrimination and for equal rights of LGBTIQ in their cities.
Read more and download your own copy.

Social Platform seeks a Head of Policy and Advocacy

Social Platform, the network organisation working on EU social rights, is looking for a new Head of Policy and Advocacy to join its Secretariat in Brussels. The post holder will oversee their own policy and advocacy portfolio, as well as coordinate and supervise the work of Senior Policy Officers within the team.
Read more and apply before 19 June.

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