LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

June 2018


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No. 273. June 2018. In this issue...


Sex work

Funding and Resources for LGBTI Activism


Equality and non-discrimination


Freedom of assembly


Sexual and reproductive rights

Notice board



New edition of Destination >> Equality on Community Organising

ILGA-Europe launched the new edition of our Destination >> Equality magazine on the theme of community organising - the power of people coming together to meet some of our most fundamental needs as human beings such as safety, care, belonging, sense of purpose. Beyond the personal, community organising is also a deeply political act, one that is at the centre of all movements for social change and social justice.
Read the magazine.

Strategic planning weekend with members

In April, ILGA-Europe launched the organisation’s strategic planning process for 2019-2023. One very important step in this process was the strategic planning session with representatives of some of our member organisations. The meeting took place in Brussels on 2-3 June. At the meeting, we discussed a first draft of ILGA-Europe’s next strategic framework and priorities for the next five years.

Apply for partial scholarships for the Annual Conference 2018

We launched the application process for Partial Scholarship to the ILGA-Europe Conference. ILGA-Europe provides Partial Scholarship for activists who want to share their voice and be part of the ILGA-Europe Annual Conference that will take place in Brussels on 24-28 October 2018. The Partial Scholarship includes the coverage of the partial costs to attend the conference. Deadline for application is Monday 16 July 2018 (midnight CEST).
More information.

ILGA-Europe @ the European Development Days

Organised by the European Commission, the European Development Days (EDD) bring the development community together each year to share ideas that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions. On 5-6 June in Brussels, our board member Micah Grzywnowicz and executive director Evelyne Paradis joined two different panel sessions – discussing LGBTI people,the Sustainable Development Goals and the importance of leaving no-one behind, and religion and gender equality.
Listen to the session on LGBTI equality and the SDGs with Micah.
Watch Evelyne’s panel on religion and gender equality.

From the ILGA-Europe Blog this month: ‘Demonstration and demonisation – life for Georgia’s queer communities’

Levan Berianidze, Executive Director of Equality Movement, Georgia was a guest contributor to the Blog this month. Levan describes how LGBTQI clubs and bars have played a crucial role in mobilising LGBTQI people in Georgia, and explains why the recent raids on these clubs were seen as an attack on the community's home.
Read the blog.

Rainbow Europe on Politico’s podcast

Our executive director Evelyne Paradis spoke to Politico Europe’s EU Confidential podcast as it celebrated 50 episodes. She discussed the Rainbow Europe 2018 headline results and told the stories that lie behind the individual country scores. Huge thanks to the Politico Europe’s Ryan Heath for this great conversation.
Listen to the podcast.

Sex work

Empowering LGBTI sex workers – new position paper

Our new position paper on the rights of LGBTI sex workers was launched in June. Entitled ‘Empowering LGBTI sex workers towards the full respect of their fundamental rights’, it outlines three key steps that we all collectively must take to ensure the rights of sex workers are protected: 1. Combatting structural discrimination and social exclusion of LGBTI people, 2. Calling for decriminalisation as a cornerstone for protecting the human rights of sex workers, 3. Working towards the full inclusion of the voices of sex workers in the LGBTI community.
Read the position paper.  

Blog: ‘Why we have a new policy on LGBTI sex work’

Evelyne Paradis explains why it’s so important for ILGA-Europe to have this new policy on LGBTI sex workers. “… I want to say a heartfelt thank you to all the LGBTI sex workers’ activists who kept pushing us throughout the years. Thank you for asking hard questions and challenging deep-seated privileges. Thank you for your patience and your willingness to share your stories.”
Read the blog.

From ILGA-Europe Blog on LGBTI sex workers

To mark the policy’s launch, sex workers’ networks and LGBTI groups developing their own relationships with the sex worker movement took over our blog page. Luca Stevenson, ICRSE Coordinator, outlined 4 steps you can take for greater inclusion of sex workers in the LGBTI movement. Cal Orre from RFSL and Nicklas Dennermalm from RFSL Stockholm gave a Swedish perspective on the “Swedish model”. Tina Kolos Orban, Vice President of Transvanilla Transgender Association, Hungary talked about invisibility, exclusion and stigma against LGBTI sex workers.
"Time for the LGBTI movement to embrace sex workers’ rights!"
"A Swedish perspective on the Swedish model"
"Invisibility, exclusion and stigma: LGBTQI sex workers"

Funding and Resources for LGBTI Activism

European Equality Gala’s 4th edition was a success!

ILGA-Europe are blown away by the generosity shown at the 2018 European Equality Gala on 27 June. To everyone who joined us on the dance floor in Bozar, put your change in a donation box and took part in fierce bidding battles in the European Equality Auction. To our sponsors who so generously supported us and helped us raise more. To the performers who gave us an unforgettable night. Together we raised €37,528.20. Thank you.
See Facebook photo album from the Gala.
You can still donate ILGA-Europe.

Queer & Tonic fundraiser for ILGA-Europe

The Queer Stagiaires, a network of EU institutions trainees, are throwing a summer party on 7 July to raise funds for ILGA-Europe’s work. Last summer, the group raised almost €600 for victims of the Chechnya crisis. If you’re in Brussels, join the party at Rainbow House and help beat last year’s total!
Attend the event.

Donate on Facebook

Did you know you can now start a fundraiser for ILGA-Europe on Facebook in just a few clicks? Getting started is easy! Simply create a fundraiser, set your target, invite your friends and watch the donations roll in. Give it a try and help ILGA-Europe connect with even more supporters.
See who donates and start donating yourself.


PACE adopted the report on LGBTI people in Chechnya


Equality and non-discrimination

The Parliament of Iceland’s new bill on workplace discrimination

Polish Supreme Court rules against discrimination in access to services

First report from UN SOGI Expert Madrigal-Borloz published

“Be Yourself”


CJEU rules that ‘spouse’ definition in free movement law includes same-sex couples

In a landmark decision, issued on 5 June, the Court of Justice of the European Union has defined the term ‘spouse’ for the purposes of freedom of movement for the first time. This momentous decision is the result of a lengthy legal challenge brought by Adrian Coman and Clai Hamilton, supported by Accept Association in Romania. “Equality, fairness and pragmatism were at the core of today’s verdict from Luxembourg.” said Evelyne Paradis as the decision was announced.
Read more.

Czech Parliament receives opposing marriage equality bills

On 22 June, the Czech government approved a bill proposing equal marriage for all – for the first time ever. The bill was sponsored by a group of MPs from across the political spectrum and it has the support of the prime minister. Three days after that bill was originally filed, another group of MPs, filed a counter-bill proposing to ban equal marriage in the Czech Constitution. Polls show significant support for equal marriage (65%) and 71,000 people signed a petition in favour of its introduction. ". We will continue building support in parliament, having lots meetings with politicians." says Adela Horakova, Advocacy Director of the Czech marriage equality coalition "We Are Fair".
Read more.

Freedom of assembly

Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride banned this year

Istanbul Pride has been banned again for the fourth year in a row. Everyone has the right to peacefully assemble as a community, and it is incredibly disheartening to see these basic freedoms being restricted - yet again - in Turkey. This repression is offensive and unacceptable. You can follow the hashtag #OnurYuruyusu on social media for the latest update.

Read the Pride Committee’s announcement after the ban.

Baltic Pride 2018 in Riga – a striking paradox between societal acceptance and political will

Our advocacy officer Daina Rudusa joined the Baltic Pride celebrations in Riga – in a year of many firsts. It was undeniably a tribute to how far Latvian society has come in terms of acceptance. The 100 days of Pride events that took place in the city were a celebration of diversity and the human rights of all.
Read her blog post.


World Health Organisation removes trans identities from mental disorder list

On 18 June, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced its intention to delete all trans-related categories from the ICD Chapter on Mental and Behavioural Disorders. New trans-related categories have been introduced, namely on Gender Incongruence of Adolescence and Adulthood and Gender Incongruence of Childhood. This is the outcome of more than a decade of battle and ILGA-Europe congratulate all activists involved in bringing this important victory about. Now, we will all together need to make sure that these changes are implemented at national level.
Read more.

Sexual and reproductive rights

Lesbian couples and single women will be able to access IVF in Malta

Maltese President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca signed the Embryo Protection (Amendment) Act on 21 June. As a result, same-sex couples and single women in Malta will be able to access IVF treatment domestically for the first time. The legislation had already been passed in a parliamentary vote but it still required presidential assent before it could become legally enforceable.
Read more.

Notice board

ILGA seeks a Director of Programmes and Administrative Support Officer

ILGA has announced two exciting job vacancies for Director of Programmes and Administrative Support Officer to be starting working in their office in Geneva. The Director of Programmes will manage the effective implementation of programmes and will have direct supervision of currently 4 team members situated in Geneva. The Administrative Support Officer will organise and co-ordinate practical preparation of meetings, conferences (including ILGA World Conferences), events and actions including procuring and booking venues, hotels and travel arrangements, contacts with participants, and preparing documentation as necessary. Don’t miss the deadlines, which are on 20 July and 16 July respectively.
Apply for the jobs at ILGA.

EPIM launches “Rethinking inclusion”

The European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM) launched “Rethinking inclusion” – a call for expressions of interest to unlock innovative solutions for migrant inclusion and social cohesion in Europe. Up to 20 shortlisted solutions will participate in a case study analysis and up to 8 solutions will be selected to be matched with stakeholders interested in adapting the solution in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Portugal or Sweden. Selected pairs will be awarded with capacity support grants of up to 30,000 EUR.
Apply here before 15 July.

Pro bono legal assistance from The American Bar Association

The American Bar Association has announced that its Justice Works Program is now open to offer technical legal assistance. The programme addresses violence impacting LGBTI people and supports civil society and the justice sector with tools and capacity. Justice Works offers free support to local partners through a network of pro bono lawyers and legal experts.
Read more and apply.

Call for papers - International conference "Breaking the barriers: improving access to justice for victims of anti-LGBT hate crimes"

University of Brescia (Italy), Lambda Warsaw (Poland), and GLAS Foundation (Bulgaria), together with partners from 10 European countries, announced the international conference “Breaking the barriers: Improving access to justice for victims of anti-LGBT hate crime”, organized within the framework of the EU-funded project ‘Come Forward’. It will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria on 20-21 September 2018.
Send your contributions by 23 July.