LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

June 2020

Romanian Parliament's ban on discussions related to gender identity for schools, President's hate speech in Poland, LGBTI-phobic attacks in Azerbaijan and Georgia, and much more...

 

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No. 297. June 2020. In this issue...

ILGA-Europe

Bodily integrity

Diversity

Education

Family

Hate crime

Hate speech

Legal gender recognition

Notice board

ILGA-Europe

The European Equality Gala went digital

COVID-19 meant that this June we took the European Equality Gala, ILGA-Europe’s annual fundraising party, online. Our very first Equality Gala Online on 25 June featured Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović; EU Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli; representatives of the European Parliament LGBTI Intergroup; frontline LGBTI activists; and drag artist and YouTube creator, Candy Crash. A huge thank you to our sponsor Google, and to all our supporters around Europe and beyond who attended and donated!
Our fundraising page is open until 9 July, and every contribution will help our work at a time when it was never more needed.
 

LGBTI organisations can still apply for the “No One Left Behind” Fund

Applications for ILGA-Europe’s “No One Left Behind” Fund are open until Sunday 5 July at 23:59 CEST. The Fund’s mission is to support the LGBTI movement’s capacity to effectively address socio-economic inequalities within LGBTI communities at this critical moment. The objective of this Fund is to enable LGBTI groups and organisations in Europe and Central Asia to gain the skills and knowledge, build alliances and relationships, and/or test new types of activities, with a view to developing longer-term responses to underlying causes of social and economic inequalities which increase the vulnerability and marginalisation of LGBTI people, especially in times of crisis.
Read more and apply.
 

20 years of ILGA-Europe’s third party interventions before the ECHR

20 years ago, on 15 June 2000, ILGA-Europe submitted our first third party intervention before the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Frette v France. To mark this anniversary, we reflect on how this intervention effectively marked the beginning of ILGA-Europe’s litigation work, which has developed exponentially in the recent years. Nowadays, third party intervention submissions are important and a big part of our litigation work addressing various aspects of LGBTI rights. (Photo: Council of Europe / Sandro Weltin)
Read more in our blog.
Read our blog on our work in the recent case Beizaras and Levickas v. Lithuania.
Learn more about ILGA-Europe’s litigation work.
 

New report launched on monitoring COVID-19 impact


Bodily integrity

‘Intersex rights still under attack in Europe, but there are good examples’

On 15 June, OII Europe launched their second Intersex Good Practice Map, which features eight examples of good practice from the areas of resolution, data collection, research, legal protection, campaigning, awareness raising, employment, and funding. “2019 has been a special year”, says Dan Christian Ghattas, Executive Director of OII Europe. “With the landmark European Parliament Resolution on the Rights of Intersex People the European Parliament has shown a clear awareness about the ongoing lack of protection of intersex people in Europe.”

Diversity

Black Lives Matter: The Global LGBTI community stands in solidarity

On 5 June, ILGA World published a video with messages from every corner of the world as the global LGBTI community came together to condemn racial injustice and police brutality, and call for transformative action to heal societies from discrimination.
Read more and watch the video message.

‘The European Commission must prioritise addressing police violence and structural racism in the EU’

On 12 June, ILGA-Europe and 150 organisations across Europe co-signed European Network Against Racism (ENAR)’s open letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to raise the serious concerns regarding the lack of reaction of EU leaders regarding police brutality against people of colour in Europe, as well as institutional and structural racism.
Read the full letter to EC President.

 


Education

Romanian Parliament approves ban on discussions in schools related to “gender identity theory or opinion”

On 16 June, the Romanian Parliament approved a new law as an amendment to the Romanian Education Law, which would ban discussions in schools and universities related to “gender identity theory or opinion”. The law will now go to the President for signing. Romanian civil society organisations are asking the President not to sign the law.
Read the joint letter to the President signed by 80 CSOs (in Romanian).

Family

Switzerland's National Council passes marriage equality

On 11 June, the National Council of Switzerland decided to pass the bill on marriage equality that would guarantee to same-sex couples the exact same rights as different-sex couples, including access to sperm donation and recognition of parenting and filiation. The vote was 132 to 52 with 13 abstentions. The bill now goes to the other house, the Council of States.

Freedom of assembly

The first-ever Global Pride was online with a 24-hour live event

On 27 June, Global Pride took place online with a 24-hour programme from all over the world. Over 500 Pride and LGBTQIA+ community organisations from 91 countries contributed more than 1,500 films to the Global Pride project, which was organised by a volunteer team of around 100 people from 24 countries, drawn mainly from Pride organisations around the world, led by European Pride Organisers Association and InterPride.

COVID-19 and digital security: How to organise safe Prides online

Despite the current challenges, Pride remains as an opportunity to come together for equality and celebrate our diversity. Many organisations have organised digital Pride events. Are you wondering how your organisation can prevent possible attacks online this month? For Pride Month and onwards, ILGA-Europe’s Programmes and Policy team shared some possible scenarios and tips for Pride organisers.

Hate crime

Trans sex worker was stabbed to death in Baku

On 18 June, a trans woman sex worker, Aysu Mammadli was stabbed to death by a person who introduced himself as a client in Azerbaijan’s capital city of Baku. According to LGBTI activists’ reports, her uncle threatened her after watching a blogger’s social media video about Aysu online. A criminal case has been opened under Article 120.1 of the Criminal Code.

Homophobic protesters throw paint at Tbilisi Pride office

On 7 June, ultraconservative leader Guram Palavandishvili, who organised anti-LGBTI protests for more than two weeks, posted a video online showing protesters throwing the paint at the Tbilisi Pride office. The Interior Ministry has launched Administrative proceedings for ‘petty hooliganism’. Tamaz Sozashvili, a member of Tbilisi Pride says that the protesters started showing up at their office on 17 May and the group had the right to protest but that this ‘shouldn’t violate other people’s rights’. Photo: Zneoba Daitsavi

Hate speech

The ECHR's clarification of the concept of 'hate speech'

On 12 May, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decided that the conviction by Iceland’s authorities of the author of homophobic comments online complied with the Convention. The Court clarified the concept of ‘hate speech’: its gravest forms are excluded entirely from the protection of Article 10 (freedom of expression) whereas less grave forms are not but can be restricted in certain circumstances. This second category includes speech without explicit call for violence targeting specific groups, depending on the content and manner of delivery. The prejudicial comments at stake, which publicly promoted detestation of gay persons, fell within this second category, and did not enjoy protection as a form of freedom of expression.

LGBT activists in Poland denounce President's hateful comments

On 13 June, Polish President Andrzej Duda accused the LGBT movement of advancing ideas that are more harmful than communism and said he agreed with another conservative politician who stated that “LGBT is not people, it's an ideology.” A few days earlier, Duda also committed the so-called “Polish Family Charter”, which directly discriminates against LGBTI people. Slava Melnyk, Executive Director of Kampania Przeciw Homofobii (KPH) and ILGA-Europe Board Member, spoke to Euronews English. He hopes that people will go to vote for a change in Polish elections.

Legal gender recognition

Kazakhstan made minimum age 21 for trans specific healthcare

On 17 June, the Parliament of Kazakhstan adopted a new Code on Health of the Nation and Healthcare System introducing a discriminatory norm for transgender people. The Code restricts the minimum age to be 21 to start transition and be able to access trans specific healthcare. The article 156 of the Code also includes non-sensitive language and contradicts the recommendations of the World Health Organisation under ICD-11. After having seized all national advocacy efforts, the trans initiative group Alma-TQ approached the international community to call upon Kazakhstan to correct the discriminatory norm in the Code. ILGA-Europe, TGEU and IGLYO issued a joint statement condemning the decision of the Parliament of Kazakhstan and continue communicating with UN and other international partners to support the trans community in Kazakhstan.

Notice board

Social Platform is looking for a Communications Officer

Social Platform is looking for a professional communicator to cover the maternity leave of their Communications and Media officer. The person will be responsible for Social Platform’s communications with different target audiences, including members, decision makers, journalists, funders and the public. It is a temporary position for six months (between September 2020 and February 2011).
Read more and apply by 15 July.

Webinars on LGBTI-phobia and Covid-19

BCU Centre for Security and Extremism in partnership with the International Network for Hate Studies is organising two webinars on LGBTI-phobia and Covid-19, including impact on violence and support services. The first event (9 July) looks at the problem more globally and the second one (15 July) focuses on the UK and the EU. Speakers include experts from (I)NGOs, international organisations, UK Government and academia.
Register for the webinar on 9 July.
Register for the webinar on 15 July.