LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

October 2017


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No. 266. October 2017. In this issue...




Equality and non-discrimination


Hate crime


Human rights defenders

Legal gender recognition

Notice board


Donate and help more victims

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we have helped resettle more than 20 refugees fleeing persecution in Chechnya. However, the crisis is not over. Victims continue to flee the region and seek safety across Europe. We need your help. Please give now so we can help more victims from Chechnya.
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Mass detention of Azeri LGBTI people continues

Arrests of (perceived) gay, bisexual, and trans people continued in October in the second largest city in Azerbaijan, Ganja. All have been released. In Baku the persecution also continues as those who were initially arrested are constantly called by the police officers with various demands for example to present themselves to the clinic for STI checks. ILGA-Europe issued a statement together with a long list of partner organisations to call for more actions from the international community.
Read the statement here

Council of Europe call for investigation into raids in Azerbaijan

On 11 October, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution on “The functioning of democratic institutions in Azerbaijan” which drew attention to far reaching issues and violations on human rights in the country.Also on 2 October, the Secretary-General, Jagland, also made a brief public statement.
Read more about the call here


Annual Conference 2017 kicking off in Warsaw

The Annual Conference 2017 will take place 1-4 November in Warsaw under the theme CHANGE! Communities Mobilising, Movements Rising. The programme is full of exciting speakers, over insightful 40 workshops and self organised spaces - and a riviting local programme for the nearly 600 participants.
Read more about the conference here

Job opportunity with ILGA-Europe as Communications Officer

We're looking for a highly skilled Communications Officer for our team in Brussels. The Communications Officer will be responsible for developing and implementing communications strategies and initiatives aimed at advancing ILGA-Europe’s organisational goals and messages. The Communications Officer will play a key role in leading our social media strategy, in coordinating our flagship project – the Rainbow Map - and other publications, and in developing new strategies to ensure effective communication with our membership. We are encouraging trans/gender-variant individuals, as well as people from ethnic and racial minority backgrounds to apply. Closing date Monday 20 November.
Read more bout the job opportunity here

Coming up! First-ever European LGBTI funding needs assessment

On 1 November, ILGA-Europe will launch a survey to assess the funding situation of LGBTI groups and organisations in Europe and Central Asia. We will be using the results to advocate for increased funding for LGBTI groups across Europe. Information resulting from the survey will also be shared with LGBTI organisations who wish to use the survey to inform their work. Watch the website of ILGA-Europe for the survey from 1 November

Voting Rainbow - LGBTI equality and election campaigns

How can you make the most out of the opportunities that elections represent for our movement across Europe? How can we mitigate the risks, counteract populist attacks and make politicians commit to promoting LGBTI rights? To discuss all these topics, on 6 October ILGA-Europe hosted a 90-minute live chat on Voting Rainbow - LGBTI Equality and Election Campaigns. Activists from the Netherlands, Albania, France and Czech Republic shared insights from their own recent experiences working on election campaigns. Contact Laura Piazza, Campaign and Programmes Officer, to retrive a recording of the webinar.

Campaign: Come Out for Mental Health

In October, ILGA-Europe launched a social media campaign around World Mental Health Day. There are a lot of reports, statistics and analysis out there on the mental health of LGBTI people… but talking about it still seems like a taboo subject. With the campaign we want to help to kick-start a conversation within the LGBTI community on mental health, provide good practices from our members, and a European wide resource on where to find help.
Read more about the campaign here 

Equality and non-discrimination

The Council of Europe makes history with its first specific resolution on the rights of intersex people

On 12 October, the Council of Europe adopted a resolution on the human rights of intersex people. This is the first intersex-specific resolution of its kind from a European intergovernmental institution. The plenary sitting of the CoE’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), 33 members voted in favour of the resolution that was based on a detailed report by rapporteur Piet de Bruyn.
Read more the resolution here

To watch: #EU4LGBTI stories - Monika & Pol

To mark the Intersex Awareness Day on 26 October, the EU campaign #EU4LGBTI the second testimony in the series of #EU4LGBTI stories, the story of Monika and Pol. Monika is an advocate of diversity in all its forms. When she met her partner Pol, he was not yet open about that fact that he is an intersex person. Together now, they are committed to raising awareness about intersex equality, the misunderstandings surrounding the topic and prejudices in society that relate to intersex.
Watch the video here



Estonian parliament votes down bill to repeal Registered Partnership Act

Lithuanian parliament adopts Family Law: No to same-sex families

Gay couple told to divorce

International Family Equality Day 2017: The report is out!


Hate crime

Hate crime targeting LGBTI people in Ukraine

In start October ILGA-Europe received alarming reports of attacks by right-wing extremists targeting the 2017 Equality Festival that took place in Zaporizhia. The event is organised by the LGBTI organisation Insight and has been operating under challenging circumstances for several years.
Read more about the attack here



New study: LGBTI people face health inequalities, barriers, and discrimination when accessing health services

Researchers, experts, and activists in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) health conducted a state-of-the-art review study and 12 focus groups in six EU Member States in the context of the EU funded pilot project Health4LGBTI.
Read more about the study here

European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week 2017: Safe, voluntary testing for key and most affected populations

Ahead of the European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week, 17 - 24 November, ILGA-Europe joined a statement from key population networks, regional networks, HIV and Hepatitis organisations.
Read the statement here

Overdiagnosed but Underserved: Trans Health Survey

The Trans Health Survey is the result of the work of Transgender Europe and its partner organisations in Georgia, Poland, Serbia, Spain, and Sweden. This is the first research on trans healthcare in which both trans healthcare users and healthcare providers have been questioned about the provision of general healthcare to trans people in the country they live and work in.
Find the results of the survey here

International Day of Action for Trans Depathologisation 2017

21 October is the International Day of Action for Trans Depathologisation. The day is used to call for the depathologisation of trans identities, so that trans people can have autonomy over their own lives, bodies, and identities. Pathologisation means that doctors and psychiatrists act as gatekeepers, and dictate what trans people can do with their lives, bodies, and identities. Depathologisation means that healthcare is provided on the basis of self-determination. It respects the indidivual's right over their own life, body, and identity.
Read here the statement from Transgender Europe

European Community Health Worker Online Survey

The first ever Europe-wide online survey has been launched with the aim of improving health care services for men who have sex with men (MSM). The ECHOES survey is the first of its kind to target community health workers who provide sexual health support including counselling, testing, and psychosocial care for MSM.
Read more about the survey here

Human rights defenders

Trial against Russian human rights defender

LGBTI activist and Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights member from Russia, Evdokia Romanova, was charged with “homosexual propaganda” on 26 July. The trial started on 18 October lasted five hours, before the judge issued a ruling on the culpability of Evdokia and awarded her a fine. The defense will appeal to the higher district court of the city of Samara.
Read more about the case here

Legal gender recognition

Greece improves gender recognition law but misses chance to introduce self-determination

On the 10 October, the Greek parliament voted to approve legislation on legal gender recognition in a plenary vote. The law will remove the need for trans people in Greece to undergo sterilisation to have their gender legally recognised; an outdated and oppressive practice that violates individuals’ bodily integrity. ILGA-Europe send their congratulations to the movement in Greece who have been relentlessly calling for change.
Read more about the new law here

Notice board

Job opportunity with Transgender Europe as Global Program and UN Officer

Transgender Europe (TGEU) is looking for a Global Program and UN Officer for their staff team based in Berlin. The Global Program and UN Officer will be responsible for implementing TGEU’s activities in relation to the UN as well as working together with the Transrespect Officer in implementing TGEU’s Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide (TvT) project. Deadline for applications: 15 November, noon CET.
Read more about opportunity here

Job opportunities with European Youth Forum

The European Youth Forum has three open vacancies for their staff team based in Brussels: Policy and Advocacy Director, Policy Officer (Social and Economic Inclusion) and Policy Officer (Regional & Global Cooperation). Deadline for applications for all three positions: 5 November 2017 at 23:59 (CET)
Read more about the opportunities here