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No. 236. April, 2015. In this issue...


Bias-motivated speech

Equality and non-discrimination


Freedom of assembly

Foreign policy


Human rights defenders

Legal gender recognition

Notice board



Save the date - Rainbow Europe revamped

Once again, ILGA-Europe will mark the run-up to International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (17 May) by putting together a package of invaluable resources that you and your colleagues can refer to all year round: Rainbow Europe Map, Annual Review and the new Rainbow Module. The Rainbow Module is a free online collection of all the data that lies behind the colourful Rainbow Europe Map, accessible to view on your desktop, tablet or smartphone. Be ready on Sunday 10 May from 19.30!

Theme for the Annual Conference 2015

The theme for the Annual Conference 2015 is Many Voices, One Movement – Together, mobilized for a just society. Learning from the rich conversations at the Annual Conference last year in Riga, we plan to ask ourselves some challenging questions this year. Athens will provide the backdrop for discussions on how we can consolidate our victories and engage the entire movement. Registration for the Annual Conference 2015 start later in May.
Read more about the theme here

Job opportunity with ILGA-Europe: Litigation Officer

ILGA-Europe is currently looking for a Litigation Officer. Closing date for receipt of applications: 12 May 2015,17.00 CET !

Training on “Financial Management and Funds Administration: towards Sustainable Change”

On 31 March - 2 April 2015, ILGA-Europe organised the training on Financial Management and Administration in Budapest for the second time. The training lasted 3 days and was attended by 20 LGBTI activists from NGOs from all across the Europe.

Bias motivated speech

Input provided to upcoming ECRI General Policy on hate speech

ILGA-Europe participated in a stakeholders’ consultation meeting, to exchange views on the draft text of the upcoming General Policy Recommendation on combating hate speech from the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI). The policy follows on last month's statement by ECRI, the Fundamental Rights Agency and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR): "Values threatened by hate speech must be reinforced"

Equality and non-discrimination

Nils Muižnieks: 2014 was a bad year for human rights in Europe

“Last year thousands of people died who should not have died, primarily in the Mediterranean Sea and in eastern Ukraine. They should not have died in a Europe that prides itself on being a space where the rule of law and democracy prevails, on a continent that claims to have drawn lessons from its own bloody and violent history,” said Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while presenting his annual activity report. LGBTI rights are referred to with a special focus on issues for intersex people, children’s rights and activities on IDAHOT 2014.


Upcoming event: Families without borders – freedom of movement for LGBTI families

The wait for marriage equality continues in Northern Ireland

ILGA-Europe was disappointed to learn of the vote on Monday, 27 April 2015 by the Northern Ireland Assembly to reject marriage equality for the fourth time in recent years.
Read more about the vote here

Freedom of assembly

LGBTI street actions in Russia held despite fierce opposition

LGBTI street actions in Moscow and St Petersburg on the Day of Silence, April 17th, were held despite disruption attempts, attacks, and threats. In St Petersburg activists encountered aggression from violent oppositional groups, but reportedly had certain support from the police; in Moscow the protest was dispersed by the police officers and had to be moved to remote city areas.
Find out more about two actions in St Petersburg here, and the Moscow rally here

Pride event to be held for the first time in Gdansk

On 30 May, the first ever Pride event will be held in the Polish city, Gdansk, under the motto "We are Family.
Read more about the Pride event here

Foreign policy

EU leaders demand answers from Kyrgyz President over anti-LGBTI, anti-NGO bills

During an official visit by Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev in late March, EU leaders have sought reassurances over pending bills seeking to limit the rights of LGBTI people and civil society in general. Kyrgyzstan is considering an anti-LGBTI 'propaganda' bill, which would outlaw any public information 'aimed at forming positive attitudes toward non-traditional sexual relations'. Anyone found guilty could be jailed for 12 months.
Read more on the website of the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBTI Rights


CJEU issue preliminary ruling in French blood donation case

On 29 April, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the imposition by EU member states of blood donation bans for men who have sex with men may be justified, depending on the situation in each individual member state.

Reports on barriers and discrimination in health care

Call on the Czech Minister to withdraw proposal on mandatory HIV testing of key populations

The HIV/AIDS Civil Society Forum sent a letter to the Czech Minister of Health to withdraw the proposed amendment to the Public Health Protection Act that would allow mandatory HIV-testing of certain high-risk individuals and key populations. The proposed amendment does not only violate fundamental rights of people and several international obligations of the Czech Republic but is also counterproductive from the epidemiological point of view and disregards internationally approved HIV testing and counselling standards, good practices and scientific evidence.

Conference day on trans* health

RFSL, The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, is organising a conference day on trans* health on 13 June. The day will aim to bring more insight in new findings and progress both from Sweden and other European countries.

Human rights defenders

Tear gas attack on Russian LGBT organisation

‘Maximum’ LGBT organisation in Murmansk, Russia, which had earlier been labeled as a ‘foreign agent NGO’ and fined 300 000 rubles, became target of a tear gas attack on 14 April. Two persons were in the office at the time of the attack. A criminal investigation has been launched in relation to the incident on grounds of a complaint filed by the organisation’s lawyer.

Legal gender recognition

Malta celebrates landmark gender identity law

On 1 April, the Maltese parliament approved an historic Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act. ‘To say that this Act is a groundbreaking human rights milestone is almost an understatement.’ commented Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, Paulo Côrte-Real. ‘It provides an inspirational benchmark for other European countries that need to improve their own LGBTI equality standards. The Act is a beacon of hope - and bears testament to the political leadership and hard work of the LGBTI movement in Malta.’

Council of Europe report shines spotlight on trans discrimination

On 22 April, the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) passed a wide-ranging trans rights resolution - an important resolution and the first report on trans issues by the Assembly to reflect fully the needs and perspectives of trans people in Europe.

NGOs join forces on the legal gender recognition procedure in Ukraine

Ukrainian LGBT organisation ‘Insight’, Transgender Europe, and Human Rights Watch submitted an allegation letter on legal gender recognition procedure in Ukraine. The letter documents how provisions of the current procedure and the manner in which it is implemented violate internationally protected human rights of trans people in Ukraine, including the right to health and the prohibition on inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. The complainants ask the Special Rapporteurs to raise these violations with the government of Ukraine and propose recommendations to redress them.

Collective complaint on sterilisation requirement in Czech Republic

Transgender Europe and ILGA-Europe submitted a complaint to the European Social Charter on the compulsory sterilisation requirement in Czech Republic. Trans people are in the Czech Republic imposed mandatory sterilisation if they wish to change their personal documents so that they reflect their gender identity.

TGEU Legal Practitioners Seminar

Transgender Europe is organising its second legal practitioners’ seminar on 18-19 June in Zagreb, Croatia. Practitioners from across Europe will come together to share learning, discuss strategies relating to cases currently being pursued on a domestic level, identify gaps in the legal situation of trans people and explore how these gaps can be closed using strategic litigation both at the European Court of Human Rights and European Court of Justice.
Read more about the seminar here

Notice board

Job opportunity with Transgender Europe: Communications Officer

Transgender Europe is looking for a part time (80%, 32h per week) Communications Officer. The place of work is located in Berlin, Germany. Deadline for applications: 4 May.
Read more about the job opportunity here

Job opportunity with Victim Support Europe: Policy Officer

Victim Support Europe is currently looking for a dynamic, passionate and experienced Policy Officer with a track record of delivering at national or international level. The post will be based in our head office in Brussels. Deadline for applications: 17 May.
Read more about the job opportunity here

Annual Conference of European LGBT Christian Groups

The European Forum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Groups is having its annual conference in France on 21-25 May. Theme of this year is Intercultural contacts: Babel or Pentecost?
Read more about the Annual Conference here

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ILGA-Europe Rainbow Digest is published by ILGA-Europe - the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association

ISSN 1998-8117
Editor: Mehmet Akin
Contact us

This publication has been produced with the financial support of the Rights Equality and Citizenship (REC) programme 2014-2020 of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of ILGA-Europe and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.