LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey

About Us

OUR MISSION

ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey is a Regional Association of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer organizations from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey. Twenty-five LGBTI organizations from the region founded the Association on 15 September 2015 and granted to ERA the mandate to function as an umbrella organization at the regional and international levels. The seat of the Association is in Belgrade, Serbia.

ERA’s mission is to inspire positive change in the society, promote and advocate for human rights of people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and sex characteristics, by facilitating cooperation and providing resources and capacity development for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (LGBTI) movement across the Balkans and Turkey.

“ERA’s mission is to inspire positive change in the society”

LGBTI MOVEMENTS IN THE COUNTRIES OF THE WESTERN BALKANS AND TURKEY ARE STRONG

 

The LGBTI movements in the countries of the region have gone a long way from almost complete invisibility in the 1990’s to bringing the issues of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to the mainstreams forums and platforms of public and social debate. While until 10 to 15 years ago there were only a few groups and organizations operating in some countries of the region, today we can say with confidence that the LGBTI movements in the countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey are strong, reliable and real agents of change. The movements have given a face to the LGBTI communities and a voice to their needs. Organizations and activists across the region speak almost on a daily basis to politicians, decision makers and to the larger public by answering questions, providing information and changing the hearts and minds of everyone they meet. They are now the faces in front of cameras, students in classrooms, politicians in round tables with civil society organizations. They organize Prides, write petitions and demonstrate in front of Parliaments and Government buildings.

WE ARE HERE TO CREATE AND PROVIDE RESOURCES, GIVE A UNITED VOICE TO OUR COMMON CHALLENGES, IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES, RESPOND TO THREATS AND BUILD A COMMON PLATFORM FOR ADVANCING OUR RIGHTS.

 

By giving a face to their communities, however, LGBTI activists and organizations from across the region have been targets of the deep homophobia and transphobia that still affect our societies. Hate crimes and hate speech are always an issue across the region. National governments and Parliaments often fail to respond to the new realities and to the threats. Fearing votes and their own reputation they are not able to make a difference when needed. Policies are often inefficient, unrealistic and slow. Equality bodies have a long way to go before fully promoting the principles of non-discrimination and equal treatment. LGBTI people face big problems and challenges in the areas of security, employment, health, family, education and many aspects of their everyday lives, both private and public.

Being aware of the fact that these two realities co-exist and that there is still a lot to achieve we were inspired to come together. We want to improve our efforts in engaging with all stakeholders who have a role in shaping and improving our future. We are here to create and provide resources, give a united voice to our common challenges, identify opportunities, respond to threats and build a common platform for advancing our rights.

 

“We believe that our message is stronger when our voices and efforts are united!”

OUR OBJECTIVES

Our overall objective is to advance the rights and equality of LGBTI people in the Western Balkans and Turkey region, by:

  • Raising awareness and knowledge on LGBTI related issues in Western Balkans and Turkey; Strengthening the role of LGBTICSOs in Western Balkans and Turkey in the process of advocating and promoting LGBTI human rights protection and influencing public sector reform processes;
  • Advocating for LGBTI human rights in Western Balkans and Turkey on the European and other international levels;
  • Mainstreaming LGBTI related interests and needs within the European Union integration processes in Western Balkans and Turkey;
  • Developing capacities of the Association and LGBTICSOs in Western Balkans and Turkey; Building and facilitating a strategic approach towards networking and leveraging (inter)regional cooperation of LGBTICSOs and other stakeholders;
  • Empowering and supporting members organizations in their work;
  • Contributing towards financial sustainability of the LGBTI movement in the Western Balkans and Turkey region;
  • Providing, gathering and disseminating relevant, up to date and accessible knowledge about the status of LGBTI rights in Western Balkans and Turkey;
  • Identifying gaps, trends, priorities and opportunities, and measure changes in respect to the status of LGBTI rights;
  • Engaging with stakeholders, both national and international, and bring the regional LGBTI perspective therein and promote cross-sectoral partnership building;

Latest News

SERBIA

Serbian LGBTI organisations give mixed response to election of Ana Brnabić as Prime...

by Amarildo Fecanji  Belgrade 16 June 2017 - The appointment of 41-year-old Ana Brnabić as Prime Minister of Serbia has garnered...
CROATIA

Gay couple in Croatia denied request for joint adoption

8 June 2017 - Two gay men, in their mid-thirties, filed a suit against the Republic of Croatia, due to discriminatory action from...
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No more forced sterilization for trans people in Europe, but trans pathologisation...

This April, the European Court of Human Rights found that sterilization requirement in legal gender recognition violates human...
SERBIA

ECRI recommends Serbia to address violence against LGBT persons

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) , a human rights body of the Council of Europe published its new...
ALL COUNTRIES

International experts call on protection of trans and gender diverse children and...

In light of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on 17 May, a group of United Nations and...
MONTENEGRO

Association of transgender, intersex and gender variant persons "Spectra" is...

3 April 2017 - A new association has emerged in Montenegro focusing on trans, intersex and gender variant (TIGV) persons. Born...

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"This website has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. 
The content of the website is the sole responsibility of ERA and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union."