LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey

ADVOCACY

 

The situation

 

Countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey region demonstrate low levels of acceptance towards LGBTI people. Economic and political instability tends to cause rising conservatism among countries which consequently force state authorities to purposefully ignore LGBTI rights. In the past 10 years, mainly due to integration into the European Union, significant improvements have been made in legislation - particularly anti-discrimination and hate crime. These legal changes however have not been accompanied by adequate implementation and the current levels are insufficient. While some progress has been made in increasing access of LGBTI organizations to cooperation with state institutions, the same cannot be said about LGBTI people who report low levels of trust towards state authorities and equality bodies. Moreover all countries of the region report of highly polarised societies where almost everything is controlled by political parties with little or low engagement from civil society groups or citizens participation. Even more worryingly some identities of the LGBTIQ* spectrum remain completely invisible to state authorities and in the worst case scenarios are abused and persecuted or even ignored in cases of demanding help. The situation is also grave in relation to hate crimes, hate speech, discrimination, eviction from home and poor access to opportunities and chances of intellectual and economic growth.

 

Our objectives

 

  • advocate for the promotion and protection of the rights of LGBTI people by state authorities;
  • raise awareness and knowledge of all stakeholders and the public on LGBTI related issues;
  • strengthen the role of our member organizations in the process of advocating and promoting their rights and influence public sector reform processes;

 

Actions

 

  • Develop advocacy action plan;
  • Hold Annual Working Conference in Pristina, Kosovo on October 2016 and create a platform for discussion and dialogue between national state authorities, LGBTI organizations, international community and other partners;
  • Organize advocacy meetings at national, regional and international levels with participation of LGBTI activists and relevant stakeholders (EU and others);
  • Develop advocacy briefs for member organizations and other stakeholders;
  • Develop capacity building programme on advocacy and EU integration process;
  • Develop toolkit on utilising EU integration process in advocacy activities;
  • Mentor member organizations in advocacy activities;
  • Support national and regional Prides and other awareness event;
  • Design and implement regional public campaigning strategy and action plan;
  • Actively participate in visibility actions and increase visibility of LGBTI rights through national, regional and international visibility platforms;
  • Create and promote diversified media and visibility platforms;
  • Create and distribute promotional materials;

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