Requirements for the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Communication, documentation and support
Update: On March 3, 2021, the German Federal Cabinet adopted the “LGBTI Inclusion Concept of the Federal Government for Foreign Policy and Development Cooperation”. All facts and background information in our blog: Finally! The German government approves an LGBTI inclusion plan for foreign policy and development cooperation.
Deutsche Fassung hier
The German Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) are planning to produce an “LGBTIQ* Inclusion Plan for Foreign Policy and Development Cooperation,” with input from civil society. This was announced on 1 June 2017 at the “Time to react” conference held at the Foreign Office in Berlin. One of the basic demands of the Yogyakarta Alliance is therefore being met. Here is the first draft of a list of requirements for the Inclusion Plan from the Yogyakarta Alliance. This list of requirements is intended to serve as a basis for discussion and to encourage far-reaching and critical input from civil society. Your statements, position papers and comments are very welcome. Now is the time!
- Cooperation with civil society
Protecting human rights independently of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) requires comprehensive cooperation and continuous dialogue between the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and civil society. The BMZ supports this cooperation in both Germany and partner countries.
- Financial support
The BMZ will allocate X percent of funding in the fields of poverty, health, education and training, good governance, conflict resolution, and police training as well as Y percent of funding for human rights work to the support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and inter* people (LGBTI).
- Bilateral level as recourse
If the allocation listed in point 2 for the support of LGBTI persons and organizations is not possible within the existing funding mechanisms or because of other legal or political framework conditions, this work and associated funds will be transferred instead to NGOs that promote human rights for LGBTI and are active internationally with the requisite contacts.
- Knowing what’s happening
For each legislative period the BMZ will produce a report on LGBTI life situations and on the work by organizations that promote human rights independently of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC). These reports will cover all partner countries, which means countries that work with the BMZ, with organizations linked (subordinate) to the BMZ, and with NGOs funded by the BMZ. The reports will cover at least the topics of health, safety, violence, discrimination, legal situation, political participation, and education and employment.
- Actively pursuing contacts and listening to local voices
The BMZ will integrate communication with local LGBTI organizations into the regional consultation mechanisms (country programs) in both formal and informal ways. If no contact persons are known in the regions or respective countries, the closest trans-regional organization will be involved, such as PanAfrica ILGA, ILGA Asia, Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL), LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey (ERA) etc.
- Diversity as personnel policy
When hiring and employing and also when awarding contracts in partner countries, the BMZ will ensure that LGBTI persons can take part in these opportunities too. To the extent allowed by regional laws, this will also be expressed in the announcements or calls for applications. The German development cooperation organizations that receive full or partial government funding are of course also required to make clear that different genders and sexual orientations have a place with them.
Development cooperation organizations based in Germany, political foundations, and other NGOs that receive funds from the BMZ and provide grants to local organizations in partner countries are required to check the actual practice of these organizations in order to ensure that they are not involved in persecuting, stigmatizing or withholding basic rights from LGBTI persons. This requirement starts with the grant application procedure. If the Germany-based development cooperation organizations, political foundations, and other NGOs that receive funds from the BMZ are unable to check local organizations themselves, this will be entrusted to a civil society organization (see point 12).
- Conditionality, and commitment to civil society
The BMZ will generally make less funding for development assistance and economic cooperation available to governments of countries that persecute LGBTI people. Instead more funding will be redirected to NGOs, companies and trade unions in the region. Care must be taken via appropriate local consultation to ensure that the justification for redirecting funds in no way leads to worsening the situation, creating risks or other disadvantageous effects for LSBTI people (see point 5).
- SOGIESC public committee
To mediate and resolve cases of conflict under point 8, emergency or similar situations, a public SOGIESC committee will be founded with participation by LGBTI civil society and migrant organizations.
- Cultures and colonialism
The BMZ will launch a special “Cultures and colonialism” program to promote organizations, persons and groups that compile and document histories, life stories and traditions of regional “homosexualities, sexualities and histories of genders”. This will expressly include reflection on Germany’s missionary history and responsibility for colonialism. In addition, joint efforts with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will be launched for a corresponding program with researchers and universities in partner countries.
Starting with the current legislative period, the progress of this Action Plan will be evaluated annually in a public process that includes civil society.
- All of the tasks and aims in this Action Plan that cannot be implemented within the existing structure of the BMZ or its implementing organizations will be transferred along with the funding to organizations in Germany as described in point 3.
- Dialogue and public funding law
The BMZ will set up a working group to increase flexibility under public funding law. The working group will include representatives of the implementing organizations, GIZ, and private sponsors of development cooperation (NGOs). Its aim is to shape prescriptions and measures under public funding law to also give smaller NGOs in both Germany and the global South a realistic chance to participate in development cooperation.
- German version of this paper here
- Chronology of an LGBTI* inclusion plan for foreign policy and development cooperation ‒ from calls by civil society to a government paper
- The long and winding road to an LGBTI inclusion plan for German development cooperation and foreign policy (Background article)
Experts respond to the 13-Point List of Requirements for the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development here