Posts Tagged ‘english’

LGBTI advocacy at the UN Human Rights Council

Online talk with Julia Ehrt from ILGA World and Helmut Metzner from the LSVD on 2 June 2020

In the first event of the series “Leave no one behind! Development cooperation and LGBTI perspectives”, Julia Ehrt, director of programs at ILGA World (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association), gave an overview of the structure and tasks of the Human Rights Council and of ILGA’s activities.

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The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

The Human Rights Council is the main human rights body at the United Nations. Its membership rotates, with 47 UN member states serving three-year terms. As of 1 January 2020 Germany is again a member, which also offers more opportunities for German civil society to have an influence.

The council meets for three sessions a year. Of special significance is its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, which assesses the human rights situation of all states every four to five years. The UPR process involves civil society, for example in the form of NGO shadow reports submitted in parallel to the official reports by member states. ILGA supports civil society organizations in drawing up and submitting these shadow reports. It can be done by a single NGO or by multiple NGOs working in concert. ILGA also invites activists to Geneva to ensure that first-hand reports can be heard about the situation of LGBTI people in the countries under review.

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Working together for LGBTI rights in Columbia — online discussion with Mauri Balanta Jaramillo from the El Chontaduro cultural center in Cali, Columbia on 12 November 2020

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Mauri Balanta Jaramillo

Trans women in particular, but also other members of the LGBTI community, face multiple forms of discrimination and violence on an everyday basis in Columbia. Mauri Balanta Jaramillo, a fellowship holder with the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa), reported on this situation in an online talk with Klaus Jetz, the executive director of the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD), which was attended by around 50 people. Balanta Jaramillo would have been working for three months at the LSVD office, but the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted those plans so she and Jetz conferred weekly online. She has first-hand experience with the situation in Columbia as an educational consultant and coordinator at the El Chontaduro cultural center and she herself is Black and queer.

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Call for LGBTI inclusion in development cooperation: The Yogyakarta Alliance

What does development cooperation have to do with lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, trans and intersex people (LGBTI)?

Online talk with Doug Kerr, Dignity Network Canada, Dr. Arn Sauer, researcher, Sarah Kohrt, Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation, and Helmut Metzner, LSVD (host) on 2 July 2020

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For many years the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD) and the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation have been calling for Germany to support more LGBTI projects in the Global South and eastern Europe. LGBTI human rights need to play a greater role in our foreign relations in general. This is the aim of an inclusion plan under development by the Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for which the LSVD, the Yogyakarta Alliance and other civil society organizations have formulated requirements. And it was the subject of an online talk on 2 July 2020, the second event in the series “Leave no one behind! Development cooperation and LGBTI perspectives”.

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Beijing +25 and LBTQ engagement — with Rashima Kwatra, Advocacy Advisor at RFSL Sweden

Canceled/Postponed due to illness: Web-talk with Rashima Kwatra, Advocacy Advisor at RFSL Sweden Beijing +25 and LBTQ engagement at the Generation Equality Process

When: Friday, 27 November, 11:30–12:15 CET
Who: Rashima Kwatra, Advocacy Advisor, RFSL Sweden
Moderators: Sarah Kohrt,Hirschfeld-Eddy-Foundation, Hala Maurice, Human Rights Activist and Researcher

This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the monumental Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995, which is considered to be the most pioneering agenda for advancing women and girl’s rights. Since then, the agenda has been adopted by 189 governments as a sign of commitment to advocate for gender equality around the globe.

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Advocacy at the UN for LBTQ women’s rights — An overview from ILGA World

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How is civil society advocating at the UN for the rights of LBTQ women? How can successes achieved by e.g. the CEDAW Committee be used to move national policies forward? What experience has been gained in strategic processes and community-based lobbying? ILGA World held a web seminar on this topic together with IWRAW Asia Pacific and RFSL in April 2020.

CEDAW creates the space for political advocacy, it has a specific focus on women’s rights and on marginalized communities in which NGOs play an important role,” said Marisa Hutchinson from International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW). Her organization supports activists during the CEDAW reporting process by mentoring them on tactical and strategic lobbying.

Marisa Hutchinson, Copyright : ILGA World

CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979 and has been ratified by 189 countries. The CEDAW Committee at the UN is an independent body of experts that monitors implementation of the CEDAW Convention. It meets three times a year. “It creates space for women’s groups and activists to share solidarity and knowledge of their common goals and priorities in terms of women’s human rights,” said Hutchinson.

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Defending the patriarchy as the root of opposition to SRHR

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What does the term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” – or SRHR for short – actually mean? What role do its topics play in international discussions of human rights? Where are these issues debated and negotiated, and who are the main actors? Katrin Erlingsen from the DSW — Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung explained the concept of SRHR in a web seminar from the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation.

Abortion, pregnancy, Global South, children, contraception, self-determination, freedom — these are just a few of the key terms that immediately occurred to participants in the online seminar on the history, definition and status of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The playful initial call for associations revealed the multifaceted nature of SRHR. The seminar featured Katrin Erlingsen, an expert on SRHR who heads the German advocacy work of DSW (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung) and Sarah Kohrt from the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation. Initiated, organized and hosted by Kohrt, the seminar was the first in a series of events on the Beijing+25 Process.

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Some religious leaders blame LGBTI for the pandemic — The impact of faith on LGBTI people during the Covid-19 pandemic

This article covers a side event organised by GIN-SSOGIE at the UN Human Rights Council on “Using inclusive narratives around faith and tradition to support human rights advocacy on the continent”. 

In numerous countries, the Covid-19 pandemic is being used by political and religious leaders as a tool to further propagate homophobic and transphobic messaging. LGBTIQ communities globally are therefore put at an increased risk of discrimination, violence and the denial of vital services.

In a dialogue titled “The impact of faith on LGBTI people during the COVID-19 pandemic”, representatives of civil society organisations discussed both personal and regional experiences and the impact of harmful conservative rhetoric and practices as well as ways to resist it in order to bring about inclusive systemic change.

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Intersectionality is not a synonym for diversity

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Key topics at a high-level online event held by the UN LGBTI Core Group during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly in late September 2020 were intersectionality, protecting the rights of LGBTI people, and lessons learned from the pandemic.

While all LGBTI persons experience discrimination and exclusion, we do not experience discrimination and violence in the same way,” said Jessica Stern at the opening of the high-level event held by the UN LGBTI Core Group during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly in late September 2020. The UN LGBTI Core Group is an informal group of UN member states that was founded in 2008 with Germany involved from the start (see boxed info text).

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UN General Assembly celebrates Beijing+25: Accelerating gender equality

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The year 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. In early October 2020 the anniversary was celebrated during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York with a high-level event and many speakers.

A key result of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 was its Platform for Action, in which 189 countries specified twelve strategic goals for gender equality. Although important progress has been made since 1995 such as a decrease in maternal mortality rates, the speakers at the high-level event at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly all agreed that not enough has been done.

Peking+25

Yet no country can claim to have achieved gender parity, and the current crisis threatens to erode hard-earned gains,” said the president of the 75th General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, at the event entitled “Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.UN General Secretary António Guterres also warned of setbacks. “Covid-19 could wipe out a generation of fragile progress toward gender equality.

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Family diversity in Geneva – A side event on families and religion at the UN Human Rights Council

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How can different types of families be better protected during and after the Covid-19 pandemic? Who decides what a family is, and (how) is religion being instrumentalised for this purpose? What obligations do UN member states have regarding family diversity? These are just some of the questions that civil society organizations discussed at a side event for the UN Human Rights Council.

Our goals are to make family diversity more visible and to highlight the experience and reality of rainbow families in different regional, cultural and religious contexts,” says Maria von Känel, co-founder and board member of International Family Equality Day (IFED), a global network for family diversity.

Throughout human history there have always been different models of family and community life,” adds Simon Petitjean from the Global Interfaith Network. “The UN system and its states have a responsibility to respect the human rights of all family members without distinction of any kind, and this is of particular importance in times of crisis when inequalities are heightened and reinforced.”

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