13-point-paper: Preliminary considerations from a civil society perspective for an LGBTI- Inclusion Plan

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!

Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung Projekte

That’s exactly what we need

Experts respond to the 13-Point List of Requirements for the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Artikel in deutscher Fassung

Throughout the world lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex people (LGBTI) face enormous discrimination and persecution and sometimes even the death penalty. Although Germany is one of the major players in development cooperation, it has no strategy for improving the situation of LGBTI people. In 2012 we therefore began assembling the fundaments for creating an inclusion strategy for development cooperation.

The goal was also part of the impetus for the founding of the Yogyakarta Alliance in 2012. In November 2017 we then had the chance to present our proposals to the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Foreign Office. We developed the following 13-point paper for that purpose. And we want the new German government to take up these demands. 

Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung Projekte

It’s time for a postcolonial policy

Colonialism and Development Policy

Artikel in deutscher Fassung

I deeply regret that such laws were introduced,” said British Prime Minister Theresa May in April 2018. This was her first public statement of regret for the suffering  Photo: Plaque at the site of the 1884-85 Congo Conference in Berlin’s Wilhelmstraßecaused by the anti-gay laws of British colonialism. The British exported their homophobic legal system into most their colonies, instilling a legacy that continues to this day. Same-sex relations are still illegal in 36 of the 53 countries that make up the Commonwealth. British NGOs are attempting to address this part of their colonial history. For years they have been urging their government to apologize.

Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung Veranstaltungen

Results from the conference “Time to react – Creating an enabling environment for civil society”

First conference on “shrinking spaces” with an LGBTI focus

Artikel in deutscher Fassung

Following a number of years in which liberation movements around the world were making successful progress, a dangerous counter-movement has recently arisen. It seeks to restrict the scope for action on the part of organizations and groups in civil society, and “shrinking spaces” is the term used to describe the phenomenon internationally. In many countries, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are being confronted with laws to preserve national values, bans on funding from abroad, and prohibitive administrative requirements, as well as the consequences of international laws to combat money laundering. These developments restrict primarily the freedoms of assembly and expression. Often they are accompanied by smear campaigns, hate speech in the media, and animosity toward minorities. 

Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung Verband

Cultures of acceptance – On the roles of (Diaspora) literature

Olumide Popoola and Elnathan John in Berlin

Artikel auf Deutsch

Olumide Popoola, a German-Nigerian author and performer, has just returned from a reading tour in Nigeria to present her new book When We Speak of Nothing.

Olumide Popoola and Elnathan John at Afrika-Haus Berlin, photo: Afrika-HausPopoola’s novel tells the story of Karl, a young black Londoner, who travels to Nigeria for the first time at the age of 18 to visit his father, whom he has never met, in Port Harcourt. Karl is a trans man whose passport still shows the sex he was assigned at birth. In Port Harcourt he gets a serious case of culture shock, remains much longer than planned, falls in love, and loses contact with his best friend Abu in London. It is a novel about friendship and what it means to grow up black in London today. 


Strategien gegen Homo- und Transphobie in Nigeria

Crossings and Alliances mit Elnathan John und Olumide Popoola

Elnathan John, Autor von „An einem Dienstag geboren“ und Olumide Popoola, Autorin von „When we speak of Nothing“ diskutierten am 07.12.2017 im Berliner Afrikahaus über Möglichkeiten, sich für die Verbesserung der Lebenssituation von Lesben und Schwulen und von transgeschlechtlichen  Menschen in Nigeria einzusetzen. Eine Veranstaltung der Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung in Kooperation dem Afrika-Haus Berlin und InterKontinental, Agentur für afrikanische Literatur im Rahmen der Reihe „Crossings & Alliances”.

Blog Artikel (Deutsch)

Crossings & Alliances with Elnathan John and Olumide Popoola

Elnathan John, author of Born on a Tuesday, and Olumide Popoola, author of When We Speak of Nothing, discussed ways of helping to improve the situation of LGBT people in Nigeria at the Afrika-Haus in Berlin on 7 December 2017. The event was organized by the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation together with the Afrika-Haus Berlin and the InterKontinental agency for African literature, as part of the Crossings & Alliances series.

Blog article (English)


Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung Veranstaltungen

To weaken civil society is to attack democracy

Conference held by the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation and the German Federal Foreign Office on 1 June 2017

Artikel in deutscher Fassung

These problems have long been familiar to LGBTI people: hurdles placed in the way of registering their organisations, prohibitions on gay pride demonstrations, restricted rights of assembly, funding difficulties, bureaucratic requirements that stifle activism, smear campaigns by the media, and threats to life and limb. In many countries, human rights defenders are still restricted in their possibilities for action.

What is new is the phenomenon of the “shrinking space”, a term that describes increasingly sophisticated means used in ever more countries to target and limit the work of a growing number of civil society groups. On 1 June 2017, the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation and the German Federal Foreign Office held a half-day conference dedicated to this phenomenon. 

Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung Veranstaltungen Verband

Closing Space and the freedom of association

Video Message by Monica Tabengwa, Pan Africa ILGA on the LEGABIBO Botswana court case, other cases of freedom of association in Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria and on the importance of the right to register

Monica Tabengwa, Director of Pan Africa ILGA at the “Time to react” conference organized by Hirschfeld-Eddy-Foundation and the German Federal Foreign Office, in Berlin, 1  June 2017, read the full transcription:

Hi my name is Monica Tabengwa. I’m the director of Pan Africa ILGA. I come from Botswana. I’m a lawyer and my work, for all of my life I’ve been a human rights activist.

In particular I’ve worked with women’s rights and now I work with LGBTI rights. I worked in Botswana with an organisation called LEGABIBO, which is Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals in Botswana. What I should tell you about Botswana is firstly, I mean you all know, they criminalise same-sex conduct. It’s important that you understand that same-sex conduct is not homosexuality that is criminalised. But of course people understand that differently. And so what you do get is that people think that being gay, lesbian, transgender is what is criminalised. And so because of that there are some issues where the LGBTI community is finding themselves being discriminated or their rights being violated because of the perception that their sexuality is criminalised. And one these is being able to register, being able to associate as a group, registrar society that works within Botswana for their rights. 

Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung Veranstaltungen

Time to react – Creating an enabling environment for civil society

Invitation to the International conference at the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, 1 June 2017

Despite positive developments and stronger movements toward democracy in many countries, the opposite tendency is also evident on a global scale. Civil societies are under threat from actions taken not only by authoritarian but also by democratic governments.

Before I knew what that ? ‘shrinking space’ was supposed to mean, our organization was affected“, says Henri Tiphagne, Director of People’s Watch in India. Many different types of action are restricting civil society. These include legally enacted legislation or administrative regulations that affect women’s rights groups, foundations, human rights organizations, and land rights and environmental protection work. They also include relatively new laws designed to protect national values or identities, which are used to criminalize vaguely defined unpopular political action. NGOs are finding it increasingly difficult to meet the registration requirements in many countries. New laws also make it harder to receive funding from abroad.

Organizations for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) have long faced registration challenges, especially in countries that criminalize homosexual acts. 


Marriage Equality in Germany — A Time Line

7th July 2017: The Same-Sex Marriage Act passes the Bundesrat on 7th July. The act passes both chambers without a change to the constitution.

30th June 2017: Vote in the Bundestag: 393 deputies vote for equality, 226 are against, and four abstain.

28th June 2017: The Bundestag Committee on Legal Affairs recommends by majority vote that marriage should be opened to same-sex couples on the basis of the bill drafted by the Bundesrat.

27th June 2017: CDU and CSU permit their deputies to vote as they wish – there is no party whip on the vote.

26th June 2017: In a TV panel discussion, Chancellor Merkel softens her opposition to same-sex marriage and suggests the issue should be the subject of a free (conscience) vote in parliament.

25th June 2017: In his speech at the SPD party conference, SPD candidate for chancellor Martin Schulz vows he will not sign a coalition agreement that does not pledge to introduce same-sex marriage.

24th June 2017: FDP Chairman Christian Lindner also declares: no coalition without same-sex marriage.

17th June 2017: At their party conference, the Green Party make same-sex marriage a condition of a post-election coalition.

April 2017: The LSVD adopts a resolution on its petitions for the Bundestag election 2017. Among other issues, we ask all the parties: do you undertake only to sign a coalition agreement if it contains a pledge to legalize same-sex marriage?