Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung Recht

Religion first? Trump seeks to redefine human rights

Beitrag auf Deutsch

If an international ministerial is convened to discuss a single human right, that must be a very special human right indeed. All the more so if the ministerial is hosted by the US government, which otherwise keeps its distance from such gatherings. In 2018 the US withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council, and has recently stopped funding the World Health Organization (and is even obstructing the work of the World Trade Organization). However, Washington has now held two international “Ministerials to Advance Religious Freedom”, in 2019 and 2018. Germany was represented by a delegation that included a state secretary from the CSU-led Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ).


The Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation has therefore sent a letter to the BMZ, warning it against privileging freedom of religion above all other human rights. We also reminded the BMZ that freedom of religion includes the right not to have any religion, and that LGBTI people are regularly prevented from practicing their religions, for example when they are unwelcome at churches.

Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung Veranstaltungen Verband

The churches must become part of the solution – and no longer part of the problem

Opening statement by Sarah Kohrt, LGBTI Platform for Human Rights at the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation, at the 2019 Evangelischer Kirchentag (German Protestant Church Conference)

Deutsche Fassung hier

Foto: Wolfgang Schürger

Thank you very much for the invitation to speak here, which I greatly appreciate. It is wonderful to see that the Kirchentag has had a Rainbow Center for many years now. That is an important step – just like events such as this one today.

My talk will consist of four theses. The first comes from a text written by Tim Kuschnerus, the managing director of the Protestant office of the Joint Conference Church and Development (GKKE), for the blog of the LSVD (Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany): “The Christian churches are part of the problem. This realization can lead to only one conclusion in my opinion: churches, and by that I mean primarily their development organizations here in Germany, must work toward becoming part of the solution.”


Congratulations to the LEGABIBO organization

Landmark judgment on decriminalization in Botswana

Deutsche Fassung hier

Good news from Botswana – on 11 June 2019 the country’s High Court lifted the ban on homosexual practices! Activists at the courtroom in the capital city of Gabarone broke into cheers and waved rainbow flags.

This landmark judgment, which resonates well beyond the borders of Botswana, will hopefully serve as a model in Africa and other Commonwealth nations! Our congratulations to the lesbians, gay men and bisexuals of Botswana and especially to the LEGABIBO organization (Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana), because it was instrumental in filing and successfully representing the case.

Criminalization violates the right to privacy

Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung Projekte Veranstaltungen

The Long, Successful Fight to Decriminalise Same-Sex Relations in Botswana

Event with Caine Youngman, LEGABIBO in Berlin, July 18 2019 

Foto: Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung: Felix Reimer, Caine Youngman, Sarah KohrtThe GIZ Rainbow Network and Hirschfeld-Eddy-Foundation cordially invited to a talk and discussion with Caine Youngman, human rights activist from Botswana and advocacy manager for “Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals of Botswana” (LEGABIBO). In June 2019, the High Court of Botswana declared unconstitutional a colonial law criminalising consensual same-sex sexual relations.

The ruling came after years of legal action, advocacy and community-building by LEGABIBO, Botswana’s largest LGBTI organisation, and its allies.


Caine Youngman, Botswana human rights activist and LEGABIBO’s advocacy manager in conversation with Sarah Kohrt, Project lead LGBTI platform human rights at Hirschfeld-Eddy-Foundation.

A quick review of the event by Felix Reimer, GIZ Rainbow Network: 


Decriminalization: our guidelines for international support

Proposed by the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation

Deutsche Fassung hier

The Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation was launched in 2007 as th­e human rights organization of the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD). It supports non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in countries of the global South and East by calling for donations and giving all funds collected to these NGOs.

Another key focus is to raise awareness of the situation of LGBTI people among policy makers and the public. Long-term contact with our partner NGOs is crucial for international work on human rights.

Decriminalization of homosexuality and trans identities is a major aim of the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation’s efforts, as is the protection of intersex people against medical procedures without their consent.

In recent years people all over the world have become increasingly aware of serious human rights violations against LGBTI people. There are now numerous important multilateral state initiatives as well as a growing civil society movement worldwide.

The Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation is one of the few organizations in Germany that focuses exclusively on these issues. We are often asked what a united international approach to decriminalization and human rights for LGBTI people would look like, so we have compiled some basic guidelines here. 

Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung Recht Verband

Mandat des Unabhängigen UN-Experten für SOGI muss erhalten werden

Gemeinsame Erklärung von internationalen NGOs beim UN-Menschenrechtsrat

Die UN hat 2016 den ersten unabhängigen Experten für SOGI ernannt. Das Mandat ist für die Dauer von drei Jahren eingerichtet. Im Juli 2019 stimmt UN-Menschenrechtsrat bei seiner 41. Sitzung über die Verlängerung dieses wichtigen Mandats ab.

Der thailändische Rechtsprofessor Vitit Muntarbhorn hat das Amt zunächst inne. Er veröffentlicht seine ersten beiden Berichte hier . Im Herbst 2017 übernimmt  Victor Madrigal-Borloz sein Amt und veröffentlich im Mai 2018 seinen ersten Bericht hier

Die Website des Unabhängigen Experten zum Schutz vor Diskriminierung und Gewalt aufgrund der sexuellen Orientierung und Geschlechtsidentität ist beim Hochkommissariat der Vereinten Nationen für Menschenrechte (OHCHR) hier zu finden.

Um die Erneuerung des Mandats zu unterstützen haben über tausend  NGOs (Nichtregierungsorganisationen) eine Stellungnahme abgegeben. Phylesha Brown-Acton hat sie beim UN-Menschenrechtsrat vorgestellt. LSVD/Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung haben es auch unterzeichnet. Hier die Erklärung im Wortlaut in englischer Sprache.

Aktualisierung: am 12.7.2019 stimmt der UN-Menschenrechtsrat mit klarer Mehrheit für die Erneuerung des Mandats. Mehr hier.


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.