The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has been drawing attention to gender-based violence and discrimination for many years. The Assembly is now working on a report titled “The fight for a level playing field – ending discrimination against women in the world of sport”, which will result in a resolution to be adopted by the Assembly in 2021.
Inputs can be:
The format for submissions is informal, and can include individual testimonies, statistical data, or descriptions of situations and practices affecting these communities.
Inputs are due by 31 January 2021.
The questions on your email address and inclusion of reference to you or your organisation in the survey are mandatory; all other questions may be skipped if you choose.
Cianán B. Russell, Ph.D. (EN: they/them, ES: elle/le/*e)
Senior Policy Officer
Mobile/WhatsApp: +32 478 12 0076
Rue du Trône 60, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 609 54 10 • Fax: +32 2 609 54 19 • www.ilga-europe.org
Tangentially to my visit to the Crescent Arts Centre I was walking out of the centre and saw four booklets/leaflets which all generated from the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and covering ‘discrimination’:
A short guide to the role and services of the Equality Commission
Gender Discrimination – Treated unfairly because of your gender?
Sexual Orientation Discrimination – Treated unfairly because of your sexual orientation?
Transgender Discrimination – Treated unfairly because of your gender identity?
I am highlighting these booklets/leaflets because the United Kingdom is currently undergoing seismic changes due to our withdrawal from Europe (Brexit). The impact of which we are only just beginning to see, but for those in minority groups the impact is becoming obvious through physical attacks, intimidation and verbal abuse by our an unwillingness to treat others with respect and care.
This disseminates through the rhetoric of many of our politicians, both national and local, and their thoughts and comments are often acted upon by individuals who have been easily swayed by what the politicians have said.
So back to my starting point, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, if you feel that yo are being unfairly treated in a work situation, or in a business transaction (shops, restaurants etc.) then tell the Equality Commission and take action to defend yourself and others. At least if nothing else you will find a listening ear, and a willingness to try and help.
AN outdated legal ban which forced gay men out of the armed forces is set to finally be officially removed from armed forces legislation.
The law, which prohibits gay men, lesbians and transgender personnel from the forces, was put into force in 1994.
Existing rules state homosexuality is incompatible with military service and engaging in a homosexual act can constitute grounds for discharging a member of the armed forces
Existing rules state homosexuality is incompatible with military service
The Bill, which also deals with changes to armed forces pensions, will now proceed to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.
The Government amendment to get rid of the sexuality discrimination laws was added to the Bill
But since 2000, he said the rules “have had no practical effect and they are therefore redundant”.
The Bill also deals with changes to armed forces pensions
“This amendment is a practical step which shows that this Government is serious about our commitment to equality in this area.”
“It is very clear that this is an important step forward and it is one we welcome very strongly.”
Posted: January 11, 2016|
United Nations claims homophobia costs global economies billions (VIDEO) · PinkNews
The United Nations anti-LGBT discrimination campaign ‘Free & Equal’ has released some startling statistics that show that homophobia and transphobia are still major problems across the world.
The video, titled ‘The Price of Exclusion’, focuses on the cost of global discrimination financially and to the people who suffer under social and legal discrimination due to their sexual and gender identities.
Openly gay Star Trek actor Zachery Quinto narrates the video, and reveals the uncomfortable reality of being LGBT in the world today, including how 40% of homeless youth in major US cities identify as LGBT.
Bullying and family rejection are cited as some of the causes of this high rate of LGBT homelessness.
“For the individuals in question, these are personal tragedies,” Quinto says in the video.
“For the wider community they represent an enormous waste of human potential, of talent, of creativity and productivity that weighs heavily on society and the economy”.
Citing a world bank pilot study, the video claims that global LGBT discrimination could cost a country the size of India $32 billion a year.
On top of this, the video also says that young lesbian, gay and bisexual people are four times more likely to attempt suicide, with the number rising to ten times more likely for young transgender people.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has said that the video aims to “challenges the myth that the impact of LGBT discrimination is small, or marginal, or confined to only a small part of the community.
“It’s not only LGBT people who pay the price; we all do. Every trans kid thrown out of home or forced out of school is a loss for society. Every gay or lesbian worker denied work or driven to emigrate is a lost opportunity.”
The ‘Free & Equal’ campaign was first launched by the United Nations Human Rights office back in 2013 and has released a number of videos in the past including a Bollywood style LGBT equality music video.
Back in August, the members of the UN stripped LGBT eqaulity from its historic global developement goals agreement.
Watch the video below.
1st November 2015Adam Hilsenrath
Anyone who has donated blood will know that the minutes spent in the (oddly comfortable) chair, watching a small bag fill up with blood constitutes a tiny fraction of the entire process.
Before you are sat down, you are tested for anaemia and must fill in a lengthy health questionnaire. The first section on the form, entitled “Your Lifestyle”, is mainly about one thing: HIV. Whether you’ve had sex with a prostitute or with anyone from a country where HIV and AIDS are widespread, the National Blood Service doesn’t want your blood if there’s a chance of you having HIV. This, most would agree, is an understandable and efficient way of preventing donations from people with infected blood.
Yet it is the final two questions about “Your Lifestyle” which come across as archaic, nonsensical and bordering on the discriminatory.
In Great Britain, men who have had sex with men (MSM) in the last 12 months cannot give blood. Full stop. In Northern Ireland, no MSM can give blood at all, regardless of how recently they’ve had sex.
From one perspective you can see a semblance of logic. The United Nations estimates that between two and 20 percent of MSM are infected with HIV, though, clearly, in somewhere like the UK the percentage will be at the lower end of the scale. In 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that MSM accounted for 61 percent of all new HIV infections, and of the nearly 800,000 people worldwide living with HIV, 51 percent are MSM. Considering that estimates on the non-heterosexual population range from four percent to ten percent, and that over half of these are women, this does point to a much greater chance of MSM having HIV compared with anyone else (about 60 times more than other men).
Furthermore, HIV can take, depending on the number of antibodies the body produces, about three months before it’s detectable. In about three percent of cases this can take up to six months, meaning that HIV-infected blood could be donated without anyone knowing (a serious problem considering that National Blood Service usually keep blood for only seven weeks). The focus on HIV is further understandable when it’s considered that other sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhoea, can be detected within a matter of weeks.
However, that’s about as far as the logic will go. There are, on the other hand, many reasons why current practice is flawed.
Firstly, even if the 12 month window was kept to ensure that no one was inadvertently donating blood with HIV, under the current system there’s no space for those MSM who’ve had protected sex. Condom or no condom, MSM cannot give blood. On the other hand, heterosexual men, or any woman, can donate blood even if they sleep with a new partner every night without any protection.
Secondly, MSM in long-term relationships are also excluded. Two men who have been exclusively dating for years can often have unprotected sex, sure in the knowledge that neither man carries STDs and is unlikely to acquire one. But again, under present regulations there is no “I am in a long-term, exclusive relationship” box, and so blood cannot be donated.
Thirdly, sceptics might argue that some vindictive people might knowingly donate HIV-infected blood and that, because MSM are more likely to have HIV anyway, all MSM donations should be prohibited. If we, for a moment, ignore the crass offensiveness of this argument, one should bear in mind that anyone vindictive enough to donate HIV-positive blood would show up on the blood tests done automatically on all donations (because if they know they have HIV, then it’s already passed the three-sixth month period). What’s more, good-natured MSM who want to donate blood can already lie if they know they’re HIV-free.
At present, we are operating on decades-old blanket assumptions, which unnecessarily bar certain individuals from making a valuable contribution to society. Research on the correlation between MSM in long-term relationships and rates of HIV possession is yet to be done.
There is a simple remedy. If the law were altered so that any MSM who has either been in a relationship as long as the 12 month waiting period or has had adequately protected sex could donate blood, then the system would still prevent the possibility of HIV donations without unnecessary levels of discrimination.
It has been tried before. Michael Fabricant, MP for Lichfield, has campaigned on a number of occasions for such a legal amendment, but has always lacked support, though I can’t understand why. This is not only an issue of discrimination, but also of public health and liberty.
The current law is fundamentally outdated and homophobic, and at a time when blood stocks are low and the NHS in constant need of donations, it is irresponsible that people who want to save the lives of others are not allowed to do so.
Poland’s legal system has fallen dangerously short when it comes to protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people and other minority groups from hate crimes, Amnesty International has said in a report.
The NGO says the state has excluded whole communities from hate crime legislation, including homeless people, people with disabilities and the LGBTI community. The report comes less than two months ahead of Poland’s general election.
Marco Perolini, Amnesty International’s expert on discrimination in Europe and Central Asia, said: “Poland has a two-tiered legal system that protects some minority groups but leaves others to fend for themselves. If you are a gay man or woman, a person with a disability or a homeless person in Poland and attacked because of who you are, the police will just treat it as an ordinary crime, not as a hate crime – this dangerous protection gap must be closed immediately.”
The LGBTI community in Poland faces widespread and ingrained discrimination across the country. While there are no reliable official statistics, Polish organisation Campaign against Homophobia recorded at least 120 homophobic or transphobic hate crimes in 2014 alone. The true figure is expected to be much higher due to underreporting.
In May 2015, Dariusz, an anti-Nazi activist and street artist, was kicked and spat on in front of one of his murals depicting a rainbow in Zywiec, while verbally abused as a “faggot whore”. In the record of the judgement against the perpetrator, the insults are described as “vulgar” with no mention of a homophobic motive.
Poland has also seen a number of attacks on homeless people over the past years. Amnesty states the attacks were at least partially motivated by the victims’ socioeconomic status, but they have been treated as ordinary crimes by the police. One victim, Stanisław, a homeless man from the south-eastern city of Rzeszów, was beaten up and set alight in October 2012.
Perolini says there is also negative discourse on refugee issues in Poland. “A couple of NGOs told us recently that they have lately received more cases of verbal abuse or threats against refugees, asylum seekers and migrants,” he says. “Last Saturday, there was an attack against a restaurant owned by a Polish citizen of Lebanese origin and allegedly perpetrated by two people who attended an anti-refugee demonstration.”
While steps have been taken to tackle hate crimes fuelled by racism and xenophobia, other minority groups still face daily fears and harassment. “Poland has obligations under international law to ensure that all minority groups are equally protected from discrimination. The fact that authorities are failing to do so is actually discriminatory in itself,” Perolini says.
The protection gap means that there are no institutional mechanisms – like specialised prosecutors or police coordinators – to deal with attacks based on discrimination along the lines of disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or social and economic status.
According to the report, Poland is also lacking effective policies to prevent such hate crimes, investigate all cases and prosecute perpetrators. There is also no systematic effort to collect data on attacks against these groups by the state, meaning that authorities have no way of knowing the scope of the problem.
Efforts to reform the criminal code have stalled, despite a bill being tabled in 2012 to protect LGBTI individuals, people with disability or older people from hate crimes. The proposal has met resistance from some parts of Polish society, with one MP earlier this year calling it an attempt “to introduce a sick ideology of gender which promotes sexual pathologies”.
Marco Perolini, an author of the report and a researcher on discrimination in Europe at Amnesty International, said the timing of the report is also key with Poland’s upcoming general elections.
“The Polish Parliament has been debating changes to hate crime laws for years but failed to pass them,” he says. “The new Parliament and governments should commit to proposing and adopt those changes. However, the party who is leading the polls (law and justice) is against extending hate crime laws to other groups, especially LGBTI people.”