Data visualisation for LGBTQI+ communication

Skills Boost session on data visualisation for LGBTQI+ communication is set to take place on Thursday, May 25 at 12 noon CEST. 

Organised by ILGA-Europe, the session aims to help LGBTQI+ activists to tell better stories through data visualisation and infographics. Participants will learn how to improve their data and design skills, and gain confidence in creating effective infographics for their activism. 

Skills Boost session is designed to provide practical tips and guidance on data visualisation, which is an increasingly important tool for communicating complex information in a clear and accessible way. Anyone interested in participating can register online to join the session.

Register here.

Guidelines for journalists | ILGA-Europe

ILGA-Europe has released a set of guidelines for journalists covering LGBTQI+ issues. 

The guidelines provide clear recommendations on how to report on LGBTQI+related news, human rights, language, and specific recommendations for reporting on trans and intersex people. 

The guide also includes a list of essential resources for journalists seeking to stay up to date on LGBTQI+ issues. 

With the rise of anti-LGBTQI+ and anti-gender forces across Europe and the world, ILGA-Europe hopes that these guidelines will contribute to the quality and pluralism of the media landscape and support journalists in their work. 

These guidelines are particularly relevant as the rights of LGBTQI+s are increasingly threatened and marginalised in some European countries, including in Azerbaijan. By providing practical advice and resources, ILGA-Europe hopes to help journalists report on LGBTQI+ issues in a way that is accurate, respectful and inclusive.You can access the guide here.

Intersections: Older LGBTQI+s | ILGA-Europe

ILGA-Europe and AGE Platform Europe have released a joint briefing highlighting the challenges faced by older LGBTQI+s in Europe, based on data analysis of the European Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) 2019 LGBTI Survey II. 

The briefing is part of ILGA-Europe’s Intersections reports, which aim to explore the lived experiences of marginalised groups in Europe. The data analysis focused on the responses of older LGBTQI+s to the survey, and aimed to highlight the differences in their experiences compared to younger LGBTQI+ individuals. 

The report emphasises the importance of disaggregated data in understanding the specific challenges faced by marginalised communities. The collaboration between ILGA-Europe and AGE Platform Europe ensured that the perspectives of older LGBTQI+s were represented fully in the briefing.

EU | Infringement action against Hungary

In a ground-breaking move, more than half of the EU member states have come together to support the European Commission’s infringement action against Hungary. The countries supporting the move include Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Finland, France, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Slovenia. 

This development highlights the collective will of the majority of EU countries to actively take steps towards ensuring effective respect for EU law and the fundamental rights of every citizen in the Union.

The infringement action is directed against Hungary’s controversial anti-LGBTQI+ law, which has been widely criticised by the EU as being discriminatory and in violation of fundamental human rights. With the political support of the aforementioned member states and the European Parliament, the EU now awaits further procedures at the Court of Justice of the EU.

However, there is a possibility that Hungary may ignore a successful infringement, leading the EU to continue monitoring the implementation of the anti-LGBTQI+ law to support the Hungarian community and document any human rights violations.

The support of these 14 member states is a significant step towards promoting the values of the EU and upholding the rights of every citizen. It also serves as a message to other countries within the EU that may be contemplating similar laws that such discriminatory legislation will not be tolerated.

The EU’s response to Hungary’s anti-LGBTQI+ law demonstrates a commitment to upholding fundamental human rights and ensuring that every citizen in the Union is treated equally. The collective support of over half of the EU member states highlights the strength of unity and the EU’s determination to uphold its values.

European Parliament Passes Resolution on EU-Azerbaijan Relations, Highlights LGBTQI+ Rights

The European Parliament has passed a resolution on EU-Azerbaijan relations, specifically emphasising the importance of human rights, including those of LGBTQI+ citizens. The resolution refers to several international conventions, including the European Convention on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The resolution highlights the importance of freedom of the press, and references the joint opinion of the Venice Commission and the Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law. It also references a previous European Parliament resolution on foreign interference in democratic processes in the European Union, including disinformation.

The resolution emphasises the importance of upholding human rights, including those of LGBTQI+ citizens, and urges Azerbaijan to take measures to combat discrimination and violence against LGBTQI+ individuals. It also calls on the Azerbaijani government to release political prisoners and to cooperate fully with the European Court of Human Rights.

European Parliament also emphasises the situation regarding non-discrimination against LGBTQI+s in Azerbaijan. The resolution urges the Azerbaijani authorities to adopt anti-discrimination legislation that specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics. It also calls for civil, administrative, and/or criminal proceedings to protect people from hate speech and hate crimes.

The resolution further calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to reform criminal legislation by adding the aforementioned grounds as aggravating circumstances, and to combat violence against LGBTQI+ individuals. Additionally, it reiterates the call by PACE (the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) for the Azerbaijani authorities to investigate cases of wrongful arrest of LGBTQI+ citizens and to prevent and combat police violence against them.

The resolution condemns disinformation emanating from Azerbaijan targeting the West, specifically after the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. It notes that the narratives used against the West are similar to those used in Russian propaganda and include attacks on LGBTQI+ rights and alleged threats to traditional values.

The resolution also highlights the persistent hate speech and hate crime against LGBTQI+ citizens in Azerbaijan, as well as the country’s ranking as the worst among all Council of Europe countries in terms of legislation and policy aimed at protecting LGBTQI+ individuals, according to the ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Europe Index.

The resolution references a 2022 resolution adopted by PACE on violations of the rights of LGBTQI+s in the Southern Caucasus, which includes requests for authorities to reform legislation to address these violations.

Additionally, the resolution highlights the ongoing war in Ukraine, and references several United Nations Security Council resolutions and a ruling of the International Court of Justice. It also cited previous European Parliament resolutions on cultural heritage in Azerbaijan, the aftermath of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the implementation of the common foreign and security policy, the destruction of cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh, security in the Eastern Partnership area, and the humanitarian consequences of the blockade in Nagorno-Karabakh.

ILGA-Europe: Deadliest Increase in Violence against LGBTQI+s

“This year, we have seen violence become more and more planned and deadly, making LGBTI people feel unsafe in countries across Europe.”

LGBTQI+ umbrella organisation, ILGA-Europe, announced that in 2022, hatred against LGBTQI+ across the region has reached the stage of life and death.

Launched today in Brussels, ILGA-Europe’s Annual Review of the Human Rights Situation of LGBTI People in Europe and Central Asia finds that 2022 was the most violent year for LGBTQI+ individuals across the region in the past decade, both through planned, ferocious attacks and through suicides in the wake of rising and widespread hate speech from politicians, religious leaders, right-wing organisations and media pundits.

“Hate speech translates into physical violence”
According to the report, attacks on LGBTQI+s with a conscious and deliberate will to kill and injure have increased to unprecedented levels, including two terror attacks outside LGBTQI+ bars in Norway and Slovakia, which combined killed four people and maimed 22.

According to ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis: “At ILGA-Europe, we have been saying for years now that hate speech in all its forms translates into actual physical violence. This year, we have seen that violence become increasingly planned and deadly, leaving LGBTI people feeling unsafe in countries across Europe. We have seen proof that anti-LGBTI hate speech is not just the words of marginal leaders or would-be autocrats, but a real problem with dire consequences for people and communities. This phenomenon is not only in countries where hate speech is rife, but also in countries where it is widely believed that LGBTI people are progressively accepted.”

Azerbaijan: Calls for systemic hatred, murder of Avaz Hafizli
The report on Azerbaijan includes some noteworthy information. It was prepared with the direct participation of Minority Azerbaijan, Nafas LGBTI Azerbaijan Alliance, and Queerdian organisations. The report highlights the systematic hate speech of MPs in the country.

Last year, Avaz Hafizli, an LGBTQI+ rights activist and journalist, was murdered after Sevinj Huseynova, an Azerbaijani social media influencer, called for the physical “erasure” of sexual minorities and trans people in an Instagram video that was watched by thousands of people. This incident was included in the report.

In August 2022, the court sentenced the criminal to nine and a half years in prison, but ignored the homophobic motive and brutality of the murder. LGBTQI+ activists and journalists were not allowed to enter the courtroom. The meagre trial given to the murderer was strongly criticised by LGBTQI+ organisations and civil society.

You can read the English version of the report here.

Trans Woman’s Success Story

Meydan TV told the story of 27-year-old trans woman Loren. She lives in the city of Sumgait and works as a stylist in one of the beauty salons there.

Loren was born in a village of 23 houses in Shabran and lived there until the eighth grade, continued her education in Baku, and then moved to Sumgayit.

When Loren went to study in Baku from the region, she remembers how she was faced with discrimination and insulting expressions.

In Azerbaijan, LGBTI+s are subjected to various types of pressure and persecution, and there is an epidemic level of hatred and discrimination against LGBTI+s. At least 200 people were arrested during mass raids in 2017. After their release, they reported on the torture and degrading treatment they faced. Those events were documented by Nafas LGBTI Azerbaijan Alliance.

According to the report of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe), Azerbaijan ranks last among 49 European countries in the ranking of LGBTI+ rights protection for several years, including 2021.

Annual Report 2019

Nafas LGBTI Azerbaijan Alliance’s annual report on LGBTI+ rights violations covering the events that occurred in Azerbaijan between January-August 2019.

The Annual Report is Nafas LGBTI Azerbaijan Alliance’s annual publication documenting and monitoring LGBTI+ rights situation in Azerbaijan over the past calendar year. It is a unique report tracking trends in relation to LGBTI+ equality and human rights.