LGBT+ rights in the Western Balkans and Turkey

EuroPride House, fre 3 aug 14:00–14:45

LGBT+ rights in the Western Balkans and Turkey

In line with the other characteristics of the passively transitioning societies of the Western Balkans, traditionally patriarchal alongside with Turkey, the LGBT+ protection mechanisms progress has been slow and averse in certain aspects.

The LGBT+ community in the region continues to be predominantly oppressed and at times, openly discriminated. As a direct result of inefficient government measures and inactivated laws in practice, often not present at all, the abstention from coming out and living in an imposed stigma alongside with lack of personal freedom of expression and self-realization has a direct consequence on the wellbeing of the individual and on a working democratic society.

Within the different stages of democratization of the Western Balkan countries, all commonly sharing the post-communist legacy, it is a question of finding a path to a persistent presence and ever-stronger activism assisted by a continuing dialogue of the local and trans-local civil society with governmental institutions on a national, and larger regional framework.

Istanbul Pride Parade started in 2003, and as of 2014 they are continuously banned. What used to be a powerful event of strong, optimistic message sent to the world each year with as many as 25 000 people in attendance, now seems like a commemoration of something happening a lifetime ago. The authorities “return to traditional values” echoing a sentiment while empowering patriarchal nationalism, has set a bumpy road not only for the thousands of activists, but greatly for the majority of common citizens by stopping democracy and lowering the standard of human rights. Turkey has banned all forms of public LGBT activism in its capital city of Ankara in November 2017 — stating that such demonstrations are a threat to “public security” and “public sensitivities.”

On the path of a long-way transitioning environment, how important is to have regional cooperation, mutual support in sharing experience, mental, human and symbolic resources? What are the experiences and struggles that the activism in these countries has shown? What were the downsides of the small and bigger fights the Activists have won? What strategies have been proven efficient? Finally, which are the obstacles left to overcome and what is the path towards mobilizing and emancipating masses? How crucial is the regional networking in the fight against homophobia and transphobia?

Participants: Filip Kocevski, Project Coordinator at Support Group of young LGBTIQ persons “Izađi”, Vladana Vasić, Programme Coordinator, Sarajevo Open Centre, Livia Zotrija, Activists, Albania, Eleonora Bajrami, Center for Equality and Liberty, Kosovo, Alp Biricik, KAOS, Turkey

Moderator: Goran Miletic, Civil Rights Defenders, Director for Europe

Organised by Civil Rights Defenders.

Datum/tid: fre 3 aug 14:00–14:45
Språk: Engelska
Typ/kategori: Informativa > Debatt/panelsamtal
Arrangör: Human Rights Conference
Plats: EuroPride House (Plattanrummet, Våning Plattan)
Kulturhuset Stadsteatern, Sergels Torg 1

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Färdtjänstadress: Beridarebansgatan 5
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