Europe: IGLHRC Calls On U.S.-Based LGBT Groups to Endorse ILGA-Europe's Appeal

IGLHRC is calling on US-based LGBT, HIV/AIDS, and other human rights groups to help support the efforts by our colleagues at ILGA-Europe to adopt explicit sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression policies at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The US is a very influential member of OSCE whose position has the capacity to block these measures. Thus far, over one hundred groups have signed onto the petition below, yet only a few from the US are among them. It is imperative that the US government support LGBT rights within the context of OSCE so please have your organization sign onto the petition and pass it onto others. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is the largest regional security organization in the world, with 56 member states from Europe and Central Asia, as well as the United States and Canada ( http://www.ossce.org ). It was set up during the cold war and allowed for a dialogue between East and West on security but also human rights issues. Its politically binding agreement is know as the Helsinki Final Act (1975). OSCE’s politically (not legally) binding decisions are taken by consensus. The civil society declaration is envisioned to help reaching consensus among the member states on these issues.
On 8/29/07 5:52 AM, "Juris@ilga-europe.org" wrote: Dear friends, I am writing to you to ask for assistance in collecting organisation signatories to a civil society declaration set up by ILGA-Europe to the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting [HDIM] of the OSCE/ODIHR [ Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights] in Warsaw in September. Please take the decision to sign the declaration if your organization is not yet one of the signatories. In any case we also want to ask you to forward this to any other human rights organizations or other civil society actors in your country and ask them to join the declaration. It would be of great help. The signature doesn’t involve any responsibilities other than that the organization agrees to the goals set up in the declaration (see below). You can email the names and countries of origin (and contact persons, if possible) of the agreeing signatories to ILGA-Europe programmes officer Aija Salo (aija@ilga-europe.org ) by September 15th. The HDIM takes place in Warsaw from September 24th on. The declaration will be distributed there to the participating states. The declaration has already been distributed earlier but we want to strengthen it by collecting more signatories ongoingly and distribute it again in Warsaw. Below you can see the current signatories. Thank you for your help and cooperation! @ilga-europe.org>

DECLARATION OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS ON THE RECOGNITION OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY AND EXPRESSION IN THE OSCE

We, the undersigned representatives of civil society, call upon the OSCE participating states to recognise sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression explicitly as grounds of discrimination, intolerance, hate-motivated crimes and human rights violations in the OSCE commitments. There is substantial evidence that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities are especially vulnerable to hate crimes, and therefore have a particular need to be included in programmes addressing this issue. We therefore commend the inclusive and comprehensive approach of ODIHR in its work on hate crimes, data collection, police trainings, which includes awareness raising and promotion of measures to fight discrimination on all grounds. We call upon the OSCE participating states to continue supporting this work and provide adequate resources. We recall the participating states of their obligation under various international treaties and national constitutions to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the human rights of all persons without discrimination. It is therefore our great concern that the OSCE participating states do not have a consensus on interpretation of "all people" and exclude certain social groups from exercising their human rights, such as the right to life and physical integrity, freedom of assembly and association, right to private life, and freedom of expression. These rights, if protected, ensure the dignity of all people, and there can be no justification for exclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons from enjoyment of these rights. Signed by:

  1. European Social Platform
  2. Human Rights First, USA
  3. International Association for Intercultural Education (IAIE)
  4. International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, USA
  5. European Women’s Lobby
  6. European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA-Europe)
  7. Amnesty International EU Office
  8. International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
  9. NGO Platform "Coalition Europe"
  10. European Humanist Federation
  11. European Network Against Racism (ENAR)
  12. European Organisation for Human Rights (EHOR), Strasbourg
  13. European Roma Rights Centre
  14. Youth for Human Rights International, USA and Austria
  15. Quaker Council for European Affairs
  16. World Organisation Against Torture – Europe (OMCT Europe)
  17. European Anti-Poverty Network
  18. Centre for Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), Switzerland
  19. Ascedent, Romania
  20. OSCE-NGO Network
  21. Conseil de la Jeunesse Pluriculturelle (COJEP International)
  22. Organisation Sociale de St. Petersburg «Union Africaine», Russia
  23. Jewish Cultural Centre "Menora", Armenia
  24. Roma Education Fund, Hungary
  25. Romo Amaro, Belarus
  26. Memorial of Saint Petersburg, Russia
  27. TransGenderEurope
  28. Spanish LGBT Federation (FELGBT)
  29. Movimiento contra la Intolerancia, Spain
  30. The Islamic Commission of Spain
  31. GlobalSIDA, Spain
  32. SOS Rassismus Deutschewerz, Switzerland
  33. Swiss African Forum, Switzerland
  34. RFSL, Sweden
  35. Campaign Against Homophobia, Poland
  36. Georgian Young Lawyers Association, Georgia
  37. NGO Nash Mir (Our World), Ukraine
  38. Coalition of HIV-Service Organisations of Ukraine
  39. Information Centre GenderDoc-M, Moldova
  40. National Roma Centre, Moldova
  41. LADOM (Moldovan League for Human Rights Protection), Moldova
  42. National Youth Council of Moldova
  43. NGO Labrys, Kyrgyzstan
  44. NGO Gaudeamus, Moldova
  45. AntiAIDS Association, Kyrgyzstan
  46. Resource Centre for Human Rights in Moldova "CReDO", Moldova
  47. Association ACCEPT, Romania
  48. Centre for Legal Resources, Romania
  49. Metropolitan Community Churches, USA
  50. Crisis Centre for Women, Kyrgyzstan
  51. Inclusive Foundation, Georgia
  52. NGO "We for Civil Equality", Armenia
  53. NGO "Gender and Development", Azerbaijan
  54. Ursari Roma Association, Romania
  55. NGO "LIGA", Ukraine
  56. Gay Forum, Ukraine
  57. Latvian Centre for Human Rights. Latvia
  58. NGO LBL, Denmark
  59. Institute for Peace and Democracy. Azerbaijan
  60. Gay Alliance, Ukraine
  61. SOVA Centre, Moscow, Russia
  62. Magenta Foundation, the Netherlands
  63. African Caribbean Leadership Council, London, UK
  64. "Never Again" Association, Poland
  65. AIDS Network, Moldova
  66. Youth Union Siin, Estonia
  67. Homosexuelle Initiative (HOSI) Wien, Austria
  68. Lesben und Schwulenverband Osterreichs, Austria
  69. Croydon Area Gay Society, UK
  70. Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), Ireland
  71. Helsinki Human Rights Committee for Serbia
  72. Women’s Initiative for Equality, Georgia
  73. NGO ADALI, Kazakhstan
  74. NGO "Tais +", Kyrgyzstan
  75. Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group, Georgia
  76. Donetsk Law Initiative, Ukraine
  77. All-Ukrainian Youth Organisation "Foundation of Regional Initiatives", Ukraine
  78. Youth Organisation "Bizim Qirim", Crimea, Ukraine
  79. TV Antena 1, Romania
  80. Alianta Nationala pentru Unitatea Romilor (National Roma Unity Alliance), Romania
  81. Association of Nordic LGBT Student Organisations (ANSO), Sweden
  82. The Federation of Swedish LGBT Student Organisations (SFG), Sweden
  83. Youth Group for Tolerance "ETHnICS", Russia
  84. Open Viewpoint Public Foundation, Kyrgyzstan
  85. NGO "Transformation", Sweden
  86. Gender Group of Gothenburg University, Sweden
  87. International NGO Training and Research Centre (INTRAC), UK
  88. Union "Century 21", Georgia
  89. Canadian Arab Federation
  90. Kulturburo Sachsen (Cultural Office), Germany
  91. Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe (CEJI)
  92. Youth Against Intolerance and Discrimination, Georgia
  93. Netherlands Helsinki Committee
  94. Advocates for Lesbian and Gay Rights International (ALEGRI), UK
  95. LSVD, Germany
  96. Qendra per Emancipim Shoqeror (Center for Social Emancipation) QESh, Kosovo
  97. The Human Rights Centre of Azerbaijan
  98. Democracy Monitor, Azerbaijan
  99. Malta Gay Rights Movement
  100. COC Haaglanden, the Netherlands
  101. Informational Medical-Psychological Centre Tanadgoma, Georgia
  102. ILGA Portugal
  103. International Gay and Lesbian Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO)
  104. YouAct, the Netherlands
  105. GAT - Grupo Português de Activistas sobre Tratamentos do VIH/SIDA