IREX Europe is delighted to announce that the “Promoting Rights, Inclusiveness, Dignity and Equality for LGBT” project in Albania and Kosovo has been awarded a further three years of funding and will continue as ‘PRIDE II’! Building on the achievements of PRIDE I, PRIDE II+ aims to further strengthen the role of grassroots civil society organisations’ (CSOs) in promoting the acceptance, inclusion and protection of the LGBT minority in rural and urban Albania, with a particular focus on protecting at-risk marginalised youth LGBTs, and promoting respect for the fundamental rights of the LGBT community.
The project includes a focus on rural areas as the situation is extremely complicated for LGBT youth (18-25 years old) outside of Tirana. LGBT youth are frequently the victim of bullying and often excluded and/or rejected by their family and friends for bringing ‘shame’ and dishonour to the community. As a result they often become depressed and either hide their sexual orientation and/or gender identity (SOGI), or if they do come out, are forced run away from home with a high risk of becoming homeless. Suicide rates, drug addiction and sexual exploitation is high amongst youth LGBT. The situation is equally worrying for the transgender community where many of the openly visible trans-persons turn to sex work as they are rejected from all parts of society and unable to secure regular employment and decent housing.
PRIDE II+ will work to strengthening the capacities of local organisations and activists mainly from remote regions (Shkodra, Vlora, Pogradec and Kukes), helping them foster a stronger and more vibrant civil society committed to promoting LGBT rights, as well as human rights in general, at the local level.
PRIDE II+ Objectives:
Objective 1: To strengthen the capacity of grassroots CSOs supporting the LGBT community and to advocate and implement actions improving the acceptance, inclusion and protection of the LGBT community in Albania’s regions and Tirana.
Objective 2: To increase access to protection and counselling support, as well as access to employment opportunities for the LGBT community, with a special focus on ensuring access to basic services for at-risk young LGBT individuals from the regions and Tirana;
Objective 3: To promote a more positive image of the LGBT community and improve their acceptance by the general population in the regions and Tirana.
Our project works to achieve these objectives through the following activities:
- In-situ trainings to build the organisational capacities for grassroots CSOs
- Training for the development of advocacy skills for grassroots CSOs and set up of a national LGBT advocacy strategy
- Service provision support for 350 LGBT individuals through Aleanca community centre
- Support for 20 at-risk homeless LGBT youth via an emergency residential shelter
- Subgrants for service provision to the LGBT community in the regions
- Training on Human Rights and Ethics for students in journalism
- Subgrants for awareness raising in the regions for grassroots CSOs
- National public awareness raising campaigns
The expected results of the project are:
Outcome 1: Grassroots CSOs have improved their financial sustainability, and have acquired new skills and knowledge to advocate and implement actions improving the acceptance, inclusion and protection of the LGBT community in Tirana and the regions.
Outcome 2: The LGBT community in Albania, especially at-risk LGBT youth and transgender people, are benefiting from increased and improved counselling, protection and access to employment support in the Regions and Tirana.
Outcome 3: The image of the LGBT community in Tirana and the regions has improved through awareness raising activities in the regions and Tirana.
This project is co-funded by the European Union in Albania and by the French Agency for Development.
The overall goal
The project is aimed at fighting discrimination against women/the LGBT community and promoting gender equality in the Republic of Moldova through two main components which are 1) building capacity of women/LGBT organisations and activists and 2) increasing public awareness on gender equality issues.
Despite the fact that Moldova has made international and national commitments to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women, the implementation of gender equality and anti-discriminations measures remains problematic.
Women still face discrimination and inequality in social, economic and political life and their representation in Moldovan politics and decision-making remains below international benchmarks. Women in Moldova continue to be challenged by specific education and labour market barriers and face discriminatory practices in different areas. These include significant wage disparities, segregation into lower-paying occupations, unequal sharing of work and family responsibilities and limited access to childcare. Women entrepreneurs face barriers getting access to bank loans and to state-funded business and entrepreneurship development programmes. Violence against women in Moldova is serious and widespread; persistent patriarchal attitudes exacerbate this situation.
The situation with LGBT community is even worse. Despite the existing legal framework of anti-discriminatory acts, tolerance towards homosexuality is low in Moldovan society, which is strongly influenced by the religious communities. Moldova ranked 43rd out of 49 countries on LGBT rights on ILGA Europe’s (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) annual Rainbow Index 2018.
The specific objectives and expected results of the project are:
SO1: Build the capacities of women’s/LGBT rights organisations and activists to better promote women’s and LGBT rights
- Internal organisational and strategic assessment of the Gender Equality Platform and other women’s organisations (probably) to identify their needs for capacity building purposes;
- Women’s organisations will receive grants to implement their strategic development proposals;
- The training and grant scheme implementation within the framework of the National Leadership Academies for Women activists and NGO workers;
- Provision of Resilience Building Support to women/LBT activists and women/LGBT organisations
SO2: Advocate and raise awareness to promote gender equality and prevent all forms of discrimination against women and LGBT communities
- Awareness raising events on women issues organized in a network of Libraries across Moldova organized by IREX Europe
- A series of advocacy events in the frame of the 8th of March International Women’s day
- Support of the 2020 season of TV talk show “Optmart SRL” and offline meetings with the show’s audience in Chisinau and raions
BRYCA: Building Resistance in Youth in Central Asia to the influence of illegal hate speech and misinformation online and on social media – THE GAME
The overall goal
The project promotes critical thinking and aims to strengthen the resilience of youth to misinformation and hate speech online as part of the global objective to promote support to civil society in protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms worldwide.
In the targeted Central Asia countries, except for Kyrgyzstan, authorities often use national security as an excuse for cracking down on free speech and independent journalism, maintaining these countries near the bottom of the press freedom tables. In parallel, levels of media literacy are universally low, with the public having little awareness of the role or responsibilities of the media in a democratic society. As elsewhere in the world, youth in Central Asia mainly and increasingly rely on online media and social media for their information. Traditional media, increasingly not accessed, also do not provide an effective counter to the messages of hate and misinformation found online. The result is a population increasingly vulnerable to misinformation and hate speech. In this context, the project appropriately responds to the needs of vulnerable youth to increase critical thinking, media literacy skills and resistance to the influence of illegal hate speech and misinformation, particularly on social media. Teachers, educators, youth leaders and community workers, as influential actors, will also be supported in order to improve their ability to engage with youth on these issues. Specifically, the project will strengthen the capacity of the beneficiaries by giving remote and marginalised youth the skills and methods needed to identify and resist misinformation and hate speech, and by giving educators, social workers and community workers resources to better engage with remote and marginalised youth.
The specific objectives and expected results of the project:
Objective 1 – To incentivise vulnerable youth in remote areas of Central Asia to participate in online and mobile educational games that build their critical thinking and counter disinformation and illegal hate speech.
- Monitoring of hate speech and disinformation program rolled out in each project country
- Development of games software and the platform
- Ongoing implementation of games and awarding of prizes: Each country will manage content production and delivery of prizes for the games, as well as collection of data on users, development of questionnaires as needed, and marketing for the games.
- Civic Actions for Youth: vulnerable youth will be invited to implement civic actions which will give them the opportunity to progress in the educational game
Objective 2 – To expand access to online information and educational tools that counter disinformation and illegal hate speech, promote critical thinking and the use of reliable independent sources across Central Asia.
The activities build on work done by IREX Europe, MSCF and MediaNet over the past two years during which the online media literacy tool Media Sabak was launched and a number of Media literacy curricula developed, with corresponding training of trainers and training of teachers, university lecturers and librarians. In particular, this project aims to harmonize the partners media literacy approach and training in the 4 countries, expand and build on Media Sabak platform, an online media literacy resource for Central Asia which is a fully accessible and open source resource in MIL for use by students, youth, teachers, librarians, university professors, community centre/youth workers and the public in general. In addition, the project envisages media literacy capacity building for educators/youth leaders/community workers and local media literacy training for marginalised youth.
IREX Europe, as a co-founder, is happy to announce the launch of a Human Rights Platform of French NGOs working at international level to protect human rights. The launch of the platform – known as PDH (Plateforme Droits de l’Homme) – follows its official registration in Lyon on September 8th and its formal establishment in a constitutive General Assembly in Paris in July 2018.
Eleven French NGOs have worked together the past 18 months to establish the Platform which seeks to address the lack of coordination and communication between French organisations working to support human rights on the international scene.
The platform is essential in the current international development sector where international donors and actors are directing their strategies towards a rights-based approach. The platform will allow its members to increase their influence and impact when acting together in lobbying and advocacy, creating a stronger and more unified voice in favour of the defence of human rights on the international level.
In addition, the Platform will work to increase information, knowledge and skills exchanges between members, most of which are small NGOs with limited resources but which carry out important advocacy work and support to HRDs around the world.
The current development phase of the platform is funded by the AFD (Agence Française de Developpement).
A Board of administration was set up in Paris with the position of President held by Raphaël Chenuil from Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (ECPM), the Treasurer is Florence Duvauchelle from IREX Europe, the General Secretary being Veronique Rouault from Agir Ensemble pour les Droits de l’Homme (AEDH) and the Deputy president Claire de Grave from Terre des Hommes France.
If you are a French NGO working at International level and would like to join the platform, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
PRIDE for LGBT in Albania – Promoting Rights, Inclusiveness, Dignity and Equality for LGBT in Albania (PRIDE)
The overall goal of PRIDE is to strengthen the role of LGBT organisations and activists in promoting the acceptance, inclusion and protection of the LGBT minority in both rural and urban Albania. The project has a particular focus on protecting at-risk, marginalised LGBT youth and to promote respect for their fundamental rights.
PRIDE began on 15 February 2018 and will last 24 months. The project is implemented jointly by IREX Europe and its partners: Alliance Against LGBT Discrimination (Aleanca LGBT) and Tebashkuar Pro Kauzës LGBT (Pro LGBT). In addition, the project will work together with the Streha Shelter as well as with the regional organisation ERA. The project is supported by the European Union.
“Although Albania has the legal provisions in place that protect LGBTI people from discrimination and ban hate speech in all fields […] experience shows that inequality and failure to understand the human rights of LGBTI people prevails in society” – Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, “National Action Plan on LGBTI People in the Republic of Albania, 2016-2020”, March 2016.
From 2010, and in light of the EU accession process started in 2014, the Government of Albania has taken actions to adopt legislative changes in favour of the protection of LGBT rights. It has thus made significant progress at the legal and policy level in the protection and inclusion of the LGBT community. However, despite the notable changes on paper, in reality, the vast majority of LGBT people continue to hide their sexual orientation and are continuously subject to human rights violations, stigma and discrimination, mainly under the form of harassment in school, denial of access to reproductive means and discrimination in health care institutions, discrimination in the work-place, and in public local offices.
In this context, LGBT organisations such as Aleanca, ProLGBT and the Streha Shelter, have been crucial in providing support and access to basic services for LGBT individuals; raising awareness on LGBT rights; and in training media, public administration, teachers, police officers on anti-discrimination and respect for LGBT rights. Thanks to the Streha Shelter, runaway and homeless LGBT youth, often victims of domestic violence now have a safe place to stay. Aleanca, ProLGBT and Streha have been driving forces behind the recent legislative modifications which are contributing to social change in Tirana and regions.
By supporting and strengthening the three LGBT organisations and thanks to strategic and impactful activities, this project primarily proposes a grassroots approach where concrete actions promote increased access to rights and services for the LGBT community as well as improve the image and acceptance of LGBT rights in Albania.
Objective 1 – To strengthen the capacity of LGBT organisations and increase their ability to support their constituencies and improve the acceptance, inclusion and protection of the LGBT community among the general population in Tirana and Albania’s regions.
Objective 2 – To increase access to protection and counselling support, as well as access to employment opportunities for the LGBT community, with a special focus on ensuring access to basic services for at-risk young LGBT individuals from Tirana and the regions.
Objective 3 – To promote a more positive image of the LGBT community and improve their acceptance by the general population in Tirana and the regions, both through media campaigns and offline activities
EXPECTED RESULTS AND ACTIVITIES:
Outcome 1 – LGBT organisations have improved their management capacity, and have acquired new skills and knowledge to implement actions improving the acceptance, inclusion and protection of the LGBT community in Tirana and the regions:
- Activity 1.1: Capacity building strategy development for Aleanca LGBT, PRoLGBT and the Streha Shelter
- Activity 1.2: In house capacity building trainings for Aleanca LGBT, PRoLGBT and the Streha Shelter
Outcome 2 – The LGBT community in Albania, especially at-risk LGBT youth, are benefiting from increased and improved counselling, protection and access to employment support inside and outside of Tirana, namely via assistance through the Aleanca Community Centre and the Streha Shelter
- Activity 2.1- Service provision support for 200 LGBT individuals through Aleanca community centre:
- Activity 2.2 – Support for 12 at-risk homeless LGBT youth through the ‘Streha’ Shelter:
Outcome 3 – The image of the LGBT community in Tirana and the regions has improved through positive role model campaigns and support for awareness raising to LGBT activists disseminated by Albanian media
- Activity 3.1- Awareness raising grants for activists from regions
- Activity 3.2 – Training on Human Rights and Ethics for local media practitioner from regions
- Activity 3.3: Positive role model campaign
Fostering the effective implementation of a legal framework conducive to Freedom of Expression, Association and Assembly in Morocco (FEAAM)
The overall goal of the project is to foster the effective implementation of a legal framework conducive to freedom of expression, association and assembly and consistent with international standards and best practices, in Morocco.
The project’s first component focuses on supporting the implementation of new laws and regulations and the functioning of regulatory bodies: the Press Code; the Press Council; the Consultative Council for Youth and Associations, for example. The project will also provide input into new draft laws or draft revised laws under review by analyzing the current legal and regulatory framework in Morocco and advocating for compliance with International standards and best practices.
The project will also work to foster and support a broad-based movement of civil society groups, along with a coordinated strategy to improve public understanding and support of freedom of expression, association and assembly. This will be the focus of the project’s second component by reinforcing media and civil society groups to perform a watchdog role for society, thus supporting implementation of current laws consistent with International Human Rights’ norms.
The project will be implemented by IREX Europe, in partnership with Adala, Article 19 MENA and the UNESCO office for the Maghreb countries over a 26 month period.
- Objective 1: To promote advocacy by civil society and media groups for an improved legal framework that protects freedom of expression, association, and assembly, with the advocacy based on a comprehensive analysis of the current legal environment and legislation.
- Objective 2: To support and build the capacity of lawyers, journalists and media professionals (including new and alternative media actors)and civil society such that they perform a watchdog role that ensure implementation of existing laws and regulations are consistent with international standards.
Our project works to achieve these objectives through the following activities:
- Legal analysis and recommendations on existing laws and/or draft laws and regulations to ensure consistency vis-à-vis international standards
- National and international advocacy for improved legal and regulatory frameworks
- Campaigning for fundamental freedoms: Capacity building and support to CSOs and Media for a wider outreach
- Promoting monitoring tools and mechanisms
- Support to the Legal Assistance and Guidance Unit for Moroccan Journalists
- Regional blog tours on Fundamental Freedoms held for bloggers and HRDs