Yıllık ILGA Toplantısı 2009/ Malta

Association(s) ILGA & MGRM (Malta Gay Rights Movement)
Location Malta
Dates 27 October- 1 November 2009
Contact persons Gabi Calleja(Malta Gay Rights Movement) 

Organization Manager

e-mail: gabicall@maltanet.net

Maxim Anmeghichean

ILGA- Europe Programmes Director

e-mail: maxim@ilga-europe.org

Networks
 




Alecos Modinos (South Cyprus) Gay Liberation Movement
e-mail: alecosmodinos@hotmail.com
 

Malta Gay Rights Movement (Malta) http://www.maltagayrights.org

Lambdaistanbul (Turkey) http://www.lambdaistanbul.org

Pembe Hayat (Pink Life) (Turkey) http://www.pembehayat.org

Group of Arab Gay Women Palestine. http://www.aswatgroup.org Lesbian Group, Croatian Croatia. http://www.kontra.hr Gay Muslims UK. http://gaymuslims.org Gender & Development Social Union Azerbaijan. gender.and.development.az@gmail.com

Rauda Morcos (Palestine). International Human Rights Activist.  e-mail: rauda_morocos@yahoo.com

WORKSHOP 1

Challenging hate crimes, an emergency all over Europe


Description of the workshop:

When it comes to hate crimes, all European countries face a great challenge. After decades of prejudices against LGBT people, even equality in law is not enough to protect from bias violence. How can comprehensive policies be implemented to tackle hate crimes? What legislations should the States and the European institutions adopt? What is the role of the civil society?

Presenters: Joel le Deroff, Policy & Programmes Officer of ILGA-Europe, national LGBT focal points Ben Baks(the Netherlands) and Hilary Third (Scotland), Adviser on civil society relations of ODIHR Matilde Fruncillo.

Main issues discussed:

•Under – reporting of hate crime

•Dutch government contribution to combating hate crime

•New Scottish hate crime legislation

•How to counter deposition to hate crime legislation

•Discussion of OSCE mandate and its decision to increase focus of hate crime

•How can trans – phobia be tackled?

Main outcomes:

•Better reporting policies needed

•Profiling of typical hate crime perpetrator useful

•Hate crime offences attract a premium in sentancing policy

•Need to engage with civil society

•Consequences of hate crime are not limited to the act itself but has much wider consequences to the individual and society

•Inform that hate crime can affect anyone and different groups and have similar origins and motivations

•Activists can lobby their respective government representatives

•A comprehensive approach is needed to tackle the reasons and motivations behind hate crimes

•Better training needed for enforcement officers

WORKSHOP 2

No God in Gay? An Exploration of Islam and LGBT Issues


Description of the workshop:

Islam and other religions are frequently presented as being incompatible with peoples’ LGBT identity. However, there are a growing number of people of the Muslim faith who choose to embrace their religious identity as well as their LGBT identity. This workshop will look at some of the commons roots of anti-LGBT sentiment within faith communities and will explore practical strategies for supporting LGBT people of faith, as well as engaging with LGBT and faith matters in our communities.

Presenters: Pav Akhtar, Imaan (UK)

Main issues discussed:

•Relationship between LGBTI and muslims affected by islamofobia although it is recognised to be challenging and ‘sharia’ (muslim law) can easily misinterpreted.

•Convert tolerance exists in some places.

•Ends up being a choice between suppression of homosexuality or faith.

•Contrary to what fundamentalists say, islam is not a dogmatic religion but a search for truth.

•Despite some religious leaders claiming their opinion is the only truth, there is no one definitive opinion on issues about sexuality, gender and islam.

WORKSHOP 3

Being a lesbian is no sin: religion, sexuality and education…


Description of the workshop:

The embodiment of religion in Maltese culture permeates its social organizations. Specifically, the institutionalization of catholic beliefs in Maltese society forms value systems and policy in different institutions. The presentation discusses the ways that catholic morality discourses are intertwined with discourses revolving around sexual orientation, lesbian intimate relationships, sexual pleasure, gender identity and the erotic as they emerge from a number of hidden graffiti written by female students on the toilet doors of a postsecondary school in Malta. The presentation also discusses how adolescent sexual identities are constructed within political, moral, religious and cultural agendas. It addresses the invisibility, voicelessness and non-representation of multiple forms of sexualities in post-secondary curricula.

Presenter: Dr. Joanne Cassar, lecturer at the University of Malta.

Main issues discussed:

•Girls graffiti in female toilets in a post-secondary school in Malta: ethnographic study;

•Graffiti writers form a subculture within the school – lesbian and bisexual writers form a subculture within a subculture;

•Girls create their own safe space since no public foras are available within the curriculum (no sex education in Malta) – girls create own curriculum;

•Girls search for their own definition of “normality”;

•Graffiti toilets provide a safe space for girls to explore a multitude of issues, not just sexuality

Main outcomes:

•Research follow-up – perhaps longitudinal study;

•Contacting ex-students perhaps through newspaper advert or facebook;

•Sharing of research findings especially on a national level

WORKSHOP 4

Challenging hate crimes, an emergency all over Europe


Description of the workshop:

When it comes to hate crimes, all European countries face a great challenge. After decades of prejudices against LGBT people, even equality in law is not enough to protect from bias violence. How can comprehensive policies be implemented to tackle hate crimes? What legislations should the States and the European institutions adopt? What is the role of the civil society?

Presenters: Joel le Deroff, Policy & Programmes Officer of ILGA-Europe, national LGBT focal points Ben Baks(the Netherlands) and Hilary Third (Scotland), Adviser on civil society relations of ODIHR Matilde Fruncillo.

Main issues discussed:

•Under – reporting of hate crime

•Dutch government contribution to combating hate crime

•New Scottish hate crime legislation

•How to counter deposition to hate crime legislation

•Discussion of OSCE mandate and its decision to increase focus of hate crime

•How can trans – phobia be tackled?

Main outcomes:

•Better reporting policies needed

•Profiling of typical hate crime perpetrator useful

Hate crime offences attract a premium in sentancing policy

•Need to engage with civil society

•Consequences of hate crime are not limited to the act itself but has much wider consequences to the individual and society

•Inform that hate crime can affect anyone and different groups and have similar origins and motivations

•Activists can lobby their respective government representatives

•A comprehensive approach is needed to tackle the reasons and motivations behind hate crimes

•Better training needed for enforcement officers

PANEL1

European Policies on the Human Rights of LGBT People: Successes Achieved and Challenges Ahead


Speakers: Ulrike Lunacek, MEP and Francis Agius, Maltese MP (Nationalist Party), member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

PANEL2

Overcoming cultural and religious barriers to LGBT equality


 

WORKSHOP 5

Asylum seekers


Description of the workshop:

The EU legislation on asylum defines minimum standards that explicitly include the possibility of granting protection in case of persecution on the ground of sexual orientation. The studies carried out by LGBT organisations show that the implementation by Member States is far from satisfying. In the coming years a “Common European Asylum System” will be establish. It is time to look at the best possible interpretation of the existing directive, looking for harmonisation in the light of best practices.

Presentations from the workshop can be retrieved below.

Presenters: Joël le Deroff, ILGA-Europe’s Policy Officer, Søren Laursen, LBL (Denmark), S. Chelvan, ALEGRI (UK) & Yahia ZAIDI (Abu Nawas, Algeria)

Main issues discussed:

•Presentation on how asylum decisions are taken in Denmark – highlighting the fact that in many cases LGBT applications are rejected in the first stages\In most countries the definition of a refugee is the convention one in 1951 – is it still valid?

•LGBT is considered as a basis for refugee claim in the convention. New EU legislation includes sexual orientation as a ground for persecution – however still not enough.

•Sexual identity is more than just sexual conduct.

Main outcomes:

•LGBT asylum seekers are not getting the help they need. Most of the times it’s a matter of whether officer/agent believes your experience. How to tell if a person is really LGBT?

•We need to obtain insight into decisions from other European countries – Good practice.

•Belgium asylum seekers assisted by local social workers. Need to be taken into consideration that LGBT asylum seekers might find presence of their communities in the same open centre.

•According to the UNHCR Guidance Note on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, if the state forces people to be discreet, that’s a violation of human rights. Everyone has a right to an identity.

•In reality when society is against you, that is a form of persecution. Discrimination leads to persecution.

RESULTS:

• During activities in ILGA Annual Conference , project participants, educated and had knowledge about mainly

1. European LGBTs associations and European history of struggle against ‘homophobia’ from its beginning until today.

2. European Policies on the Human Rights of LGBT People.

3. Overcoming cultural and religious barriers to LGBT equality.

4. ILGA-Europe’s Informal Communications Network.

5. How adolescent sexual identities are constructed within political, moral, religious and cultural agendas: Basis on Malta.

6. Relationship between LGBTI and muslims: An Exploration of Islam and LGBT Issues

7. Hate Crimes: How can comprehensive policies be implemented to tackle hate crimes, trans and homo phobia? What legislations should the States and the European institutions adopt? What is the role of the civil society?

8. LGBTI asylum seekers : LGBTI is considered as a basis for refugee claim in the convention. New EU legislation includes sexual orientation as a ground for persecution.

OTHER OUTPUTS and DELIVERABLES

•Project participants learned methods about formed struggle mechanisms against ‘homophobia’ and ‘sexual discrimination’ in the European countries and started developing strategies to apply these methodologies for Turkish Cypriot community. •The collected information analyzed and documented and some useful information shared with Turkish Cypriot LGBTI society during the movie screenings as flayers. And also shared with Turkish Cypriot LGBTI society via internet networking (Facebook). •Developed Long term communication, interaction and solidarity with the European LGBTI contact groups. Effective Networking crated.

•Preparation of the brochure has started with collected information and documents.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s