On the 27th of January EUD had a meeting with ILGA-Europe. ILGA-Europe is an independent, international non-governmental umbrella organisation bringing together over 600 organisations from 54 countries in Europe and Central Asia. They are part of the wider international ILGA organisation, but ILGA-Europe were established as a separate region of ILGA and an independent legal entity in 1996. ILGA itself was created in 1978.
The purpose of the meeting was to find out more about the work of ILGA-Europe, explore how can both organisations work more closely together and how can ILGA-Europe and EUD support deaf LGBTI advocates.
During the meeting ILGA-Europe explained that the three main pillars of their work are:
- advocating for human rights and equality for LGBTI people at European level, before organisations such as the European Union, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in particular in relation to asylum, hate crime and hate speech, education, employment, family, freedom of assembly, association and expression, health, legal gender recognition and bodily integrity.
- strategic litigation by using European courts to advance the rights of LGBTI people. The use of European courts to ensure full recognition and implementation of human rights for everyone – irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics – is one of the key working methods of ILGA-Europe to achieve full equality for LGBTI people in Europe.
- strengthening the LGBTI movement in Europe and Central Asia by providing training and support to its member organisations and other LGBTI groupson advocacy, fundraising, organisational development and strategic communications and much more.
ILGA-Europe already plays a role when supporting deaf LGBTI people. These are a few good practice examples from Hungary and Ireland:
Project in Hungary:
The project is coordinated by Silent Rainbow, a group of LGBTI deaf people supported by the LGBTI organization Háttér Society. The aim of the project is to strengthen the operation of Silent Rainbow in Hungary by recruiting new members, improving the internal cohesion of the group, exploring the needs of deaf LGBTI people, creating a strategic plan, and making the group more visible to the public. They are achieving these aims by organizing a public event during the Budapest Pride last summer, organizing monthly community meetings, publishing an awareness raising publication and informational videos aiming at LGBTI people introducing them to the challenges faced by LGBTI deaf people.
Project in Ireland:
D/deaf and disabled LGBTI+ youth using BeLong to services identified a gap in practitioners knowledge across the country when it comes to working with communities at the intersection, and worked on developing two informational videos. The first, targeting youth workers on how to be more inclusive in their practice towards D/deaf and disabled LGBTI+ youth and the second one for other D/deaf and disabled LGBTI+ young people on how to stay safe online and on the scene.
EUD strongly encourages deaf LGBTI advocates and activists that advocate for the rights of deaf LGBTI people to engage with the with LGBTI organisations. Are you struggling to find partners and support on the national level? European level organisations like EUD and ILGA-Europe can assist when establishing links and providing with support. Do not hesitate to get in touch!