Posted by: kyrgyzlabrys | June 7, 2008

Labrys in OSCE/ODIHR publication on Hate Crimes in 2007

Two Labrys staff members have participated in an introductory training for civil society on Monitoring and Documenting Hate Crimes organized by OSCE/ODIHR in Warsaw on 31 May – 2 June. Several cases from Labrys’ archive have been included in the 2007 ODIHR publication on hate crimes. The willingness of OSCE/ODIHR to include hate crimes and hate incidences against LGBT in the agenda of the organization is a very positive development, as it shows that LGBT issues are finally entering mainstream human rights discourse.

The case included in the report is as follows,

‘In Kyrgyzstan, a young female to male transgender person was attacked by
two men on the streets of Bishkek on 26 November. The victim was denied
help by a shopping centre security guard and was forced to flee the centre
on his own. According to “Labrys”, an LGBT non-governmental
organization, this is a common occurrence in Kyrgyzstan.’

Apart from discussing key terms and basic issues of hate crimes and hate incidences together with nearly thirty other participants from all over the OSCE region (56 states), Labrys has established new contacts with LGBT activists and organizations. Among them are Serbian “Q” LGBTQ organization, Polish “UFA” (according to UFA members their name may be disabbreviated in 50 different ways) – a feminist LGBT organization, several Polish feminist and LGBT activists, as well as an LGBT activist from Northern Cyprus.

Along with new contacts Labrys has refreshed contacts with the COC-Netherlands funded PRECIS project partners from Georgia, Belorus, Ukraine.

New ideas for future cooperation have sprung up from this unexpectedly LGBT-friendly training. Among them are participation in upcoming film festivals and equality prides. Labrys may also (provided funding is secured) participate in a Turkish roundtable on homosexuality in Islamic societies, which would be very useful for Labrys’ work in Kyrgyzstan.

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