From the 5th of November BABELNOR is initiating the action #GreetingsFrom - from today and the days to come, members in all our 15 countries will take photos from famous landmarks in their countries to share in social media with the hashtags #GreetingsFrom #City #Babelnor and #NoHateSpeech. The message - we belive in diversity of genders and sexualities and that no matter where you live, there is diversity and no hate's gonna stop that.
Feel free to make your own photo, share it in social media and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org !
-- PRESS RELEASE --
BABELNOR is a network of LGBTQ*-youth organizations from the Nordic Countries, Ukraine, Belarus and the Balkans. The BABELNOR workshop - annual event took place in Tirana 25th to 27th of September 2014 with 28 participants from 13 countries.
The BABELNOR Network stands in solidarity with the National Network Against Homophobia and Transphobia of Republic of Macedonia in the advocating against the proposed Amendment XXXIII to the Constitution of Macedonia. The Government of the Republic of Macedonia has proposed changes to the Constitution including the Amendment which defines marriage and civil unions, but also any other form of registered life partnership, exclusively as a union between one man and one woman. Our Open Letter against the homophobic, tranphobic and discriminatory Constitutional changes in Macedonia has been supported by fifty individual organizations and NGO networks from across Europe.
BABELNOR would like to point out that the discretion of the State to regulate the institution of marriage does not apply in the case of family life. In other words, the state is truly completely free to define marriage as a form of union and the forming of a family (Art.12, European Convention for Human Rights), but as soon as it begins granting other rights and privileges inherent to marriage to de-facto partnerships that cannot be considered as ‘married’ under national laws (registered partnerships), then the State enters the area of family life (Art.12 ECHR) and sexual orientation and gender identity of such individuals must not be an obstacle to the exercise of those rights.
The contemporary international jurisprudence has already taken a position on this issue. In the case Vallianatos and others v. Greece (29381/09 and 32684/09), the court ruled that this type legislative exclusion of registered civil same-sex partnerships presents a violation of Article 14 (Prohibition of discrimination) taken in conjunction with Article 8 (Right to respect for private and family life). In its Opinion on the Draft-Amendments to the Constitution of Macedonia, the Venice Commission clearly stated that ‘insofar as the Amendment speaks of other forms of partnerships, it should not exclude providing to same-sex couples the same level of legal recognition as it provides to different-sex couples.’
Also, if this effort of the Macedonian Government gets voted by the Macedonian Parliament, it will create precedence in European law on restricting the right of family life through the use of Constitutional mechanisms. This presents a danger to the development of human rights in Europe, because it is a model that can easily be later applied in other national contexts.
Therefore, the BABELNOR Network calls for and encourages all our international friends, human rights and democracy advocates to join our Action against the homophobic, transphobic and discriminatory Constitutional changes in Macedonia and to demand from the Macedonian Parliament, President and Government not to support Amendment 33 of the constitutional changes. Also, we call for and encourage all our partners to inform their respective Governments of the violations that this Amendment can impose on the right to family life, and the consequences it can have in other national contexts.
- BABELNOR 10th of October 2014
-- PRESS RELEASE --
BABELNOR is a network of LGBTQ*-youth organisations from the Nordic Countries, Ukraine, Belarus and the Balkans. The BABELNOR workshop - annual event took place in Tirana 25th to 27th of September 2014 with 28 participants from 13 countries.
The BABELNOR workshop stands in solidarity with Belgrade pride taking place the 29th of September 2014. With the message “Pride for everyone” the BABELNOR workshop points out that expressing our identity as human beings is a fundamental part of the freedom of expression. The expression of your identity is an inseparable part of having one.
Creating an environment where each individual’s rights can be respected and protected is one of the challenges all contemporary societies in Europe face today. Serbia, together with the 47 other members of the Council of Europe have signed The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
The rights of the LGBT(QI)* individuals are still not being protected equally as others by many member states of the Council of Europe. Therefore now more than ever it is important for each member to show that they stay dedicated to the core principles of the ECHR. That all human beings are born with inherent dignity and equal rights (check).
The unfortunate events that marked Serbia’s attempts to organize a safe Pride parade clearly shows that LGBT(QI)* people are not free to express themselves in Serbian society today. This is in violation with article 11 of the Convention on freedom of assembly and association which is also in misalignment with the EU-aquis on equality of all its citizens.
- The Police refrains the right to ban the gay parade at any moment. Therefore, I call on the citizens to maintain the constitutional order, the peace and stability, while respecting the right of every citizen, the Minister of interior of Serbia quoted.
On the other hand, the Prime Minister announced that he will not show his support on the streets of Belgrade tomorrow, and that he doesn’t feel the need to court to anyone, referring to the immense pressure of the international community upon Serbia to finally protect all of its citizens. - If there will be a parade at all, those who wish to, may go, that is their right. I won't go, and I don’t have the need to court anyone, he said.
Providing stable and peaceful environment in which everyone can practice their rights is a responsibility that can’t be reduced to simple courtship, that none Member State can ignore or diminish. Serbian Government must understand that LGBT(QI)* rights are human rights. Now.
The BABELNOR workshop asks the government to undertake the necessary measure to ensure the security and right to freedom of assembly of all its citizens, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
- BABELNOR workshop, Tirana, 27th of September 2014
Full photo on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203689026001010&set=o.126400610724706
Ljubljana, Slovenia, 10th to 13th of April 2014
On the selfie: Marsel from Albania, Eirik from Norway, Goran from Serbia, Stevan from Montenegro, Martin from Slovenia, and Brogan from Kosovo.
After an intense and very productive prep team meeting during 10 - 13 April, a suggestion for collective action against LGBTIQ* hate speech has been developed for IDAHOT that can be implementet in all member organisations. The European Action Day Against Hate Crime on July 22nd has also been identified as a second action day for the BABELNOR network. Expect a mail and info pack within the coming week.
The prep team is also pleased to announce that the Babelnor campaign workshop hosted by LGBT Progress Forum will be held between 6-10 of August in Podgorica, Montenegro. The workshop will include topics on hate speech, creative activism, advocacy, security, and developing content for the counter narrative publication due later this year. A call for participants will be sent out in May.
A great thanks to LeGeBiTra in Slovenia for excellent hosting and to the Norwegian Council of Children and Youth for their support.
Ljubljana, Slovenia, 8th to 12th of December 2013
Group photo of the campaign work group taken at Hostel Celica in Ljubljana.
On the phono: Marsel from Albania, Eirik from Norway, Goran from Serbia, Stevan from Montenegro, Martin from Slovenia, Brogan from Kosovo, and Blagorodna from Macedonia.
An intense workgroup meeting in the weekend of the 6th to 8th of December 2013 lead to the creation of an ambissious babelnor campaign strategy for 2014. The purpose - to strenghten the combat against LGBTQ*-Hate Speech that affects youth.
The strategy suggests to use creative actions, arts and photos together with making a counter narrative that swipes the feet under any kind of hate speech argumentation. The project should end in a colorful publication estimated to be ready in October 2013.
A great thanks to LeGeBiTra in Slovenia for excellent hosting and to the Norwegian Council of Children and Youth for quick responding and indispencable funding.
Sarajevo, 19 August 2013
Group photo of the CBS participants and CBS Prep Team members taken at the seminar venue - hotel Hayat in Sarajevo.
The first Capacity Building Seminar (hereby CBS) of the BABELNOR1 network has started today at the hotel Hayat in picturesque Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
From 19th to 25th August, the CBS will gather together LGBTIQ* activists from the Balkans, Belarus, Ukraine and the Nordic countries where they can build up their knowledge, be informed on the realities in the other countries, learn new methods, share best practices, discuss on important issues and network with each other.
The 5-day seminar programme covers the issues of LGBTIQ* activism, organisational development, norm criticism, law and advocacy, strategies and planning, as well as social activities that include visits to NGOs in Sarajevo working with LGBTIQ* people, watching films at the Sarajevo Film Festival, and other networking events.
The objectives of the seminar are to empower LGBTIQ* youth activists through non-formal education, interactive participation and providing expert knowledge, and the outcome of the seminar are outlined strategies on both personal activist level and further development of the network, as well as a developed BABELNOR campaign initiative.
The CBS is funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Norwegian Youth and Children Council, and CBS’ host organisation is Sarajevo Open Centre.
On behalf of the BABELNOR CBS Prep Team,
*BABELNOR is a network of 20 LGBTIQ* organisations from 14 different countries from the Balkans, Belarus, Ukraine and the Nordic countries. The network aims to empower, motivate and mobilise LGBTIQ* youth activists from the member organisations through networking and providing mutual support.
Oslo, Norway, 3rd of July 2014
On the photo: the black "no hate" heart for the European Action Day for the Victims of Hate Crime
The focus of the BABELNOR network has in 2014 been on introducing an extra focus on LGBTQ* youth in the No Hate Speech Movement and do joint campaign actions against hate speech.
The 6th to the 10th are the dates of the next Babelnor workshop where representatives from all member organisations will come to work on hate speech, advocacy, and activism. The outcomes being more joint actions and finally - a Counter Narrative on how to respond to online homophobic and transphobic hate speech.
A campaign website have been launched and can be found on www.freetoexpress.me - here you will find info about actions taking place and how you can join in with BABELNOR in the fight against homophobic and transphobic hate speech.
The next action day is the 22nd of July - which we work and hope to see as an European Action Day for the Victims of Hate Crime. To many states do way to little to recognize and prevent hate crime in taking place. A day to remember and commemorate the victims will restore respect and give justice to the ones affected. Sign the petition here.