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“This Is Why We Became Activists”: Violence Against Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Women and Non-Binary People

February 14, 2023

According to interviews Human Rights Watch conducted with 66 lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ+) activists, researchers, lawyers, and movement leaders in 26 countries between March and September 2022, forced marriage is one of ten key areas of human rights abuses most affecting LBQ+ women's lives. Human Rights Watch identified the following areas of LBQ+ rights as those in need of immediate investigation, advocacy, and policy reform. This report explores how the denial of LBQ+ people's rights in these ten areas impacts their lives and harms their ability to exercise and enjoy the advancement of more traditionally recognized LGBT rights and women's rights:the right to free and full consent to marriage;land, housing, and property rights;freedom from violence based on gender expression;freedom from violence and discrimination at work;freedom of movement and the right to appear in public without fear of violence;parental rights and the right to create a family;the right to asylum;the right to health, including services for sexual, reproductive, and mental health;protection and recognition as human rights defenders; andaccess to justice.This investigation sought to analyze how and in what circumstances the rights of LBQ+ people are violated, centering LBQ+ identity as the primary modality for inclusion in the report. Gender-nonconforming, non-binary, and transgender people who identify as LBQ+ were naturally included. At the same time, a key finding of the report is that the fixed categories "cisgender" and "transgender" are ill-suited for documenting LBQ+ rights violations, movements, and struggles for justice. As will be seen in this report, people assigned female at birth bear the weight of highly gendered expectations which include marrying and having children with cisgender men, and are punished in a wide range of ways for failing or refusing to meet these expectations. Many LBQ+ people intentionally decenter cisgender men from their personal, romantic, sexual, and economic lives. In this way, the identity LBQ+ itself is a transgression of gendered norms. Whether or not an LBQ+ person identifies as transgender as it is popularly conceptualized, the rigidly binary (and often violently enforced) gender boundaries outside of which LBQ+ people already live, regardless of their gender identity, may help to explain why the allegedly clear division between "cisgender" and "transgender" categories simply does not work for many LBQ+ communities. This report aims to explore and uplift, rather than deny, that reality.

Social Media Seen as Mostly Good for Democracy Across Many Nations, But U.S. is a Major Outlier

December 6, 2022

As people across the globe have increasingly turned to Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and other platforms to get their news and express their opinions, the sphere of social media has become a new public space for discussing – and often arguing bitterly – about political and social issues. And in the mind of many analysts, social media is one of the major reasons for the declining health of democracy in nations around the world.However, as a new Pew Research Center survey of 19 advanced economies shows, ordinary citizens see social media as both a constructive and destructive component of political life, and overall most believe it has actually had a positive impact on democracy. Across the countries polled, a median of 57% say social media has been more of a good thing for their democracy, with 35% saying it has been a bad thing.There are substantial cross-national differences on this question, however, and the United States is a clear outlier: Just 34% of U.S. adults think social media has been good for democracy, while 64% say it has had a bad impact. In fact, the U.S. is an outlier on a number of measures, with larger shares of Americans seeing social media as divisive.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) Impact Study 2017-2022

November 18, 2022

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) asked the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to revise the impact study that was conducted on behalf of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) in 2010 and 2016, which is presented hereafter. This new report is structured along three key themes: the SNFCC's positive impact on Greece's image & its people, its status as a global role model of environmental sustainability, and its deep economic impact on the Greek economy.With regards to the first theme, since its operations commenced, the SNFCC has been a global landmark for Greece and its people and a monument of modernity and sustainability for the city of Athens, boosting tourism and improving Greece's image internationally. What is more, the SNFCC, the Greek National Opera (GNO) and the National Library of Greece (NLG) have been a landmark of inclusion, providing free access for those of all backgrounds, and those with special needs. Their daily operations and activities have made deep impact on the rich offering of Greece's cultural and educational legacy, removing cultural barriers and preserving Greece's educational heritage. Finally, the local community has benefited from the improved quality of life with clean air, exercise facilities, reduced heavy crime in the area and twice as much green space.In terms of environmental sustainability, the SNFCC is the first large-scale cultural project in Europe to achieve a LEED platinum certification. Best-practice environmental standards were met during the design and construction, and are guaranteed during its daily operations, enhancing its vision to become a hub of sustainability awareness, information and education.Finally, with respect to the SNFCC's economic impact, the SNFCC's operations have over exceeded expectations for 20191 and are estimated to have made an annual contribution of ~ €203M to the Greek economy, ~ 2.8K people to the employment, and €36M to taxes

Conducive Environment for Philanthropic Activity in Albania

July 19, 2022

This policy document focuses on a comparative analysis of Albania, Western Europe, and Western Balkan countries, regarding the legal and regulatory framework that regulates activities legally recognized for fiscal incentives and the categories of these incentives for the private sector.

Tales of Roma Women's Resistance: Roma womens organizing in southeastern Europe

July 5, 2022

This collection of stories explores the diverse realities of Roma women, girls and LGBTQI+ people, as well as the realities of activists who advocate for change on the frontlines in the Southeast Europe region. Building on 19 semi-structured interviews with activists conducted between 2018 and 2022, this research also examines the intersectional nature of the challenges that Roma girls, women and LGBTQI+ youth face in their specific contexts, through the prism of activists who have been tailoring their approaches to address and advocate for these issues.

Ending Street Homelessness in Vanguard Cities Across the Globe: An International Comparative Study

April 5, 2022

Street homelessness is one of the most extreme, and visible, manifestations of profound injustice on the planet, but often struggles to achieve priority attention at international level. The Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH's) A Place to Call Home initiative, launched in 2017, represented a concerted effort to support cities across the globe to eradicate street homelessness. A first cohort of 13 'Vanguard Cities' committed to a specific target on ending or reducing street homelessness by December 2020. Our independent evaluation of this initiative found that:Two Vanguard Cities – Glasgow and Sydney – fully met their self-defined target reductions for end 2020. In addition, Greater Manchester, while it did not meet its exceptionally ambitious goal of 'ending all rough sleeping', recorded an impressive 52% reduction against baseline.Overall, there was evidence of reductions in targeted aspects of street homelessness in over half of the Vanguard Cities. In most of the remaining cities data limitations, sometimes as a result of COVID, meant that it was not possible to determine trends. In only one Vanguard City – Edmonton – was there an evidenced increase in street homelessness over baseline levels.Key enablers of progress in reducing street homelessness included the presence of a lead coordinating agency, and coordinated entry to homelessness services, alongside investment in specialized and evidence-based interventions, such as assertive street outreach services, individual case management and Housing First.Key barriers to progress included heavy reliance on undignified and sometimes unsafe communal shelters, a preoccupation with meeting immediate physiological needs, and sometimes perceived spiritual needs, rather than structural and system change, and a lack of emphasis on prevention. Aggressive enforcement interventions by police and city authorities, and documentary and identification barriers, were also counter-productive to attempts to reduce street homelessness.A key contextual variable between the Vanguard Cities was political will, with success in driving down street homelessness associated with high-level political commitments. An absolute lack of funds was a major challenge in all of the Global South cities, but also in resource-poor settings in the Global North. Almost all Vanguard Cities cited pressures on the affordable housing stock as a key barrier to progress, but local lettings and other policies could make a real difference.The impact of the COVID-19 crisis differed markedly across the Vanguard Cities, with people at risk of street homelessness most effectively protected in the UK and Australian cities. Responses were less inclusive and ambitious in the North American and Global South cities, with more continued use of 'shared air' shelters, albeit that in some of these contexts the pandemic prompted better coordination of local efforts to address street homelessness.IGH involvement was viewed as instrumental in enhancing the local profile, momentum and level of ambition attached to reducing street homelessness in the Vanguard Cities. IGH's added value to future cohorts of cities could be maximised via a focus on more tailored forms of support specific to the needs of each city, and also to different types of stakeholders, particularly frontline workers.

Global Public Opinion in an Era of Democratic Anxiety

December 7, 2021

As democratic nations have wrestled with economic, social and geopolitical upheaval in recent years, the future of liberal democracy has come into question. In countries across the globe, democratic norms and civil liberties have deteriorated, while populists have enjoyed surprising success at the ballot box. Newly democratic nations have struggled, while more-established, once self-assured democracies have stumbled, exposing long-simmering weaknesses in their social fabrics and institutional designs.These trends have been well-documented by organizations such as the Economist Intelligence Unit, Freedom House, International IDEA and the Varieties of Democracy project (V-Dem), which measure and track the quality of democracy around the world. Public opinion researchers have also focused on these issues by examining how citizens think about democracy and its alternatives. At Pew Research Center, we've applied a comparative, cross-national lens to explore global trends in attitudes toward political representation and individual rights.

Dismantling Detention: International Alternatives to Detaining Immigrants

November 3, 2021

As the harmful effects of immigration detention become more widely known and the appropriateness of detaining migrants is increasingly questioned, governments are looking at alternatives to detention as more humane and rights-respecting approaches to addressing the management of migrants and asylum seekers with unsettled legal status. This report examines alternatives to immigration detention in six countries: Bulgaria, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States to highlight viable, successful alternatives that countries should implement before resorting to detention. While the report provides an analysis of specific alternatives to detention (often referred to as ATDs) in each country, it is not intended to provide a comprehensive overview of all alternative programs available.Each country featured in this report has taken a different approach to alternatives to detention. Some focus more heavily on surveillance and others on a more person-centered, holistic approach. Ultimately, this report finds alternatives that place the basic needs and dignity of migrants at the forefront of policy, such as community-based case management programs, offer a rights-respecting alternative to detention while simultaneously furthering governments' legitimate immigration enforcement aims.

United by Challenge: Regional Opportunities to Drive Media Reform in Southeast Europe

June 16, 2021

Political shifts in Southeast Europe over the past thirty years were followed by dramatic improvements in the media sectors of several countries, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia. Yet, over the past decade, progress has stalled. Independent media in countries across Southeast Europe are under attack and must contend with declining revenue models, rampant disinformation, deepening encroachment of political and economic interests, and sustained harassment.With challenges come opportunities. Southeast Europe's strong tradition of regional cooperation for media reform can be leveraged to address the renewed threats independent media face. Countries in the region have shared cultural and trade ties, common media markets, and face similar threats to a free and independent press. They also benefit from numerous existing regional coalitions and networks that have worked for decades to develop shared norms and standards and promote cross-border knowledge sharing and solidarity.– Southeast Europe's regional media coalitions, organizations, and networks are a significant force for promoting media freedom, independence, and pluralism.– Regional coalitions are important drivers of national reform efforts. They need to be equipped to take advantage of new windows of opportunity and tap into the power and influence of the numerous multilateral organizations that serve the region.– The support of international donors and multilateral institutions is critical to advancing media reform agendas in Southeast Europe. However, more needs to be done to broaden and deepen support, and to tap into the collective capacities and assets of local media organizations and regional media coalitions.

Radar alatt – A transz emberek elleni erőszak dokumentálása

April 19, 2021

A transz emberek előítéletek által motivált diszkriminációval szembesülnek az élet minden területén, beleértve az oktatást, a munkát, az egészségügyet, a lakhatást és más szolgáltatásokat. Míg néhány nyugat-európai ország javított a transz emberek jogi helyzetén az elmúlt évtizedben, és átültették az önrendelkezés jogi elvét a nem jogi elismerésre irányuló folyamatokban, addig Közép-Kelet-Európában és Közép-Ázsiában (a továbbiakban: CEECA, angolul: Central-Eastern Europe and Central Asia) csak marginális jelentőségű pozitív jogi változások történtek a transz közösségek tekintetében.A Transgender Europe (TGEU) 2008 óta működik együtt aktivistákkal a Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM, magyarul Transz Gyilkosság Megfigyelés) program keretében a transz emberek által megélt erőszak kutatása kapcsán.1 2014-ben a TGEU elindította a ProTrans projektet,2 amely a transz emberek elleni erőszakra fókuszál a CEECA régióban. Ekkortól kezdve a projekt bizonyítékokat gyűjtött a transz emberek áldozattá válásával kapcsolatban, valamint forrást nyújtott az aktivistáknak, hogy érdekképviselői legyenek a jobb szabályzatok kialakításának, amelyek javítanák a transz emberek élethelyzetét.A jelen jelentés összefoglalja a ProTrans projekt kulcseredményeit 2015 és 2020 között. Az ebben az időszakban öt országból (Magyarország, Moldávia, Kirgizisztán, Szerbia és Törökország) származó projektpartnerek erőszakos eseteket gyűjtöttek a saját kontextusukban. Az adatok szomorú képet festenek a transz emberek elleni, állam által finanszírozott és nem állami erőszakos cselekményekről

Under the radar: documenting violence against trans people

April 19, 2021

Trans people face bias-motivated discrimination in all spheres of life, including education, employment, healthcare, housing, and other services. While some countries in Western Europe have improved the legal situation of trans people in the past decade and implemented the principle of self-determination in legal gender recognition procedures, positive legal changes for trans communities in Central-Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA) have been marginal.Transgender Europe (TGEU) has worked together with activists since 2008 on researching trans people's lived experiences of violence in its Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM).1 In 2014, TGEU initiated the ProTrans project,2 focusing on violence against trans individuals in the CEECA region. Ever since, the project documented evidence on trans victimisation and provided activists with resources to advocate for better policies to improve the living conditions of trans persons.The present report summarises the key results of the ProTrans project between 2015-2020. In this period, project partners from 5 countries (Hungary, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, and Turkey) collected incidents of violence from their contexts. The data paints a grim picture of state-sponsored and non-state violence against trans individuals.

Reducing Abortion Stigma: Global Achievements since 2014

February 10, 2021

Abortion stigma affects everyone: individuals, communities and service providers. Young women and adolescent girls bear the brunt of abortion stigma. It causes delays in people seeking abortion and stops others from accessing it, leading to unintended pregnancies. Stigma drives abortion underground, where it is more likely to be unsafe.Since 2014, the support of the David & Lucile Packard Foundation has enabled IPPF to reduce abortion stigma affecting young people around the world, working directly with Member Associations in six countries (Bénin, Burkina Faso, India, Pakistan, Ghana and Nepal). Meaningful youth participation has ensured that young people's lived experiences were central in every aspect of this work. This project has also supported smaller ground-breaking youth-led projects in 14 different countries: Albania, Colombia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Macedonia, Nepal, Nigeria, Palestine, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone, Spain, Tanzania and Venezuela.This document highlights the achievements and learnings from the Abortion Stigma Project between 2014 and 2020, including case studies, research and evidence generated around abortion stigma, and popular resources and tools developed throughout the project, and more.