Saturday, 8 September 2007

Declaration of civil society organisations on the recognition of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in the OSCE

This Declaration will be presented within the framework of the next meeting of the Human Dimension of OSCE, in Warsaw (24 September 2007–5 October 2007)

We, the undersigned representatives of civil society, call upon the OSCE participating states to recognise sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression explicitly as grounds of discrimination, intolerance, hate-motivated crimes and human rights violations in the OSCE commitments.

There is substantial evidence that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities are especially vulnerable to hate crimes, and therefore have a particular need to be included in programmes addressing this issue. We therefore commend the inclusive and comprehensive approach of ODIHR [Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights] in its work on hate crimes, data collection, police trainings, which includes awareness raising and promotion of measures to fight discrimination on all grounds. We call upon the OSCE participating states to continue supporting this work and provide adequate resources.

We recall the participating states of their obligation under various international treaties and national constitutions to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the human rights of all persons without discrimination. It is therefore our great concern that the OSCE participating states do not have a consensus on interpretation of “all people” and exclude certain social groups from exercising their human rights, such as the right to life and physical integrity, freedom of assembly and association, right to private life, and freedom of expression. These rights, if protected, ensure the dignity of all people, and there can be no justification for exclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons from enjoyment of these rights.

Signed by:

European Social Platform
Human Rights First, USA
International Association for Intercultural Education (IAIE)
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, USA
European Women’s Lobby
European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA-Europe)
Amnesty International EU Office
International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
NGO Platform “Coalition Europe”
European Humanist Federation
European Network Against Racism (ENAR)
European Organisation for Human Rights (EHOR), Strasbourg
European Roma Rights Centre
Youth for Human Rights International, USA and Austria
Quaker Council for European Affairs
World Organisation Against Torture – Europe (OMCT Europe)
European Anti-Poverty Network
Centre for Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), Switzerland
Ascedent, Romania
OSCE-NGO Network
Conseil de la Jeunesse Pluriculturelle (COJEP International)
Organisation Sociale de St. Petersburg «Union Africaine», Russia
Jewish Cultural Centre “Menora”, Armenia

Roma Education Fund, Hungary
Romo Amaro, Belarus
Memorial of Saint Petersburg, Russia
Spanish LGBT Federation (FELGBT)
Movimiento contra la Intolerancia, Spain
The Islamic Commission of Spain
GlobalSIDA, Spain
SOS Rassismus Deutschewerz, Switzerland
Swiss African Forum, Switzerland
RFSL, Sweden
Campaign Against Homophobia, Poland
Georgian Young Lawyers Association, Georgia
NGO Nash Mir (Our World), Ukraine
Coalition of HIV-Service Organisations of Ukraine
Information Centre GenderDoc-M, Moldova
National Roma Centre, Moldova
LADOM (Moldovan League for Human Rights Protection), Moldova
National Youth Council of Moldova
NGO Labrys, Kyrgyzstan
NGO Gaudeamus, Moldova
AntiAIDS Association, Kyrgyzstan
Resource Centre for Human Rights in Moldova “CReDO”, Moldova
Association ACCEPT, Romania
Centre for Legal Resources, Romania
Metropolitan Community Churches, USA
Crisis Centre for Women, Kyrgyzstan
Inclusive Foundation, Georgia
NGO “We for Civil Equality”, Armenia

NGO “Gender and Development”, Azerbaijan
Ursari Roma Association, Romania
NGO “LIGA”, Ukraine
Gay Forum, Ukraine
Latvian Centre for Human Rights. Latvia
NGO LBL, Denmark
Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaijan
Gay Alliance, Ukraine
SOVA Centre, Moscow, Russia
Magenta Foundation, the Netherlands
African Caribbean Leadership Council, London, UK
“Never Again” Association, Poland
AIDS Network, Moldova
Youth Union Siin, Estonia
Homosexuelle Initiative (HOSI) Wien, Austria
Lesben und Schwulenverband Osterreichs, Austria
Croydon Area Gay Society, UK
Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), Ireland
Helsinki Human Rights Committee for Serbia
Women’s Initiative for Equality, Georgia
NGO ADALI, Kazakhstan
NGO “Tais +”, Kyrgyzstan
Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group, Georgia
Donetsk Law Initiative, Ukraine
All-Ukrainian Youth Organisation “Foundation of Regional Initiatives”, Ukraine
Youth Organisation “Bizim Qirim”, Crimea, Ukraine
TV Antena 1, Romania
Alianta Nationala pentru Unitatea Romilor (National Roma Unity Alliance), Romania
Association of Nordic LGBT Student Organisations (ANSO), Sweden
The Federation of Swedish LGBT Student Organisations (SFG), Sweden
Youth Group for Tolerance “ETHnICS”, Russia
Open Viewpoint Public Foundation, Kyrgyzstan
NGO “Transformation”, Sweden
Gender Group of Gothenburg University, Sweden
International NGO Training and Research Centre (INTRAC), UK
Union “Century 21”, Georgia
Canadian Arab Federation
Kulturburo Sachsen (Cultural Office), Germany
Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe (CEJI)
Youth Against Intolerance and Discrimination, Georgia
Netherlands Helsinki Committee
Advocates for Lesbian and Gay Rights International (ALEGRI), UK
LSVD, Germany
Qendra per Emancipim Shoqeror (Center for Social Emancipation) QESh, Kosovo
The Human Rights Centre of Azerbaijan
Democracy Monitor, Azerbaijan

Malta Gay Rights Movement, Malta
COC Haaglanden, the Netherlands
Informational Medical-Psychological Centre Tanadgoma, Georgia
ILGA Portugal
International Gay and Lesbian Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO)
YouAct, the Netherlands
GAT - Grupo Português de Activistas sobre Tratamentos do VIH/SIDA, Portugal
The Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG)
National Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Centers, USA
RFSL Ungdom - The Swedish youth federation for LGBT rights, Sweden
Hudson Pride Connections, USA
The National Council of German Women's Organizations, Germany
Centre for Legal Resources, Romania
ALEAS Izquierda Unida La Rioja (Spain)

*source: ALEAS IU Rioja

The term "human dimension" describes the set of norms and activities related to human rights, the rule of law, and democracy that are regarded within the OSCE as one of the three pillars of its comprehensive security concept, along with the politico-military and the economic and environmental dimensions.

Every year in Warsaw, the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) organizes a two-week conference, the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM). The HDIM is a forum where OSCE participating States discuss the implementation of human dimension commitments that were adopted by consensus at prior OSCE Summits or Ministerial Meetings.

These commitments are not legally binding norms; instead, they are politically binding - a political promise to comply with the standards elaborated in OSCE documents. Follow-up meetings to review the implementation of the commitments are based on the principle that the commitments undertaken in the field of the human dimension are matters of direct and legitimate concern to all participating States and do not belong exclusively to the internal affairs of the state concerned.

*for more info about ODIHR and Human Dimension of OSCE, see here

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