Human Rights

Beyond “everyone” and “no one”: Human rights!

Monday, March 26, 2018

LGBTI+ activists from five different cities of Turkey met in human rights and advocacy training of Kaos GL on 17-18 March.  

Kaos GL Association, which has been organizing events for years to build and strengthen the institutional capacities of LGBTI+ associations, launched the "Institutional Capacity Development Training Program" for 2018.

Following the "Strategic Action Plan and Risk Management" training in February, "Human Rights and Advocacy" training was held on March 17-18. LGBTI+ human rights defenders from Ankara, Antalya, Çanakkale, Mersin and İzmir participated the training.

In the first day of the training, human rights defender Hakan Ataman told the main concepts of human rights.

Reminding that human rights language is “rough” and “the subject is ambiguous”, Ataman told: “It is said that everyone has freedom of speech. But, who is everyone? The subject is certain. The patterns of ‘everyone’ and ‘no one’ is not enough. For example, 20 years ago concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity were not protected by law, because they were not specified in law. However, if we have these rights right under the law now, it is because of the çivil society struggle.”

Emphasizing the importance of specifying the subject, Ataman said: “In Turkey, ‘everyone’ and ‘no one’ has never included LGBTIs”.

What is right? Whose human rights?

Second day of the training started with the session moderated by Mehmet Onur Yılmaz from Amnesty International. Yılmaz told about the fundamental rights and international treaties on human rights.

In the session that started with the discussions on “what is right?” and “whose human rights?”, participants had interactive discussions on the clashes between freedom of speech and hate speech, right to protest and right to move, right to own propoert and housing right. In this respect, Yılmaz said:

“So what would we do? Necessity to chose one of them is problematic itself, and ‘sometimes chosing one, and sometimes the other’ is so dangerous. For example, you cannot say that there is a clash between freedom of speech and hate speech, if someone says ‘homosexuals must be killed’. While it seems that there is a clash between the rights, one of them is not a human right.

Detention and torture

In the last session of the training that held in the afternoon of the second day, Lawyer Senem Doğanoğlu told about the prohibition of torture, international treaties on the prohibition and maltreatment.

Reminding that states are obliged not to torture, not to encourage torture and not to overlook torture, Doğanoğlu told about the right to health.

About the Capacity Building Program

The training program is basically aimed at enhancing the institutional and managerial capacity of LGBTI+ associations operating for LGBTI+ rights and equality, and enchancing the competence of voluntary and professional employees in these organizations. Within this scope, various training, workshop and publishing activities will be organized throughout the year.

Capacity building trainings consist of training and study visits on thematic sites. Capacity building activities can be summarized as strengthening organizations through NGO representatives working in the field of LGBTI+. The contents of the trainings were determined in line with the needs assessment and consultation meetings held with LGBTI+ associations.

Kaos GL will participate in the events as well as experts from different components of civil society. LGBTI+ associations and LGBTI+ human rights defenders will be called for as the target group.

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