Human Rights

Our situation regarding the jurisprudence on hate crimes

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Hate crimes, hate speech and situation of LGBTI+ in jurisprudence have been discussed in the second session of the International Conference on Gender and Law.

In the second session of the first day of International Conference on Gender and Law organized by Kaos GL Association, our situation regarding the jurisprudence on gender-based violence and hate crimes has been discussed with national and international participants. In the moderation of Lawyer Emrah Şahin from Pink Life Association, Lawyer Ezgi Özkan from Mersin Bar Association, ERA Advocacy Coordinator and Lawyer Vuk Raicevic and Dragana Todorovic from European Lesbian Conference had speeches on their fields.

Firstly, Lawyer Ezgi Özkan took the stage and talked about what is hate crime and legislation on hate crime in Turkey.

“Of course, there's a law regarding hate crimes in Turkey. However, when we look at its content, we see that hate crime is not actually defined. At first, it was “discrimination” law, but after the amendment it is combined as “Discrimination and Hate”. Unfortunately, changing the title does not mean anything in practice. The law still does not include ‘sexual orientation and gender identity”

Mentioning the importance of monitoring and reporting hate crimes, Özkan ended her speech by mentioning about the legal steps that they took towards the attacks against Mersin Pride.

“LGBTI+s have to hide their identity in Western Balkans”

The session continued with the speech of ERA Advocacy Coordinator Vuk Raicevic. He started his speech by introducing the works and members of Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey (ERA). Then he told the situation of Western Balkans:

“Unfortunately, LGBTI+s have to hide their identity in the society in Balkans. The situation is the same for family and public institutions. We also witness 'jokes' and discourses promoting hate speech”

Raicevic indicated that due to the fear of potential discrimination coming from police officers, LGBTI+s in Balkans were afraid of reporting the discrimination/ hate crime they are exposed to officials. He told that on the other hand there is a decrease in hate crimes in the region owing to the advocacy activities that LGBTI+ activists carried out. Raicevic ended his speech by summarizing the situation in the region.

“We have make the issues of lesbian, bisexual and transwomen mainstream issues”

Last speaker of the session was Dragana Todorovic from European Lesbian Conference, and she started her speech as she wants to address the problems and issues related to lesbian, bisexual and transwomen.

After telling about the keen participation to the first European Lesbian Conference, Todorovic addressed the situation of lesbian movement in general:

“Most of you are active in LGBTI+ movement. Maybe you have realized that lesbian movement has not been so popular within the movement in recent two decades. That is, number of lesbian-specific organizations decreased and only %3 of LGBTI+ funds are allocated to lesbians. This clearly shows how lesbian movement is disappearing. The oppression on the movement firstly harm the lesbian, bisexual and transwomen.

“Sexual orientation and gender identity has never been identified as vulnerable groups in gender equality documents, so this prevents the issues related LBT women to be mainstreamed. Today, we have talked what we have done legislatively as LGBTI+ movement, but we are still struggling with sexism within our own movement. We need a space for LBT women to tell their stories and experiences”

This activity is organised within the scope of Awareness and Advocacy for Human Rights of LGBTIs Project which is supported by the EU. This does not mean that content of the conference reflects the EU's official views.

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