04/03/2021 | Writer: Yiğit E Korkmaz
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Istanbul Deputy Züleyha Gülüm, submitted a parliamentary question for Social Services Minister Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk to answer: "Will you legislate regulations to prevent violence and discrimination that LGBTI+'s may encounter in access to social services?"
Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Istanbul Deputy Züleyha Gülüm, addressed the obstacles experienced by LGBTI+'s in access to social services during the pandemic period in the parliament.
Referring to the report of the Social Policy, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPOD), the 'LGBTI+s’ Access to Social Services During the Pandemic', Gülüm underlined that a number of fundamental rights of LGBTI+'s, including the right to life, are systematically violated; the problems got deepened with the pandemic and existing inequalities became established in the motion submitted to be replied by the Minister of Social Services Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk:
“The problems experienced by LGBTI+'s, who have serious problems in accessing rights and whose rights, including the right to life, are systematically violated, have deepened with the pandemic, and existing inequalities have become established. In this process, LGBTI+'s face serious obstacles in accessing social service mechanisms, and are subjected to discrimination and violence.
“According to the 'LGBTI+s’ Access to Social Services During the Pandemic'report of the Social Policy, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPOD), LGBTI+' s have become an even more disadvantaged community, and experience serious difficulties in accessing social services such as social assistance, psycho-social support, post-violence support mechanisms and their fundamental rights such as the right to life and housing.
“Most of the LGBTI+'s that participated in the research stated that they do not have sufficient information about where and how they can apply for shelter, psychosocial support and access to social assistance during the pandemic process and that they think they may be exposed to discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity in access to the said services. In addition, even though they are subjected to violence, they cannot apply to public institutions and organizations due to the policy of impunity. Moreover, it is stated that especially transphobia is common in these institutions and organizations, and many LGBTI+'s are mistreated. More than half of the participants in the research stated that they do not have any income, and the vast majority of them state that they receive support from their friends instead of social assistance.
The questions that Gülüm submitted to be responded by the Minister of Social Services Zehre Zümrüt Selçuk:
“Are you assessing the pandemic policies in terms of LGBTI+'s?
Are the LGBTI+'s who are not likely to stay at home during the pandemic or who are subjected to violence by their family members when they stay at home, be provided with the unconditional use of shelters and improvement of accommodation opportunities?
Will you establish legal and psycho-social support lines for LGBTI+'s?
Is it true that HIV, hormonal treatment, or gender reassignment surgeries of LGBTI+'s are prevented by the pretext of the pandemic?
Will regulations be made to prevent violence and discrimination that LGBTI+'s may encounter in accessing social services?
Will LGBTI+ migrants and refugees be entitled to all social rights, especially healthcare?
Although transphobia and homophobia are very common in all segments of society, especially the judiciary and police, they are political crimes that are not truly reciprocated in criminal law. Is there an initiative by your government for effective legal regulations to provide deterrence for hate crimes based on 'gender identity' and 'sexual orientation'?”
“LGBTI+s’ Access to Social Services During the Pandemic” report
The vulnerabilities that existed in the society began to deepen and become more visible during the pandemic. In this process, LGBTI+'s became an even more vulnerable community and experienced serious problems regarding their right to life and in access to social services (shelter, social assistance, psycho-social support and post-violence support mechanisms), and they continue to experience these hardships.
Social Policy, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPoD) published the “LGBTI+s’ Access to Social Services During the Pandemic Report”, which was finalized after comprehensive data collection and analysis. The report has been prepared in order to address the problems that LGBTI+'s experience in access to social services during the pandemic. 856 LGBTI+'s from Turkey's various regions were included in the study.
The report, which includes the problems experienced by LGBTI+'s in accessing social services and the role of public institutions and organizations, local administrations and non-governmental organizations in these problems, shows that LGBTI+'s often feel they might be discriminated based on their sexual orientation and gender identity in access to services.
Click here for the report published by SPoD with the wish of, "We hope that public institutions and organizations, municipalities and non-governmental organizations that provide social service(s) for LGBTI+'s will be able to develop new service(s) or update their existing services with the help of this report."
Tags: human rights, life