17/10/2019 | Writer: Kaos GL

Turkey focus meeting of the "Life" project, carried out by Queer Cyprus and Kaos GL, has been held. The meeting discussed human trafficking and studies in this field.

Joint fight against human trafficking in Cyprus and Turkey was discussed Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

Queer Cyprus Association's "LGBTI+ in Freedom from Exploitation (LIFE)" project, which is conducted with Kaos GL, has begun. Within the scope of the project, the Turkey focus group meeting was held between 1-2 October at the Aegean Palace Hotel in Izmir. The meeting, which aims at strengthening inter-organizational solidarity and transferring experiences on human trafficking, forced labor and sex work in Turkey and Cyprus, was attended by the Human Resources Development Foundation (İKGV), Women's Solidarity Foundation, Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association, SOS Children's Village Association, Refugee Rights Association, lawyers from bar associations in Turkey and Cyprus and independent/member activists.


On the first day of the focus group meeting, Lawyer Fezile Özüm from Northern Cyprus spoke about human trafficking in Cyprus, legal-political developments, the current stance of the government and international covenants. Özüm mentioned the current constitutional situation, regulations for nightclubs and the relevant provisions of the penal code (156-165). Also shared their experiences on the communication of women working in nightclubs with social life and medical examinations.


Then the project coordinator Dogan Gümüşatam introduced the "Life Project". Mukhtar Çokar from İKGV explained which steps been taken regarding sex work and human trafficking in the world and Turkey, and what the İKGV is doing in these areas. Çoka pointed out the legal regulations in this area in Turkey, developments in the field of reproductive health and sexual health, and the Palermo Protocol.

Zehra Tosun from the Women's Solidarity Foundation gave a presentation on the shelter they established for victims of human trafficking and the work done in this shelter and women-based social service practices.


The second day of the meeting started with the presentation of Şennur Ören, who works as a social worker at The Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association, regarding the current status of transgender women in Ankara, trans sex work with its special/structural aspects, transfeminism and Misdemeanors Law of Turkey.


After Ören's presentation, a general evaluation meeting was held on; what can be done on human trafficking, forced labour and sex work both in the context of Turkey and in the context of Cyprus, how the "Life Project" will contribute to social policy efforts in Cyprus and  how participants benefited from the experience sharing.


Within the scope of the project, social service research methods and training on the feminist paradigm will also be held. The project also aims to conduct self-strengthening and empowerment training, case studies and, finally, in-depth discussions with actors working on this issue.


The Queer Cyprus Association announced in recent months that it had begun the "LGBTI+ in Freedom from Exploitation (LIFE)" project through funding from the European Union's Together Against Trafficking in Human Beings Grant Program in collaboration with Kaos GL.


Accordingly, preparations for the field research, which is the fundamental phase of the project, has started in September. The field research will be conducted by Prof. Dr. Ozlem Cankurtaran, a professor at Hacettepe University and a researcher feminist activist, and Ali Alp Odabaş, graduate student of Hacettepe University Women and Social Gender Studies. The researchers first scanned the necessary literature for the research and developed the conceptual framework, theoretical background, methodology of the planned research.

Translation: Yiğit E. Korkmaz

Tags: life