2018 has been a special year for us. We’ve grown and developed in all the areas of our work. This year has been the third consecutive year of substantial growth for IGLYO. There has been a 6% increase in the global budget and the addition of two new staff members – Catarina Santos, Communications Officer and Alejandro Hernandez Pulido, Membership Engagement Officer.
After two years’ work of gathering and analysing data, working with governments, our members and partners, there is finally a comprehensive overview of the situation in all 47 Council of Europe Member States as well as Belarus and Kosovo.
In terms of activities and projects, we were also delighted to launch the first edition of our LGBTQI Inclusive Education Report, Index, Map, and Website.
The LGBTQI Inclusive Education Report – in-depth account of the current situation on LGBTQI inclusive education in each Council of Europe Member State, as well as Belarus and Kosovo. It provides detailed information about the concrete measures that all Members States have taken to ensure inclusive education and to tackle dis-crimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and variations in sex characteristics. This research has been carried out in partnership with civil society organisations and education experts and is intended to be a resource for governments to evaluate the current levels of inclusion within their own country and build international commitment.
The LGBTQI Inclusive Education Index is a table of countries and education indicators to easily illustrate the extent to which each Member State has developed LGBTQI inclusive education laws, policies and practices. It is based on the information of the LGBTQI Inclusive Education Report and it provides an overview of the general trends across Europe to help governments and civil society organisations highlight progress made and identify areas for improvement. One of the important elements of the Index is that the information is segregated by sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and variations in sex characteristics, to ensure all learners within the LGBTQI spectrum are included. The Map ranks countries and aims to encourage governments to recognise progress made in other regions. It highlights the lack of concrete educational measures in the vast majority of the Council of Europe Member States, as well as Belarus and Kosovo.
The LGBTQI Inclusive Education Report and Index will be fully updated every 2-3 years. However, all this information is systematically collected and documented on the LGBTQI Inclusive Education website. This site has been developed to ensure data can be updated on a more regular basis to reflect any major developments within each Council of Europe Member State. The website contains a fully interactive map that combines all data. It shows each Member State’s overall score, as well as their score for each indicator, segregated by sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and variations in sex characteristics. Under each indica-tor, the full narrative report for each country is displayed.
Despite positive legal developments in the field of inclusive education, research shows that LGBTQI learners are still more likely to experience harassment or discrimination at school. These incidents are rarely reported and remain widely undocumented all across Europe. We’ve developed a survey addressed to young people (16-24) to highlight their current experiences and lived realities. The survey consists of a closed questionnaire to report on their experiences of enjoying their fundamental right to education, with a special focus to their experiences of discriminatory situations based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or variations in sex characteristics. The information of the survey will be complemented with interviews with individuals who are underrepresented in current data. The survey will be implemented online in 2019, but it will be specifically targeted in 10 different countries.
Following our previous collaboration with Thomson Reuters Foundation, which resulted in a research report on anti-LGBT propaganda laws in 9 countries in Eastern/Central Europe and Central Asia, we’ve submitted a new proposal to Trustlaw. We intend to create a user-friendly report on best practices for legal gender recognition for people under 18 based on self-determination.
This year also saw the return of the Activist Academy. Building on last year’s success, the five day intensive training course for young people, at the beginning of their activist journey, was held in Predeal, Romania. With the help of four mentors and a team of experts, twenty participants from across the IGLYO network, took part in team building, a series of practical workshops, and two days of challenges and presentations to build their confidence, skills and experience as LGBTQI leaders and activists.
When it comes to online learning, we’ve launched the Workshop design, facilitation and public speaking Webinars.
To ensure that we better understand and support all members within the LGBTQI spectrum, we held our second thematic youth network, focusing on trans and non-binary youth. Twelve participants met in Brussels for two very productive days. The participants set up their own online group for continued work and discussions, recorded a short film, created a page for TGEU’s zine and planned activities for the rest of the year, including a series of online webinars.
In April, we also launched our research into Anti-LGBT Propaganda Laws in the European Parliament, with speeches from the Co-Chair of the LGBTI Intergroup, Terry Reintke MEP, and two guest activists from Russia and Kyrgyzstan. The research covers nine countries from Europe and Central Asia and makes sophisticated arguments against the proposal and adoption of such laws. As we continue to see a worrying shift to the right across European politics, such defences become increasingly necessary.
We have met with international and EU institutions to discuss inclusive education, we’ve held one day event to showcase inclusive education projects across Europe and present IGLYO’s Inclusive Education research at the European Parliament.
Also, we’ve held a panel discussion on inclusive education with national policymakers and CSOs
In December, IGLYO (Euan Platt, Executive Co-ordinator & Rubén Ávila, Education Officer) attended a meeting in Helsinki to discuss the Mentorship Programme with SETA (national NGO) and government representatives responsible for Education. SETA co-ordinated the meeting to discuss LGBTQI inclusive education policies with representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (Equality Unit), the National Institute for Health and Welfare, the Heads of education at the city of Oulu and Helsinki, and the Rainbow cities project.
Following IGLYO’s previous collaboration with Thomson Reuters Foundation, which resulted in a research report on anti-LGBT propaganda laws in 9 countries in Eastern/Central Europe and Central Asia, we’ve submitted a new proposal to Trustlaw. IGLYO intends to create a user-friendly report on best practices for legal gender recognition for people under 18 based on self-determination.
We have published new resources – Anti-LGBT Propaganda Research, LGBTQI Inclusive Education Report, LGBTQI Inclusive Education Index Map, LGBTQI Inclusive Education Website and Supporting Your Intersex Child brochure.
Our Membership stood at 91 organisations at the end of 2017. Throughout 2018, eight new applications were received, but, for technical reasons, only 6 could be approved by the Board before the start of this years’ Annual Members’ Conference.
Our membership is updated yearly at the Annual Members’ Conference. At the end of 2018, IGLYO has 91 members in 40 European countries. Previous to the General Assembly 9 new applications were received among which 6 were received before the General Assembly and fitted the criteria. Since the last Annual Members’ Conference 2 members resigned and 6 had their membership terminated. IGLYO’s membership remains at 91 members for 2019.
In February, we’ve invited five IGLYO alumni members to record a short interview to discuss the longer term impact that participating in IGLYO had had on them both professionally and personally.
In these very touching accounts, the interviewees make comments such as, “I left IGLYO a much truer version of myself than when I joined”, “It helped me to form my voice”, and “IGLYO was one of the most life-changing experiences for me”.
This year Executive Board included – Catia Figuereido, Hakan Özkan, Julia Cata, Anna Robinson, Evan Grm, Jorge María Londoño and Mari Kurtanidze.