Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights brings together partners to speak about LGBTI rights in Albania and spur actions in support of the community.

Tirana 14 December 2017 – A round table discussion: “Let’s Talk Openly about LGBTI rights” will bring together civil society and human rights activists, LGBTI community, public institutions in Albania, media representatives, the Office of the Commissioner for Protection from Discrimination, to discuss the challenges, achievements and future interventions to enhance the respect for LGBTI rights in Albania.

“Despite positive steps, much remains to be done. Marginalization in the workplace, violence in the family, classroom bullying and exclusionary laws still persist and must end. Discrimination starts early and runs deep. Ending marginalization and exclusion of LGBTI people is a human rights priority – and a development imperative. Achieving the full respect of rights of LGBTI people is fundamental to the world’s achievement of the global 2030 Agenda.  There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals all based on a single, guiding principle: to leave no one behind. We will only translate this principle into action if we reach all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity”, ” said Brian Williams UN Resident Coordinator in Albania. During the event, the findings of a Report “Being LGBTI in Eastern Europe – case of Albania” will also be presented.  The report is prepared by UNDP with the support of USAID.

According to the Report public attitudes towards LGBTI persons are still mostly intolerant.  For example, in Albania 92 percent of survey respondents declared that they would not interact with LGBTI people, 48 % of the respondents believe homosexuality is a sickness, and half of the respondents believe that homosexuality is imposed by the West.

The report calls for an immediate to all forms of violence and discriminatory practices against LGBTI people, institutionalizing legal recognition while repealing punitive laws, ensuring hate crimes are prosecuted, and multiplying the channels of advocacy to trigger profound changes in attitudes. The Report provides for the state institutions, civil society and LGBTI advocates recommendations on how to further make progress in these areas.

Last year, Albania became the 28th country in the World to join and launch “Free and Equal” Campaign supported by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights  and implemented in partnership with United Nations Development Programme

The Campaign aims to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination and to mobilize people in Albania to stop the violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. LGBT persons are entitled to live their lives free from fear, violence, discrimination, and inequality.

As part of the campaign a number of multimedia products have been released, which call on all people to respect the rights of the LGBTI community. Around 40 journalists have been trained on how to ethically and adequately reports issues related to LGBTI rights. The Campaign also included holding workshops with young people across Albania to convey a key message: LGBTI rights are human rights.

UNDP Albania and other UN Agencies through several programmes are assisting Albania to address the challenges that still remain including through constitutional, legislative and policy changes, strengthening of national institutions, and education, training and other initiatives to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the human rights of all LGBTI people in the country.

This event was organized in the framework of the UN Free and Equal campaign of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in cooperation with UNDP, Commissioner for Anti-discrimination and the PINK Embassy in Albania.

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