PINK Embassy meets with World Bank in Washington over LGBTI issues

30 April 2014 – Executive Director of Human Rights House in Albania and Board President of PINK Embassy / LGBT Pro Albania representative Mr. Altin Hazizaj attended on 6-12 April, the consultative meetings of the World Bank, over issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in Washington, USA. The meetings were held in the framework of WB’s efforts to join global efforts in the fight against discrimination due to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Working meetings were held with WB President Mr. Jim Kim and the Executive Director for Albania, Greece and Italy Mr. Piero Cipollone. Part of the activities were also one hearing session at the US Congress, a working table with congressmen and a meeting with Obama’s administration representatives.

LGBTI activists were coming from all regions of the world such as Albania, Poland, India, Lebanon, Brazil, Nigeria, Uganda, the Philippines, China, Russia, Mexico, Costa Rica and Guiana. They shared stories of discrimination and persecution that LGBTI people suffer. These meetings served to share perspectives from activists’ work in their countries and the challenges faced due to systematic discrimination and oppression.

The World Bank finances many projects all across the world in the fields of health, poverty reduction and refugee assistance. Due to laws that criminalise homosexuality or lack of good practices many of these funds do not go to vulnerable groups such as LGBTI people. Activists emphasised that, often, the faces of poverty are sexual minorities as individuals who face exclusion and discrimination in the workplace, access to education, health services and financial support which usually results in further exclusion of LGBTI people.

17 board members, Executive Directors met with activists to hear their requests. The main one was for the WB to engage further in addressing discrimination against LGBTI people and also to facilitate research on the consequences of discrimination.

Soon the WB will prepare a new investment model at global level where among other things it will demand more engagements and efforts from state authorities to assist the progress of their citizens despite their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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