Category Archives: News

Apply to Seta’s international affairs committee

Apply to Seta’s international affairs committee

Are you interested in lgbtiq human rights issues internationally? Would you like to work with other lgbtiq activists and experts with passion towards international lgbtiq-questions? Apply to Seta’s international affairs committee!

The international affairs committee supports Seta’s board regarding international affairs. In 2017 the main responsibilities of the committee are:
– to prepare an action plan for Seta’s international work in the coming years (as required by Seta’s new organizational strategy)
– to plan a support program for the benefit of lgbtiq human rights defenders active in the Finland’s neighboring regions (particularly Russia) (as required by Seta’s program for 2017).

Members of the committee are volunteers and do not receive a payment for their work. The committee will hold few meetings and also work via e-mails. Skype-participation at the meetings is possible.

Send a short application (max. 1 A4 paper) explaining why do you want to join the committee and what kind of relevant experience and interests you have. The applications must be send latest 28 February to Secretary General Kerttu Tarjamo at paasihteeri(at)seta.fi. Remember to include contact information and also please indicate whether your name can be published if you are selected to the committee.

More information, Kerttu Tarjamo, 050 309 8108.

Finnish LGBTIQ+ rights organisations Seta and Trasek to appear at the United Nations Committee Against Torture 59th session: the treatment of trans and intersex people in Finland is cruel, inhuman and degrading

Finnish LGBTIQ+ rights organisations Seta and Trasek to appear at the United Nations Committee Against Torture 59th session: the treatment of trans and intersex people in Finland is cruel, inhuman and degrading

Seta and Trasek demand that the unnecessary and harmful cosmetic surgery done to intersex children is stopped immediately and that the Finnish Trans act is readily reformed to respect the right to self-determination.

The UN Committee Against Torture will review Finland and the realization of its human rights in November. A hearing with NGOs will be held in order to get a precise picture of how Finland ensures the human rights obligations set by the UN convention, where torture and other inhuman treatment is prohibited. Seta and Trasek, who delivered a report on the treatment of trans and intersex people, sends two participants to the session in Geneva November 8th. Amnesty International Finland will also appear in the hearing, and supports the demands presented by Seta and Trasek.

The alarming state of trans youth and the harsh demands of the trans act

A full reform of the trans act, a topic that has sparked intense debate in Finland for years, is one of the central demands of the NGOs, who want a trans act that is based on autonomy and self-determination.

“The current trans act in Finland doesn’t respect the most central human rights. It is simply cruel and inhuman to submit trans people to forced sterilization and years of psychiatric monitoring. To force someone into medical monitoring and have them undergo procedures in order for them to be able to change their name and have their gender legally recognized is humiliating. The trans act needs to be renewed so that it respects the right to self-determination”, says Kasper Kivistö, one of two NGO representatives in Geneva (on the left in the photo).

According to the NGOs, Finland should focus more on the alarming state that the trans youth is in.

“According to studies every second trans youth has to face physical violence, and discrimination and non-physical violence is even more common. Discrimination leads to serious consequences. More than every other trans youth has thought of self-harm and suicide”, says Panda Eriksson, who will attend the Geneva hearing with Kivistö.

“It is regrettably common that teachers, health care staff and parents try to minimize or deny a young trans person’s gender, or feel negatively about their gender identity. This needs to end. Trans youth need psychological and social support. The right to have your name and legal gender marker changed must be secured for adults and youth alike”, says Seta´s Secretary General Kerttu Tarjamo.

The unnecessary surgical treatment of intersex children needs to end

The NGOs also demand that Finland ends the so called “normalizing” surgeries on intersex children, who might not be more than babies or toddlers when they have to undergo genital surgery. Surgery is done on the outer genitalia to have the child’s body fit the ideal that dictates what a boy or a girl body should look like – even when the genitalia are completely functional.

“Intersexualism is part of the multitude found in nature and in gender. It’s not a problem that should be solved with a knife. The unnecessary operations done on children are a grave insult to their physical immunity and often result in problems such as loss of feeling in the genital area or chronic pain. These surgeries have to end immediately. Hormonal treatment, which is used to “steer” the development of gendered characteristics, has to change so that it’s only used with the informed consent and collaboration of the individual in question. A system that operates from above, dictating what a child’s gender should be and how they should experience their own body and their condition, is a human rights problem in every way”, says Terhi Viikki from Trasek.

The UN Committee Against Torture will review the Finnish situation based on reports delivered by the government and by NGOs, as well as by the hearings organized in Geneva. The committee will present the Finnish government with recommendations on the development of human rights within 1-2 months after the hearing.

For further information or interview requests:

Seta’s and Trasek’s report can be found and read: http://seta.fi/cat-2016/

The UN page that features all the documents related to the reviewing of Finland:
http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/TreatyBodyExternal/Countries.aspx?CountryCode=FIN&Lang=EN

 

Kerttu Tarjamo
p. +358 50 309 8108
paasihteeri@seta.fi

Panda Eriksson
panda@trasek.fi

Kasper Kivistö
kasper@trasek.fi

Foto: Panda Eriksson (left side) and Kasper Kivistö. Foto Sonja Siikanen.

Trans people are transgender people and non-binary people, among others. Being trans means your gender doesn’t correlate with the gender you were assigned at birth.

Intersexualism refers to a congenital condition where the anatomical or physical features of the body that are usually gendered aren’t unambiguously typically male or typically female.

Vigil and expression of solidarity with the Orlando LGBTQ community on Friday

Vigil and expression of solidarity with the Orlando LGBTQ community on Friday

On Sunday we were shocked and deeply sorrowed to learn about the horrific hate crime which took place at the LGBTQ  night club Pulse in Orlando, USA. This act of hate cost the lives of and injured so many members of our community. On Friday 17 June at 17:00 we will come together in memory of the victims of the attack and in solidarity with the Orlando LGBTQ community at the Karhupuisto park in Kallio, Helsinki.

A moment of silence, words of remembrance and music. Participation of Seta – LGBTI rights in Finland, HeSeta, US Embassy and Kaupungin naiset and Out ‘n Loud choirs.

The event is politically and religiously independent and open to everyone.

Organised by Seta – LGBTI Rights in Finland.

More information:

Kerttu Tarjamo
Secretary General
+358 50 309 8108
paasihteeri@seta.fi

Were you a victim of a hate crime? Tell us by April 27th!

Were you a victim of a hate crime? Tell us by April 27th!

We collect data of hate crimes for our advocacy work. Please tell us about a hate crime you, or someone you know have encountered in the year 2015. You will help improve the safety and rights of LGBTI people.

OSCE, the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe, has asked NGOs to report hate crime incidents. Seta is also going to use anonymous information of the incidents in its advocacy work. Please send your information by April 27th to toimisto[at]seta.fi.

Enclose the following information:

  • What happened?
  • Date, time and location of the incident
  • Source of information (you, your friend, read from a newspaper…)
  • Victim(s) involved (no names, only gender, age and other relevant information: if the incident is homophobic or transphobic, the victims sexual orientation or gender identity might be relevant)
  • Type of the crime (e.g. assault, abuse, vandalism, incitement to racial or ethnic hatred)
  • Perpetrator(s) (no name, only gender, age and other relevant information)
  • Brief description of incident with bias indicators, i.e. why the incident is a hate crime (e.g. the perpetrator yelled homophopic or racist insults, the crime was against a LGBTI organization…)
  • Status of the case, i.e. has the incident been reported to the police and what has happened since (has preliminary investigation been carried out, have charges been filed, is there a court rule)
  • Response of the local authorities
  • Impact on the victim(s) and the community (e.g. LGBTI community or peer group)

> Read more about OSCE hate crime reporting http://hatecrime.osce.org/

EuroGames 2016 brings international LGBT-athletes to Helsinki

EuroGames 2016 brings international LGBT-athletes to Helsinki

The EuroGames 2016 event in Helsinki and it’s neighbouring cities of Vantaa and Espoo will be held from 29th of June to 2nd of July 2016. The organizing sport club is HOT Helsinki.

HOT Helsinki welcomes all European sport clubs and individual sportsmen and women to participate in the northern most EuroGames so far. We offer you the most professional sport events as well as interesting and memorable cultural and human rights events during the games.

There will be at least 14 different sports in Helsinki EuroGames 2016: badminton, basketball, bowling, bridge, dancing, floorball, football, golf, squash, swimming, tennis, track and field & cross-country running and volleyball. Non-competitive sporting events are as well offered, for example yoga. We are expecting all together 3 000 participants and 2 000 other visitors from all over the world to arrive in Helsinki. Being the neighbouring country and having good transport connections to Russia and the Baltic countries we expect many participants from there.

More information  eurogameshelsinki.org

Also EuroGamesHelsinki is in  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube

 

Have you encountered hate speech and harassment? Answer questionnaire by 11th of November!

Have you encountered hate speech and harassment? Answer questionnaire by 11th of November!

If you are a member of a minority group (people whose mother tongue is not Finnish, foreign citizens or persons with immigrant backgrounds, Finnish Roma, Samis, disabled people, members of sexual and gender minorities, and members of religious minority groups) and if you have personally experienced harassment or hate speech, please answer questionnaire by the Finnish Ministry of Justice by 11th of November.

The purpose of the survey is to gain more information about hate speech and harassment and their impacts. In addition, the survey is used for deliberating how hate speech and harassment could be prevented.

The questionnaire responses will be handled confidentially and they will not be handed over to third parties. The survey report will be prepared in such a manner that no individual respondent can be identified.

You can also sign up for a personal interview by expressing your willingness for this in the questionnaire. In the interview, there is a more detailed discussion about the hate speech and harassment you have experienced and the impact it has had on you and your loved ones.

The survey is conducted by Owal Group Oy. The questionnaire responses will be used in the “Survey of experiencing hate speech and its influence on the feeling of safety by members of different minorities”.

Seta’s letter to Turkish authorities on violations against Kemal Ördek and LGBT Pride Parade

Puheenjohtaja Panu Mäenpää ja kaksi kirjettä Turkin viranomaisille, joissa vaaditaan ihmisoikeusaktivistin pahoinpitelyn sekä hlbti-marssiin kohdistuneiden voimatoimien selvittämistä ja sateenkaari-ihmisten turvallisuuden turvaamista jatkossa.

During this summer Turkish authorities have Seta send a protest letter to Turkish authorities Sebahattin Öztürk and Ahmet Davutoğlu on regards of ill-treatment suffered by human rights defender Kemal Ördek and participants of LGBT Pride Parade.

Additional information on LGBTI News Turkey:
Raped and assaulted, LGBTI activist Kemal Ördek says: ”I´m not well…”

 

4th of August at Helsinki

Dear Sebahattin Öztürk and Ahmet Davutoğlu

We are writing to express our concern over the ill-treatment suffered by Kemal Ördek, human rights defender and founder of the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association, together with hir lawyer at Esat Police Station in Ankara.

Ördek, an internationally highly respected defender of transgender and sex worker rights, was a victim of sexual assault, theft, threats and insults by three men in hir house on 5 July 2015. Ördek managed to run to a police patrol car when the perpetrators took hir to the ATM to take out money. The threatening behaviour of the perpetrators towards Ördek continued in the police vehicle and at the police station.

The police did not take the assault seriously, insulted Ördek, colluded with the perpetrators and released them without carrying out an effective investigation. After their release the perpetrators continued to harass Ördek via phone.

We call on the authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into the events of 5 July and the actions of the police, and ensure that Kemal Ördek receives appropriate protection against threats.

We are concerned over the safety of Kemal Ördek and will continue to follow the investigation process.

Furthermore, we are deeply concerned that police used unwarranted force, using tear gas, water cannons and rubber pellets against individuals who were peacefully assembling for the Istanbul LGBT Pride Parade on 27 June 2015.

We call on the Turkish government and authorities to combat all forms of discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people and sex workers, and ensure that all victims of crime are treated with respect and dignity and their cases taken seriously.

We call on you to do everything in your influence to ensure that the human rights of LGBTI individuals and sex workers, as set out in the international treaties and standards to which Turkey is committed, are respected.

Sincerely,

Panu Mäenpää
Chair of the Board

Are you interested in LGBTI rights and making a difference as a member of the board of Seta – LGBTI Rights Finland?

If so, we are welcoming your application via email: leena[at]tarjamo.fi. We would like the applicants to answer the below questions in Finnish when applying via email.

The vice chairman and four board members (3 members and 1 vice member) will be elected for the next two years in the Representatives’ Assembly on 28. -29.11.2015. Members will be selected by the Representatives from the nominees proposed on the spot. However, pre-entrance is recommended – that way you will get your application among the official Representatives’ Assembly documents sent to the member organizations prior to the Assembly.

In order to enable a democratic decision-making and transparency, it is very important that there will be more nominees than available positions. It is also crucial to have board members who represent a variety of genders and have diverse backgrounds and regional points of view. The working language of the board is Finnish, which is why the questions are also in Finnish.

A good board member is committed and has an interest and urge to promote the welfare of sexual and gender minorities. Ideally, the member would be experienced in any area associated with Seta.

Application deadline is October 12, 2015.

Questions:

Mikäli et halua jotain yksityistietoasi kerrottavan esittelymateriaaleissa, kirjoita sen perään salainen.

Nimi:
Ikä:
Paikkakunta:
Sähköpostiosoite:
Puhelinnumero:
Sukupuoli (nainen/mies/muu):

1. a) Oletko jonkin Setan jäsenjärjestön jäsen? Minkä? Mistä vuodesta alkaen?
b) Miksi liityit jäseneksi tai miksi et ole jäsen?

2. Oletko toiminut jonkin Setan jäsenjärjestön aktiivina, hallituksen jäsenenä tms.?

3. a) Mikä on mielestäsi Setan hallituksen jäsenen tehtävä?
b) Jos pyrit varapuheenjohtajaksi: mikä on mielestäsi varapuheenjohtajan tehtävä ja rooli Setassa?

4. Miksi juuri sinä olisit hyvä jäsen Setan hallitukseen?

5. Mitkä ovat mielestäsi Setan tärkeimmät tehtävät nyky-yhteiskunnassa sekä tulevaisuudessa? (mainitse kummastakin korkeintaan viisi asiaa)

6. Mihin järjestöllisiin asioihin haluaisit eniten vaikuttaa Setassa?

7. Miten aiot vaikuttaa näihin asioihin, jos sinut valitaan Setan hallitukseen?

8. Kerro vapaamuotoisesti toiminnastasi hlbti-asioiden parissa ja/tai muussa ihmisoikeustyössä.

9. Setan hallituksessa on hyötyä monenlaisesta osaamisesta. Onko sinulla jotain ominaisuuksia/taitoja/taustaa/kiinnostuksen kohteita tms., joista ajattelisit olevan hyötyä hallituksen jäsenen/varapuheenjohtajan tehtävän hoitamisessa ja joista haluaisit mainita?

> Kysymykset .docx-muodossa

A great step for human rights-based legal gender recognition: A ministry expert group in Finland wants to remove infertility requirement and forced divorce, examine self-determination

Amnesty International Finnish Section
The Finnish League for Human Rights
Rainbow Families
Seta – LGBTI Rights in Finland
Trasek

Press release on April 6, 2015

A great step for human rights-based legal gender recognition: A ministry expert group in Finland wants to remove infertility requirement and forced divorce, examine self-determination

The final report of a Ministry for Social Affairs and Health expert group on legal gender recognition was released today. The group has reviewed the terms of legal gender recognition and suggests that the infertility requirement and converting one’s marriage to registered partnership be removed. The group also suggests a change of the outdated name of the current law. The experts further suggest that an option of basing legal gender recognition on self-determination in the form of a simple declaration of one’s own to the registry office should be explored. The group states that it may be well-founded also to review the current age limit of 18 years and to regulate the legal parenthood of persons who have undergone legal gender recognition.

Human rights organisations rejoice at the suggestions of the long-awaited report. Amnesty International Finnish Section, The Finnish League for Human Rights, Rainbow Families, Seta and Trasek say that the report marks a significant step towards improving the rights of people who wish to have their legal gender changed. The organisations have been campaigning together for several years to change the terms of legal gender recognition. They now expect the suggestions of the expert group to be included in the agenda of the recently initiated negotiations on a new government coalition. Finland had parliamentary elections on April 19.

The NGOs point out that a comprehensive reform of legal gender recognition can be prepared in the context of finalizing the marriage equality reform as there will inevitably be changes to the single status/forced divorce requirement. The parliament adopted a citizen’s initiative on marriage equality in December 2014 but the change will only take effect in March 2017 due to remaining legal considerations.

Recent international development shows a growing tendency to support self-determination. The most recent development includes Malta which adopted the GIGESC (gender identity, gender expression and sec characteristics) law in April while a government expert group in Norway suggested that self-determination should be implemented in Norway and the age limit of 18 years should be abolished.

The Finnish NGOs point out that the suggestions of the expert group are also in line with the historical resolution on discrimination against transgender persons adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on April. PACE calls on the member states to develop quick, transparent and accessible procedures, based on self-determination, for changing the name and registered sex of transgender people on birth certificates, identity cards, passports, educational certificates and other similar documents; make these procedures available for all people who seek it, irrespective of age, medical status, financial situation or detentions; abolish sterilisation and other compulsory medical treatment, including a mental health diagnosis, as a necessary legal requirement to recognise a person’s gender identity in laws regulating the procedure for changing a name and registered gender; as well as to remove any restrictions on the right of transgender people to remain in an existing marriage upon recognition of their gender.

The representatives of Seta and Trasek were part of the Ministry for Social Affairs and Health expert group.

 

More information:

Aija Salo, secretary general, Seta – LGBTI Rights in Finland (member of expert group), +358 50 309 8108
Antti Karanki, chair, Trasek (member of expert group), +358 41 546 1565

The final report of the ministry expert group (in Finnish): Sosiaali- ja terveysministeriön translakityöryhmän loppuraportti Sukupuolen oikeudellisen vahvistamisen edellytykset

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe calls for self-determination on gender recognition

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe calls for self-determination on gender recognition

Yesterday, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a comprehensive resolution on trans persons’ human rights.

In a nutshell, the resolution calls upon member states to (from TGEU):

  • Adopt explicitly trans-inclusive anti-discrimination and hate crime legislation and measures,
  • Adopt quick, transparent and accessible legal gender recognition procedures, based on self-determination, without further limitations based on a person’s characteristic (such as age),
  • Abolish sterilization and other medical requirements such as a mental health diagnosis or a divorce requirement in legal gender recognition,
  • Ensure that the best interest of the child in cases concerning children is always given primary consideration,
  • Consider including a third gender option in identity documents for those who seek it,
  • Make trans-specific health care accessible and ensure that trans people (incl. children) are not labelled as mentally ill in national or international classifications,
  • Be pro-active as concerns information, awareness raising and training, particularly for professional groups.

One of Seta’s objectives for the newly elected Parliament of Finland is to renew legislation so that legal gender recognition would be based on self-determination. At the moment, the Finnish legislation demands sterility, medical records, changing marriage into civil partnership, and 18 years age. In April, a working committee of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is going to publish its report that proposes that developing legislation towards self-determination should be considered.

More information:

> TGEU’s Media Statement

> The resolution

Video of the session

A step forward in fertility treatment equality – Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is trying to get control over public fertility clinics refusing to treat rainbow families

Sateenkaariperheet ry – Rainbow Families
Lapsettomien yhdistys Simpukka ry – The Finnish Infertility Association Simpukka
Seta – LGBTI Rights in Finland
Trasek ry

17.4.2015

A step forward in fertility treatment equality – Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is trying to get control over public fertility clinics refusing to treat rainbow families

Today, the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health published a bulletin that states that the criteria of fertility treatments equally apply to everyone, and no groups of people can be discriminated against when giving fertility treatments. The ministry wants to ensure that health care districts will also treat female couples, single women and trans people, who have so far mainly been denied treatment.

Rainbow Families, Seta, Trasek and The Finnish Infertility Association Simpukka have done sustainable advocacy work for the cause for years. The organizations are happy about the ministry’s definition of policy. The organizations hope, that discrimination in fertility treatments will end without court fights.

”Senior physicians in public fertility clinics have widely opposed giving treatments to rainbow families. Valvira (National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health), the Ombudsman for Equality and the Parliamentary Ombudsman have tried to eliminate this illegal discrimination before. It is great that we finally have an unambiguous definition of policy from the Minister”, says  the Executive Director of Rainbow Families Juha Jämsä.

Because the situation in clinics was not changed by the acts of supervisory authorities, the Minister of Health and Social Services Susanna Huovinen renewed the criteria for access to non-emergency treatment regarding fertility treatment in autumn 2014. The Minister wanted to ensure that rainbow families will get treatment from public clinics without discrimination, including treatments using donor gametes. According to experiences by members of Rainbow Families, the clinics’ policies did not change after renewing the criteria. In December 2014, the Minister send a letter to all the clinics asking them to report on how they will ensure equality in their functions. The clinics’ answers proved that many clinics are going to proceed with their old discriminatory policy even with new instructions.

Today, the ministry’s bulletin clearly states that no groups of people, including female couples, single women, trans people and HIV positive people, can be discriminated against when giving fertility treatments. ”It is particularly important that the bulletin also emphasizes that fertility treatments can be given even without actual infertility. According to the instructions, treatments using donor gametes can be justifiable if the couple or person do not have all the necessary gametes. This is a very significant note”, says Jämsä.

The organizations are still worried that discrimination will go on. It is possible, that discrimination of rainbow families will end only after complaints, like it did in Sweden earlier. Discriminatory policies in Finnish clinics have just been reported to the new Non-Discrimination Ombudsman.

Were you a victim of a hate crime? Tell us by April 4th!

Were you a victim of a hate crime? Tell us by April 4th!

We collect data of hate crimes for our advocacy work. Please tell us about a hate crime you, or someone you know have encountered especially in the year 2014. You will help improve the safety and rights of LGBTI people.

OSCE, the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe, has asked NGOs to report hate crime incidents. Seta is also going to use anonymous information of the incidents in its advocacy work. Please send your information by April 13th to Salla Virtanen, tiedottaja[at]seta.fi.

Enclose the following information:

  • What happened?
  • Date, time and location of the incident
  • Source of information (you, your friend, read from a newspaper…)
  • Victim(s) involved (no names, only gender, age and other relevant information: if the incident is homophobic or transphobic, the victims sexual orientation or gender identity might be relevant)
  • Type of the crime (e.g. assault, abuse, vandalism, incitement to racial or ethnic hatred)
  • Perpetrator(s) (no name, only gender, age and other relevant information)
  • Brief description of incident with bias indicators, i.e. why the incident is a hate crime (e.g. the perpetrator yelled homophopic or racist insults, the crime was against a LGBTI organization…)
  • Status of the case, i.e. has the incident been reported to the police and what has happened since (has preliminary investigation been carried out, have charges been filed, is there a court rule)
  • Response of the local authorities
  • Impact on the victim(s) and the community (e.g. LGBTI community or peer group)

> Read more about OSCE hate crime reporting

Come and demonstrate your love for the Equal Marriage Law on Friday 28 November!

Come and demonstrate your love for the Equal Marriage Law on Friday 28 November!

The Parliament of Finland is going to vote about the Citizen’s Initiative for Equal Marriage Law on Friday November 28. Come to a public demonstration of love and show the MP’s what you want! We will gather at Kansalaistori Square (right between Musiikkitalo and Kiasma) at 12:00.

The demonstration is arranged by Seta – LGBTI Rights in Finland, Rainbow Families, HeSeta, Trasek, The Student Union of the University of Helsinki and Tahdon2013 Initiative.

UN CEDAW Committee recommends reform of legal gender recognition

On February 28, 2014, the United Nations’ Committee for Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) gave powerful recommendations to Finland related to the human rights of lgbti people in its concluding observations of Finland’s seventh periodic report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Most notably, the Committee is “concerned about the obligation on transgender persons to prove infertility or undergo sterilisation for the legal recognition of their gender under the 2002 Law on Legal Recognition of the Gender of Transsexuals” and recommends Finland to “expeditiously amend the Law on Legal Recognition of the Gender of Transsexuals to ensure that gender recognition is carried out without requiring transgender persons to conform to stereotypical ideas of masculine or feminine appearance or behaviour and that it does not require individuals to consent to sterilization”.

The Committee also welcomes the proposed amendment to the Act on Equality between Women and Men which expands the definition of sex and gender-based discrimination to include discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression. The Committee notes with concern, however, that the Gender Equality Act and the Non-Discrimination Act do not currently provide adequate protection to women against multiple or intersecting forms of discrimination.

In addition, the Committee recommends to Finland to “open rape crisis centres, walk-in centres and 24-hour, free of charge, helplines that provide protection and assistance to all women victims of violence, including migrant women, women with disabilities and women belonging to sexual minorities”.

These and all of the rest of the recommendations given to Finland by the Committee can be found online in English via the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs webpage http://formin.finland.fi/public/default.aspx?contentid=299595&contentlan=1&culture=fi-FI (scroll down to the link “Päätelmät englanniksi”). Later on they will also be available on the webpage of the 57th session of CEDAW http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/cedaws57.htm. Finland will translate and distribute the recommendations in Finnish later in March.

Several civil society organizations such as Seta, Amnesty International, Coalition of Finnish Women’s Associations (NYTKIS) and the Human Rights Centre (the National Human Rights Institution of Finland) provided the Committee in advance with submissions raising some or all of the above mentioned issues related to the human rights of lgbti people.

The government of Finland will give its next periodic report in 2018 but regarding recommendations related to violence against women, the government will give a report already in 2016.

Jouduitko viharikoksen uhriksi vuonna 2013? Kerro tapauksesta ETY-järjestölle – dl 30.3.

Jouduitko viharikoksen uhriksi vuonna 2013? Kerro tapauksesta ETY-järjestölle – dl 30.3.

Jouduitko viime vuonna rikoksen kohteeksi seksuaalisen suuntautumisesi, sukupuoli-identiteettisi tai sukupuolen ilmaisusi vuoksi? Tai tiedätkö jonkun muun, joka joutui? Kerro tapauksesta Setalle 30.3.2014 mennessä, niin Seta kertoo sen edelleen ETY-järjestölle.

Were you a victim of a crime last year because of your sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression? Or do you know someone else who was? Please tell Seta about the case at latest on March 16th so we can report it to the OSCE. (in English below) 

ETYj (Euroopan turvallisuus- ja yhteistyöjärjestö) julkaisee vuosittain tietoja jäsenmaissa tapahtuneista viharikoksista. Uhrin seksuaaliseen suuntautumiseen, sukupuolen ilmaisuun tai sukupuoli-identiteettiin liittyneet tapaukset ovat yksi tapausryhmä, josta ETYj raportoi. Setan kansainvälinen kattojärjestö ILGA-Eurooppa koostaa ETYjiä varten raportin seksuaali- ja sukupuolivähemmistöjen eri maissa kokemista viharikoksista. Seta toimittaa ILGA-Euroopalle tietoja Suomen osalta.

Näin voit auttaa: jos tiedossasi on Suomessa kalenterivuoden 2013 aikana tapahtunut seksuaaliseen suuntautumiseen, sukupuoli-identiteettiin tai sukupuolen ilmaisuun kohdistunut viharikos, ilmoita siitä Setan pääsihteerille sähköpostitse os. paasihteeri[at]seta.fi viimeistään perjantaina 30.3. Laita mukaan vastaukset allaoleviin kysymyksiin niiltä osin kuin pystyt. Laita mukaan myös omat yhteystietosi. Itse tapausselostukseen ei kuitenkaan tarvitse laittaa henkilöiden nimiä. Setan työtä helpottaa, jos voit lähettää viestisi englanninkielisenä (koska tekstit on joka tapauksessa käännettävä ILGA-Eurooppaa ja ETYjiä varten), mutta voit kirjoittaa myös suomeksi tai ruotsiksi.

Setalle ilmoitetut tapaukset raportoidaan Setan harkinnan mukaan edelleen ILGA-Euroopalle ja ETY-järjestölle, ja ne saattavat päätyä ETYjin viralliseen viharikosraporttiin, joka julkaistaan syksyllä.

Kun kerrot meille tapauksesta, vastaa näihin kysymyksiin:

  • Mitä tapahtui (lyhyt kuvaus)
  • Päivämäärä, kellonaika ja paikka
  • Tiedon lähde (esim. uhri, poliisi, järjestö, media tms)
  • Uhri(t) (lukumäärä, ikä, sukupuoli, seksuaalinen suuntautuminen/sukupuoli- identiteetti/sukupuolen ilmaisu, jos relevanttia tapauksessa, muut relevantit tiedot)
  • Rikostyyppi (esim. kiihottaminen kansanryhmää vastaan, tuhotyö, pahoinpitely, laiton uhkaus)
  • Tekijä(t) (lukumäärä, ikä, sukupuoli, muut relevantit tiedot)
  • Mistä vihamotiivi ilmenee
  • Tapauksen oikeusstatus (onko ilmoitettu poliisille, onko käynnistetty tutkinta, onko nostettu syytettä, onko käsitelty oikeudessa, onko annettu tuomio, onko valitettu)
  • Paikallisten viranomaisten reaktio
  • Vaikutukset uhriin/uhreihin ja seksuaali- ja sukupuolivähemmistöihin kuuluviin ihmisiin
  • Onko tapauksesta julkisia dokumentteja (kuten oikeuskäsittelyn dokumentteja tai media-artikkeleita)

Suuri kiitos avustasi!

 

IN ENGLISH:

OSCE gathers documentation about hate crimes in 2013 – DL March 30th

Were you a victim of a crime last year because of your sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression? Or do you know someone else who was? Tell Seta about the case at latest on March 30th!

OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) publishes annually a report on hate crimes and hate-based incidents within OSCE participating states. Cases linked with the sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression of the victim are one category of incidents that OSCE reports on. Seta’s European umbrella organisation ILGA-Europe gathers a report for OSCE on hate crimes experienced by LGBT people in different countries. Seta reports information to ILGA-Europe concerning Finland.

You can help us like this: if you know a hate crime that took place in 2013 (the calendar year) and was related to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, please email the secretary general of Seta about it to paasihteeri[at]seta.fi at latest by March 30th by answering the questions below. Please include your contact information. The incident report does not need to include names of persons, though. It makes our work easier if you can write in English (as the texts will have to be translated for ILGA-Europe and OSCE in any case), but you can write also in Finnish or in Swedish.

Cases reported to Seta will be reported to ILGA-Europe and OSCE based on Seta’s evaluation of the information, and they may end up to OSCE’s official report on hate crimes which will be published in the Autumn. Send your message to paasihteeri[at]seta.fi.

When reporting a case to us, please answer the following questions:

  • What happened (brief description)
  • Date, time and location of the incident
  • Source of information (for example the victim, police, organisation, media, please specify)
  • Victim(s) involved (number, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, other relevant information)
  • Type of the crime(s) (for example assault, damage, illegal threat)
  • Perpetrator(s) (number, age, sex, other relevant information)
  • Brief description of incident with bias indicators (= what makes it a hate crime)
  • Status of the case (is it reported to the police, has an investigation been conducted, has someone been charged, etc.)
  • Response of local authorities
  • Impact on the victim(s) and the LGBT community
  • Are there any public documentation (like legal documents or media reports) about the case

Big thanks for your help!

‘I Wish I Could Tell’ video gives a voice to LGBT seniors

‘I Wish I Could Tell’ video gives a voice to LGBT seniors

I Wish I Could Tell tells the story of nine Finnish LGBTI seniors who ponder upon their childhood, youth and aging. Bengt, Sinikka, Umma, Jaana and Leena, Eveliina, Risto, Thea and Gitta share also their thoughts and expectations about elderly care.

The video was produced by the Equal aging project of the Finnish LGBTI NGO Seta. The video is meant for use as educational material especially for social and health care professionals and service providers within elderly care.

Dvd inquiries can be addressed to project coordinator Salla-Maija Hakola, salla.maija-hakola[at]seta.fi.

I Wish I Could Tell, LGBT people’s views on aging and elderly care

Format: dvd and Youtube
Copyright: Seta. Non-commercial use only.
Publication date: January 24th, 2014
Duration: 20 minutes
Subtitles: English, Swedish, Finnish
Producer: Martu Väisänen
Camera work and editing: Ville Pohjonen

Shorter clips of individual stories:
Bengt
Sinikka
Umma
Leena ja Jaana
Eveliina
Risto
Thea ja Gitta

Equal Aging is a three-year project, coordinated by Seta – LGBTI Rights in Finland in co-operation with two of its member organisations, Fin-Bears and Mummolaakso. The project is funded by Finland´s Slot Machine Association (RAY).

Are you interested in LGBT rights and making a difference as a member of the board of Seta – LGBTI Rights Finland?

If so, we are welcoming your application via email: Sundell.sara@gmail.com. There will be a series of questions on the web page of Seta, and we would like the applicants to answer these questions when applying via email.

The vice chairman and four board members (3 members and 1 vice member) will be elected for the next two years in the Representatives’ Assembly on 30/11-1/12/2013. Members will be selected by the Representatives from the nominees proposed on the spot. However, pre-entrance is recommended – that way you will get your application among the official Representatives’ Assembly documents sent to the member organisations prior to the Assembly.

In order to enable the democratic decision-making and transparency, it is very important that there will be more nominees than available positions. It is also crucial to have board members who represent a variety of genders and have diverse backgrounds and regional points of view. The working language of the board is Finnish.

A good board member is committed and has an interest and urge to promote the welfare of sexual and gender minorities. Ideally, the member would be experienced in any area associated with Seta.

Questions to the applicants:

EHDOLLA SETAN VARAPUHEENJOHTAJAKSI TAI HALLITUKSEN JÄSENEKSI 2013

Nimi:
Puhelin:
Sähköposti:
Asuinpaikka:
Ikä:

Yhteystiedot annetaan jäsenjärjestöille sitä varten, että ne voivat halutessaan ottaa yhteyttä ehdokkaisiin ja kysyä näiden kannoista ennen edustajakokousta. Jos haluat, ettei jotain yhteystietoasi anneta lainkaan eteenpäin, merkitse sen kohdalle ”salainen”. Anna kuitenkin yhteystietosi Setaa varten.

Sukupuoli (nainen/mies/muu):

1. Oletko jonkin Setan jäsenjärjestön jäsen? Minkä? Mistä vuodesta alkaen?

1.2 Miksi liityit jäseneksi tai miksi et ole jäsen?

2. Oletko toiminut jonkin Setan jäsenjärjestön aktiivina, hallituksen jäsenenä tms.?

3. Mikä on mielestäsi Setan hallituksen jäsenen tehtävä?

4. Miksi juuri sinä olisit hyvä varapuheenjohtaja tai jäsen Setan hallitukseen?

5. Mitkä ovat mielestäsi Setan tärkeimmät tehtävät nyky-yhteiskunnassa sekä tulevaisuudessa? (mainitse kummastakin korkeintaan viisi asiaa)

6. Mihin järjestöllisiin asioihin haluaisit eniten vaikuttaa Setassa?

7. Miten aiot vaikuttaa näihin asioihin, jos sinut valitaan Setan hallitukseen?

8. Jos pyrit varapuheenjohtajaksi: mikä on mielestäsi varapuheenjohtajan tehtävä ja rooli Setassa?

9. Kerro vapaamuotoisesti toiminnastasi hlbti-asioiden parissa ja/tai muussa ihmisoikeustyössä.

10. Setan hallituksessa on hyötyä monenlaisesta osaamisesta. Vaikuttamistyön taitajia tarvitaan eri aloilta. Onko sinulla jotain ominaisuuksia/taitoja/taustaa/kiinnostuksen kohteita tms., joista ajattelisit olevan hyötyä hallituksen jäsenen/varapuheenjohtajan tehtävän hoitamisessa ja joista haluaisit mainita?

Press release: Putin visits Finland, NGO Seta demands respect of lgbti people’s human rights

Putin visits Finland, Seta demands respect of lgbti people’s human rights.

Finland’s president Sauli Niinistö meets the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, today in Naantali, Finland. The LGBTI human rights NGO Seta asks Putin to turn down the anti-lgbti law and tells Finland’s president and government to condemn the law.

Seta is also worried because of the ”foreign agents” law of Russia that is being used to pressure human rights organizations, some of which are LGBTI organizations.

Seta is an LGBTI human rights NGO founded in 1974. It has 21 member organisations all around Finland. Seta aims at a society where everyone can live freely irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Seta is a member of the international LGBTI organisations ILGA-Europe, Transgender Europe and IGLYO.

More information:
Chairperson Juha-Pekka Hippi
puheenjohtaja@seta.fi
tel. +358 (0) 50 593 4100

Press release in Finnish
Press release in Russian [pdf]

EU Commissioner Viviane Reding receives anti-award from LGBTI organization Seta for disappointing attitude

The Finnish national LGBTI human rights organisation Seta awarded the EU Commissioner for Justice, Citizenship and Fundamental Rights Viviane Reding along with the whole Commission with Seta´s annual anti-award called the ”Rat of Honour”. Seta gives the ”Rat of Honour” to a person or organization that has expressed discriminatory opinions about LGBTI people, has discriminated against them or has in some other way given LGBTI people a hard time. The award was announced today in Tampere, Finland.

Commissioner Reding recently rejected a call for a comprehensive EU policy in LGBTI issues at the first European IDAHO (International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia) conference hosted by the government of the Netherlands in the Hague, Netherlands, on May 17th where a call for an ”LGBTI roadmap” was put forward by 12 EU member states, including Finland. The call followed a large survey by the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU showing very high figures of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the fields of employment, education, goods and services, safety and social attitudes.

When addressing the IDAHO conference, Commissioner Reding claimed the EU is already doing all it can. She stated that progress in LGBTI issues  now lies in the hands of the member states, and went on to mock several member states for failure to advance LGBTI people’s rights. Reding´s reaction to the roadmap call was a huge disappointment to member states as well as NGOs and was experienced by many as insulting as the Commissioner went as far as to state that she is glad that she no longer is ”alone” in advancing LGBTI issues after the member states have declared their commitment.

”The EU had an excellent opportunity to point out the next steps towards stronger LGBTI politics in Europe but  Commissioner Reding failed to seize the moment”, stated Juha-Pekka Hippi, the chairperson of Seta, in his award speech. ”Several other Commissioners have done a lot for the LGBTI community but with Commissioner Reding’s attitude the whole Commission suffers in credibility. In that sense this anti-award also goes to the Commission” Juha-Pekka Hippi said.

In addition, Seta published today a positive award, the ”Apple of Good Information”. It’s given annually to a someone who has promoted the human rights of LGBTI people. This year, the recipient of the Apple is the Finnish youth magazine Demi for promoting LGBTI inclusive youth culture and language in the Demi magazine and web community. Demi has rejected heteronormativity and gender norms in its articles for the last three years. The initial initiative for this exemplary policy came from the readers themselves. According to Seta, Demi gives a great example of good practice in LGBTI inclusivity to other media as well as to all organisations and professionals working with and for young people.

The awards were delivered at Pirkanmaan Seta’s (Seta’s member organization) 40th anniversary festivities in Tampere after the Pirkanmaa Pride march.

Last year, Seta’s Rat of honour was awarded to the governor of St. Petersburg, Georgyi Poltavchenko, who signed the regional anti-LGBTI bill in St. Petersburg. A similar but even more worrying bill was adopted this week by the lower house of the State Duma of Russia and is already jeopardizing the lives of LGBTI people in all of Russia.

Seta is a national human rights organisation for LGBTI advocacy, educational activities and services. Seta was founded in 1974, three years after the decriminalization of homosexual conduct in Finland. Seta has 21 member organisations around the country, ranging from local branches to national thematic organisations such as Rainbow Families and elderly LGBTI people’s organisations. Seta runs a Trans Support Centre for counceling of trans and intersex persons and their families. http://www.seta.fi/en.php

More information:

Aija Salo, Secretary General, Seta – LGBTI Rights in Finland, paasihteeri@seta.fi, tel. +358 50 309 8108

ILGA-Europe´s (the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) media release about the speech of Commissioner Reding on May 17th:
http://www.ilga-europe.org/home/news/for_media/media_releases/commissioner_reding_refuses_to_take_leadership_or_step_up_eu_action_on_lgbti_issues

FRA LGBTI report discussed in seminar – government action demanded in Finland

FRA LGBTI report discussed in seminar – government action demanded in Finland

Today, Seta organised together with the Human Rights Centre and the government’s network for human rights focal points a seminar on the results of the big LGBT survey of the EU Fundamental Rights agency (FRA). Also ILGA-Europe Rainbow map and index and Transgender Europe trans rights map were presented. LGBTI and other human rights activists, representatives of ministries and equality bodies as well as researchers discussed broadly the need to step up action to improve the situation of LGBTI people in Finland. The seminar was hosted by the Human Rights Centre in the Parliament.

Jörg Gebhard from FRA presented central findings of the FRA LGBT survey regarding Finland. Experiences of LGBT people of violence and threat are more frequent than the EU average according to the survey. Only 3% of the Finnish respondents had always been open about their identity during their school time, compared with 4% in EU.

FRA presented recommendations to Finland and other member states. Member states should among others support equality bodies in informing LGBT people about their rights and defending those rights. Trade unions and employers should be encouraged to adopt diversity policies inclusive of LGBTI perspectives. Trans people’s situation should receive special attention.

In education, LGBTI issues sold be mainstreamed in school curricula. A safe environment for pupils and students cannot be created without attention to equality and non-discrimination regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation.

During the seminar, many concrete suggestions for cooperation between various actors were made. There are also several legislative and other procedures going on where LGBTI issues could be taken into account. Advocacy by Seta and other human rights organisations continues.

More information:

Video about the results:
http://fra.europa.eu/en/video/2013/eu-lgbt-survey

Data can be explored also country-by-country
http://fra.europa.eu/DVS/DVT/lgbt.php

Seta published LGBT-youth´s life stories

Seta’s DVD about lives of young LGBT in Finland was published in the end of January.

(From the left) Reiska, Martu Väisänen and Eska.

”Diversity is in us” gathers the stories of eight LGBT youngsters from all around Finland.

Ida, Niko, Darja, Reiska, Petra, Pekka, Tiina and Eska reflect on their lives and families, dating, bullying and getting support. They also discuss how they have dealt with norms they face within the Finnish society.

Reiska, who identifies hirself as transgender, says that it was a bit of a challenge to participate in the making of the film. It took some courage.

”I went back and forth whether to go along because I was worried about the consequences. Everyone would see my story, but so what? I live my life for my own sake. I wanted to be one of the brave young people who would tell about their lives”, 23-year-old Reiska says. ”This was my chance to speak for others.”

”This kind of material would have been useful for me as an adolescent, when there was no one else to identify with where I’m from. This is why a agreed to join this project”, 18 year old transsexual Eska tells.

LGBTI Rights in Finland Seta demands that diversity of gender and sexual orientation would be included in all subjects at schools. Anders Huldén, Seta’s Youth Work Coordinator, considers personal stories from everyday life a good way to raise awareness about the consequences of strict norms.

”The stories of these young people give something to think about for everyone, regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation. This DVD is not enough, though. Diversity truly is in all of us and this must be considered at schools on everyday basis”, Huldén says.

The duration of the DVD is 20 minutes. Subtitles are provided in Finnish, English and Swedish both on the DVD and the clips on YouTube. The DVD was produced during 2012 by Martu Väisänen from Oulu. The DVD is distributed free of charge to schools, youth workers and for educational purposes.

Press quality photos of the young:

https://www. dropbox. com/sh/5vczz02xk9f89xx/HMa34bIv84

Photos: Martu Väisänen

Seta and Amnesty Finland: The ”homosexual propaganda” law breaks human rights

Seta and Amnesty Finland: The ”homosexual propaganda” law breaks human rights

Demonstration against Russia’s ”homosexual propaganda” law on Tuesday in front of Russian embassy (Tehtaankatu 1B), Helsinki.

LGBTI Rights in Finland – Seta and Amnesty Finland
Helsinki

Seta – LGBTI Rights in Finland and Amnesty Finland demand the State Duma of Russian Federation to withdraw the proposed article 6.13.1 – also known as the ”homosexual propaganda” draft law. The first hearing of the law was supposed to be today, but it was postponed for the second time. On Thursday, January 24, the Russian State Duma will approve a new date for consideration. Seta and Amnesty Finland have long campaigned against anti- LGBTI laws in different parts of Russia that put LGBTI people at risk.

The adoption of the article 6.13.1. would violate the freedom of speech and freedom of assembly of LGBTI people and organizations extensively. On some regional and local levels, such as in St. Petersburg, similar legislation has already increased discrimination and persecution of LGBTI people and their organizations.

The law can be used to ban activities that inform the public about diversity of sexual orientation and gender. Passing the law would put LGBTI human rights defenders at risk.

Seta sent a statement addressed to the speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Sergey Naryshkin and reminded that the law goes against the constitution of Russia as well as international human rights agreements.

– Decision makers carry responsibility for severe consequences such as increasing intolerance towards LGBTI people, hate crimes, violence and arbitrary arrests if they vote for this legislation, says Seta´s Chair of the board Juha-Pekka Hippi.

Demonstrators claim that everyone has the right to access correct information about the diversity of gender and sexual orientation as well as the right to be protected against discrimination.

– The law puts at risk not only activities of human rights defenders, but also well-being and lives of LGBT people in general, who will be exposed to even greater violence and discrimination due to institutionalized stigmatization, declares the Russian LGBT Network.

Demonstrations are being held in several countries on Tuesday.

Media contact information:

Juha-Pekka Hippi, Chair of the board, LGBTI Rights in Finland – Seta, +358 50 593 4100

Aija Salo, General Secretary, LGBTI Rights in Finland – Seta, +358 50309 8108

Anu Tuukkanen, Policy Officer, Country issues, Amnesty Finland, +358 40 833 0485

See also: Speech by LGBTI Rights in Finland – Seta´s Secretary General Aija Salo at Vimeo

Seta is a national human rights organization, established in 1974. Seta’s goal is a society where everyone can live equally, free of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Seta is the umbrella organization for 21 LGBTI associations all over Finland. Seta is a member of international LGBTI organizations ILGA-Europe, IGLYO and Transgender Europe.

Amnesty International (AI) is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights to be respected and protected. Al´s vision is for every person to enjoy all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.

Seta: The federal ”gay propaganda” law in Russia has to be turned down

Seta published a statement against the article 6.13.1, the federal anti-lgbt draft law in Russia. The statement is addressed to the speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Sergey Naryshkin.

(Letter in Russian here pdf)

Seta – LGBTI Rights in Finland joins human rights organisations around the world in expressing deep concern regarding the proposed article 6.13.1 in the Parliament of Russian Federation, also known as the ”homosexual propaganda” draft law.

Seta urges You and all Russian legislators in federal, regional and local levels to protect the human rights of everyone, including LGBTI people, in line with the international commitments of Russia. We stand in solidarity with the Russian LGBTI community and all human rights defenders.

Banning activities that inform the public about diversity of sexual orientation and gender will send the whole Russian and international community an unacceptable signal of intolerance and exclusion. Passing the law would put human rights defenders increasingly at risk. Such a law would not only violate the human rights what comes to freedom of speech, assembly and association of LGBTI people and their allies in Russia but would also violate the right of everyone, including minors, to access correct information about the diversity of gender and sexual orientation.

By making decisions based on wrong information and prejudices, decision makers carry responsibility for severe consequences such as increasing intolerance towards LGBTI people, hate crimes, violence and arbitrary arrests.

On December 19th, numerous protests against the law are organized throughout Russia and Europe. According to Seta’s knowledge, the first reading of the law will be in January 2013.

Seta – LGBTI Rights in Finland

Seta is a national human rights organization, established in 1974. Seta’s goal is a society where everyone can live equally, free of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Seta is the umbrella organization for 21 LGBTI associations all over Finland.

Seta: The federal ”gay propaganda” law in Russia has to be turned down

Seta julkaisi kannanoton Venäjän kansallisen duuman käsittelyssä olevaa ”homopropagandan” kieltävää lakiesitystä vastaan. Kannanotto on suunnattu duuman puhemiehelle Sergei Naryshkinille. 19.12. on kansainvälinen kampanjapäivä kyseistä lakia vastaan.

Seta published a statement against the article 6.13.1, the federal anti-lgbt draft law in Russia. The statement is addressed to the speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Sergey Naryshkin.

 

SETA: THE FEDERAL ”PROPAGANDA” LAW IN RUSSIA HAS TO BE TURNED DOWN

Seta – LGBTI Rights in Finland joins human rights organizations around the world in expressing deep concern regarding the proposed article 6.13.1 in the Parliament of Russian Federation, also known as the ”homosexual propaganda” draft law.

Seta urges You and all Russian legislators in federal, regional and local levels to protect the human rights of everyone, including LGBTI people, in line with the international commitments of Russia. We stand in solidarity with the Russian LGBTI community and all human rights defenders.

Banning activities that inform the public about diversity of sexual orientation and gender will send the whole Russian and international community an unacceptable signal of intolerance and exclusion. Passing the law would put human rights defenders increasingly at risk. Such a law would not only violate the human rights what comes to freedom of speech, assembly and association of LGBTI people and their allies in Russia but would also violate the right of everyone, including minors, to access correct information about the diversity of gender and sexual orientation.

By making decisions based on wrong information and prejudices, decision makers carry responsibility for severe consequences such as increasing intolerance towards LGBTI people, hate crimes, violence and arbitrary arrests.

On December 19th, numerous protests against the law are organized throughout Russia and Europe. According to Seta’s knowledge, the first reading of the law will be in January 2013.

Seta – LGBTI Rights in Finland

Seta is a national human rights organization, established in 1974. Seta’s goal is a society where everyone can live equally, free of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Seta is the umbrella organization for 21 LGBTI associations all over Finland.

Gender reassignment law reform demanded by 20 organisations in open letter to the government of Finland

The trans persons´ human rights organisation Trasek and the LGBTI human rights organisation Seta together with 18 other youth, student and human rights CSOs published on October 26th 2012 an open letter to the government of Finland, demanding that the requirements violating human rights in the current gender reassignment act should be removed.

The signatories say that Finland should fulfill its international obligations such as recommendations made by the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe, and acknowledge its duty to implement the human rights of persons with diverse gender identities. One´s legal gender should only be based on selfdetermination and selfdefinition by the person. Requirements such as infertility or any medical treatment or diagnosis should be abolished as prerequisites for gender marker change.

According to the organisations, the government should see to it that a committee is formed without further delay to prepare the necessary legal changes. Representation by people affected by the gender reassignment act as well as human rights experts should be secured within the committee.

The organisations published the open letter after a leading government official had said in the media on October 12th that a potential reform process would possibly only be considered by the government after the next parliamentary elections that take place in 2015, due to budgetary restrictions within the ministry of social affairs and health.

More information:

Aija Salo, Secretary General, Seta – LGBTI Rights in Finland, paasihteeri@seta.fi

The whole letter in Finnish can be read here.

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