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Baku European Games| Campaign - Compete 4 Equality

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Firs of all about campaigns calendar in 2015: Stokholm Games just About LGBT community. But this year in Baku will be hold First European Games. It's not the same. Use this link you can get more information about Baku Games - http://www.baku2015.com/

As we know, Baku is hosting First European Games next year. Nefes LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance in collaboration with Free LGBT will hold “Compete 4 Equality” campaign during this event. The target group of this campaign is European Parliament, International Olympic Committee, ILGA World and ILGA Europe, Olympic Committees and Ministries of Foreign Affairs of European Council member states, and international organizations working with human rights. Of course, holding this campaign doesn’t mean the cancellation of Baku European Games. The goal is to draw the attention of Europe and the world to the current situation of homophobia and fundamental human and LGBT rights in Azerbaijan, as well as achieving the needed action from the government for improving the current situation in the country. During this campaign, the logo of First European games will be used in rainbow colors in order to achieve the main goal.

So, right now about our campaign and situation in Azerbaijan.

Constantly growing number of arrests, limiting the freedom of expression and thought, not recognized fundamental human and LGBT rights, growing hate of community, media and government are all signaling the existence of this real problem. For additional information about situation in Azerbaijan you can follow this both links by Freedom House and Human Rights Watch:

https://freedomhouse.org/country/azerbaijan#.VK_gkiusVpd

http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2014/country-chapters/azerbaijan

About LGBT Rights:

In 2014 Azerbaijan took the last place on International Lesbian Gay Association Europe’s (ILGA Europe) list of countries by situation of LGBT rights and it’s considered to be one of the dangerous places for LGBT individuals. Although Azerbaijan is a member of Council of Europe and Eastern Partnership, Azerbaijani government is failing to fulfill any of the obligations about LGBT rights that were undertaken. There were no legislative acts or even laws about hate crime have not been adopted up until now. Of course, most of the population in Azerbaijan is Muslims. But we have to consider that according to the Constitution, the Government and Religion are separate, and everyone is equal before the law. Despite this, several requests of Nefes LGBT about registering as an NGO got turned down. Also, during this year, 3 deputies of the Parliament have stated to the media that LGBT rights could never be recognized in Azerbaijan. All this shows that homophobia is on the government level in Azerbaijan. Also, hate calls occurred numerous times on media by journalists and government officials. 

As a result of All Out’s campaign, International Olympic Committee will add some changes to the rules about holding the Games. As the Committee promised, “Paragraph 6 – Against discrimination” will be added to the agreement with the host country. According to the new rules, countries that host Olympic Games will not discriminate any group. The Committee emphasizes that LGBT individuals are also included to this group.     

     As first step how you can join?

The main goal of our first stage is to bring attention to the positive message of our “Compete 4 Equality!” campaign in local and international public spheres. We will hold support campaigns in front of Azerbaijan embassies around the world. Local LGBT organizations and individuals from anywhere can take a photo with the rainbow flag, our slogan “Compete 4 Equality!" and the Azerbaijan embassy in the background and send them to nefeslgbt.az@gmail.com

We need cooperation with all of which have interests in this campaign totally. Please join us and help support us and the LGBT community in Azerbaijan. Be the intermediary to spread the positive message of our campaign.

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Lets ask president of Azerbaijan, officials questions about LGBT rights in Azerbaijan

Campaign photo

As a LGBT organization we are very interested that, the issues regarding LGBT rights in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan’s obligations on LGBT rights are brought up for discussions between Azerbaijan and European Council. We call MPs of European Council to discuss LGBT rights as a part of fundamental human rights with high officials of Azerbaijan. It makes us happy that member of Sweden Parlamient Mrs. Ulrika Carlson showed her deep interest in LGBT situation in Azerbaijan.

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About Us

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In 2012 Nefes LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance is an initiative group working for social change, social organization, education and political reforms in leading issues of the day. The main purpose of the organization is to end discrimination and marginalization against LBGT people and women in Azerbaijan. Nefes promotes diversity in Azerbaijani civil society and integration of marginalized persons into social life. The key component of our work is to be the voice of the minorities in our community organizing and advocacy work, and to propel visibility and national dialogue. Structure of organization: president, board of organization(5 person). At the moment 2 of the board members living in abroad. Our organization as minimum have more than 15 volunteers, which every time supporting us in deferent activities..  In order to get registered with the Ministry of Justice, we sent out formal requests two times, with no success. Members of the organization have been persecuted as a result.

Nefes regularly carries out awareness about LGBT issues, gender equality and sexual health for LGBT and other members of the civil society. From a series of such events, one that carries greatest weight and for which we laid the foundation to carry on as a tradition is the First LGBT/Gender ForumAnother project in this sphere is the dubbing of the movie “All You Need Is Love” into Azerbaijani language using our own resources, with the support of volunteers.

The organization provides the LGBT community, especially LGBT youth from various Azerbaijani regions, with legal services. In connection with that the organization is conducting an online legal services campaign titled “My Rights”. LGBT individuals are able to get answers to legal questions that interest them on the official website.

Nefes conducts various campaigns and events on a voluntary basis for centralization of the minority voices in the public consciousness and raising public awareness. In 2013 Nefes organized the first open press conference in Azerbaijani LGBT movement and achieved a discussion about the LGBT community and rights in Azerbaijan. In 2014, in relation to the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we organized a march “We Have History As Far As Gobustan!"Due to serious criticism coming from the religious fundamentalists, the topic of LGBT rights turned into a main public discussion, especially for Azerbaijani media and politicians. In 2015, in relation to the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia we organized Bowling championship among LGBT and Straight people-Compete for EqualityAnother activities for IDAHOT  are Queer Tea, and Remembrance day of Hate Crime in the World and LGBT Flag Day.

In May of 2014, we conducted a “President, Answer!” campaign during Azerbaijan’s term as the chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of EuropeAfter the speeches of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov, Norwegian parliamentarian asked questions on the state of LGBT rights in Azerbaijan. In this campaign ILGA Europe supported us.

One of the key priorities of the organization is to conduct social research and initiate campaigns to combat hate crimes and harassment against LGBT persons in Azerbaijan, as well as to promote legislation against hate crimes and harassment.

Nafas LGBT has carried out two social surveys. One of them titled “Research Right for Education” was carried out with the cooperation of GALE-Global Alliance for LGBT Education in 2013. Main purposes of the project were to research the current situation with LGBT education in the world, to investigate educational opportunities for LGBT people, define the abilitiesand inabilities of receiving education and determining the influential factors. Another survey was titled “Labor Environment for LGBT’ 

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