The platform was created by a group of civil society organisations across 10 countries
ERA - LGBTI Equal Rights Association
(Western Balkans and Turkey)
ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey is a regional umbrella association operating in nine countries (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey) with a current membership of 70 LGBTI organisations. Our mission is to inspire positive change in society and achieve full equality and respect for the human rights of people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and sex characteristics. We are dedicated to improving the status of LGBTI people through strengthening capacities of LGBTI organisations in the region, advocacy at a national, regional and international level and maintaining and improving the visibility of the LGBTI movements and communities across the Western Balkans and Turkey.
At Stonewall, we stand for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace (LGBTQ+) people everywhere. We imagine a world where all LGBTQ+ people are free to be ourselves and can live our lives to the full. Our campaigns drive positive change in public attitudes and public policy. We ensure LGBTQ+ people can thrive throughout our lives by building deep, sustained change programmes with the institutions that have the biggest impact on us, whether we’re learning, working, praying or playing sport. We realise the importance of acknowledging shared challenges for LGBTQ+ communities across the world alongside the unique issues faced by certain countries. Local organisations are in the best position to explain what’s happening, decide what should happen next and drive change forward. This is why we work together with them to learn and share from each other’s experiences. Learn more about our current global initiatives by visiting our website.
Alliance against discrimination of LGBT (Aleanca LGBT) is an Albanian non-governmental organisation that envisions a free, open and equal Albanian society that embraces diversity and is inclusive of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Aleanca LGBT was created in March 2009 by a group of young LGBT people who had been working as volunteers for three years to change the reality for LGBT people in Albania. In 2013 with the support of Civil Rights Defenders Aleanca managed to open the first LGBT community center in Albania. From its beginnings till nowadays Aleanca has preserved its grassroots character. The main areas of our work during these years have been community building, awareness raising, advocacy & lobbying, and training police officers, school psychologist and teachers, journalists, other human rights activists, public officials, and social workers. In December 2014, Aleanca LGBT and Pro LGBT opened the first Residential Center shelter (referred to as “STREHA” or “SHELTER”) for homeless LGBT youth.
Tuzla Open Center
(Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Tuzla Open Center (TOC) is an non-governmental organisation based in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The organisation focuses on Tuzla Canton with a mission to promote the human rights of LGBTI people and gender equality in public life and space through continuous activism on feminist principles. TOC is a team of 8 people raised on values of solidarity, freedom and equality, working on strengthening the local LGBTI+ community, proposing and advocating for inclusive policies and legislation, creating an institutional infrastructure of support to LGBTI+ people, sensitisation of the public and fighting for public space, capacity building and knowledge production and participation in building and strengthening the local civil society network. TOC operates at the local and regional level, through connections and networking with BiH, regional and European human rights organisations, networks and movements.
The vision of the Tuzla Open Center is a society in which citizens are equal and free, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender characteristics.
LGBT Center Split
LGBT Center Split is a platform of civil society organisations that provides a place of acceptance, support and development for the local LGBTIQ community. The Center enables active participation in socio-cultural activities, provides legal and psychosocial support, and through advocacy activities has a positive impact on social awareness and public policies. The platform acts on the values of inclusion, tolerance, non-violence, antifascism and queerfeminism.
The LGBT Center Split is the focus of the socio-cultural life of the LGBTIQ community and a generator of social change, which puts Split on the map of inclusive cities.
Organisations involved in the platform are Domine, queerANarchive, Queer Sport Split, and Split Pride.
Trans Aid is the first trans, intersex and gender variant (TIGV) specific organisation in Croatia.
Trans Aid was formed in 2012 by a small group of trans and gender variant persons from Zagreb, who recognised the need for community building through mutual support and empowerment. Trans Aid’s mission is to work on promotion and protection of human rights of trans, intersex and gender variant (TIGV) persons; deconstructing cisnormativity, the gender binary, patriarchy and heteronormativity; achieving full equality of persons of all genders, gender identities and gender expressions. Our programmes include community programmes, advocacy programmes, and educational and awareness raising programmes. We work on individual and general welfare of our community; empowering and capacity raising of our communities throughout Croatia; as well as eliminating violence and discrimination towards TIGV persons.
We established the first community program in Croatia consisting of psychological support, peer support, legal support, as well as various socialising and educational activities.
Center for Social Group Development – CSGD is established and registered in 2003. The aim of CSGD is to support, protect, and advocate for the rights of LGBTI community in Kosovo. The organisation has 4 main focus areas: 1) Empowerment of the LGBTI community in Kosovo; 2) Raising awareness for LGBTI rights to the general population; 3) Advocacy to improve the rights of LGBTI community; and 4) HIV prevention programme among the MSM community in Kosovo.
Initially, the work of the CSGD was focused on establishing the drop-in centre (in 2004) as a safe environment where the LGBTI community can socialise, use services offered by CSGD, and as a resource center. Starting from 2007, CSGD has organised various public campaigns and has marked crucial events on the issues facing the LGBTI community. CSGD has technically supported the drafting and finalising of the two year National Action Plan (November 2016 – November 2018) of the Advisory and Coordination Group in national level in Republic of Kosovo for the rights of LGBTI community.
NGO Juventas exists since January 29th 1996 and is one of the oldest NGOs in Montenegro.
Juventas’ mission is to improve social cohesion through provision of innovative services and strengthening of existing services for persons in risk of social exclusion and socially excluded, along with strengthening their capacities for active participation in the process of advocacy and public policy development aiming to improve their quality of life. Juventas’ vision is a society of social justice where all people feel safe, free and respected, participate in the decision making processes, have equal opportunities and enjoy their human rights no matter their differences and personal characteristics.
Juventas possess the ISO standard 9001: 2015 (QMS). Juventas is an active member of ILGA, TGEU, and is also one of the founding members of newly established network ERA, LGBTIQ Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey.
NGO Juventas has extensive and valuable expertise in relation to providing services to the LGBTI community that started back in 2006. These services include: distribution of free condoms and lubricants, counselling with a doctor, psychologists, and/or social workers, service of washing and drying of laundry and garments, as well as peer and outreach counselling and support. Due to challenges and needs of our communities, especially in the time of crisis, these services adapt. For example, in addition to services mentioned, during the lockdown they started with the distribution of food and basic hygiene packages, as well as provided at least a part of housing expenses to the most vulnerable in communities we are working with.
Association Spectra is a non-governmental organization based in Podgorica, Montenegro. The organization focuses on the transgender, gender variant and intersex community with a mission to promote first and fore most gender equality and human rights of LGBTIQ people. Our work is based on the principles of feminism and intersectionality. The activities we implement are focused on advocating for the social acceptance of LGBTIQ persons and gender equality, providing adequate support and access to specific health care to the TIGV community as well as advocating for improvements in the health care system regarding this topic, providing social services such as self-support groups and peer counseling to the TIGV community, culture and art, raising awareness in the general public as well educating the relevant institutions regarding the safety and protection from violence of the TIGV community, analyzing media representation of the TIGV community as well as continually educating the representatives of the media on affirmative ways of reporting on these topics, building a strong network of alliances with different high schools in the country in order to ensure cooperation with the educational staff es well as to have the opportunity to educate students and building a strong, nation-wide intersectional human rights movement.
Montenegrin LGBTIQ Association Queer Montenegro is a non government organization based in Podgorica, Montenegro. The organization gathers LGBTIQ people, their family members and friends with the mission of building the Montenegrin LGBTIQ movement which will actively and permanently fight for the protection of human rights. Further, goals of the organization include achieving full legal and social equality and acceptance of LGBTIQ people, as well as full visibility and participation in decision-making and policy-making processes in Montenegro. Queer Montenegro consists of a team of seven people dedicated to strengthening the capacity of the LGBTIQ community; providing free legal aid and psychosocial support services to LGBTIQ people; public advocacy and lobbying for the protection and promotion of the human rights of LGBTIQ persons at the national, regional and international levels; increasing the visibility of LGBTIQ people; promotion and promotion of queer culture and art; and monitoring the work of state institutions and the media and reporting on the human rights situation of LGBTIQ persons in Montenegro.
Since 2013, Queer Montenegro has organized the Montenegro Pride in Podgorica on an annual basis and coordinates with the Organization Board of the Montenegro Pride, which each year has about 30 LGBTIQ people, their family members and friends. As part of Montenegro Pride, seven festivals of queer culture and art have been organized so far – Pride Week. Queer Montenegro operates at the local, national, regional and international levels.
The Coalition ‘Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities’ was founded in 2007 as a non-formal, joint platform and the result of the joint efforts of several organizations: HOPS – Healthy Options Project Skopje, HERA, IZBOR – Strumica and EGAL. Since 2011, the Coalition has been registered as an individual entity, that is as an NGO whose founders are: HOPS – Healthy Options Project Skopje, HERA, IZBOR – Strumica, EGAL and STAR-STAR.
The Coalition “Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities” (SHRMC) promotes a world with equal people, without discrimination, a world where everyone can enjoy the universal human rights and where respect of diversity and the right to choice are the basic principles of a democratic and free society. The Coalition “Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities” promotes protection and respect of the fundamental human rights of marginalized communities, with focus on LGBTI persons, drug users, people living with HIV, sex workers and marginalized women. The Coalition focuses on advocacy, research and analysis, inclusion of the marginalized communities in the creation and implementation of the policies, education of all the relevant actors, promotion of the cultural practices of the marginalized communities, as well as networking and building alliances with the civil society.
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights
The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights is a civic association registered in 1994. The Committee monitors the situation with human rights, provides legal assistance, co-operates with other organizations and state bodies for the purpose of improving the promotion, respect and protection of human rights and freedoms. The Committee’s goal is protection and promotion of the human rights and freedoms guaranteed with the Constitution of the Republic of North Macedonia, the international instruments and the Helsinki Final Act from 1975, as well as building democratic conditions in which they can be exercised based on the rule of law.
In its persistent efforts to promote and protect human rights and harmonize the domestic legislation and practice with that of the European Union, the Helsinki Committee: Organizes systemic monitoring of the situation of human rights in the country; Provides free legal assistance and protects the individual, collective and rights of other legal entities on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia and before international organizations; Prepares monthly, annual and special reports on the situation of human rights; Prepares analyses and other specific documents related to the situation of human rights; Organizes conferences, seminars, panels, public actions and other legal forms of civic engagement; Promotes and aids the development of democracy, rule of law and civic society; and Performs other activities of public interest pursuant to the Law on Citizens’ Associations.
LGBTI Support Centre
The LGBTI Support Centre was established in October 2012 as a subsidiary of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights Skopje. The vision of the LGBTI Support Centre is a society free from discrimination, in which all people enjoy universal human rights and freedoms, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or any other trait. The mission is strengthening the LGBTI community for self-advocacy, as well as changing the social and legal status of LGBTI people in North Macedonia.
The LGBTI Support Centre has three separate programs: community program, advocacy program and shelter program. The Support Centre focuses on issues with discrimination in all areas, hate speech and hate crimes against LGBTI, providing free legal aid and monitoring of cases, as well as reporting and conducting evidence-based advocacy for legislation and practice changes. The issue with housing and support of LGBTI people at risk of homelessness is also in the focus through the provided shelter in the Safe house for these people. Improvement and advancement of the human rights of LGBTI people in general intertwines in all programs of the Centre, with the usage of different tools and strategies. Other issues the Centre is focused on include education, health, social protection, protection from violence, culture.
Da Se Zna!
Da se zna! was founded in 2016, with its main focus on mapping and documenting unlawful conducts against LGBT + people in the Republic of Serbia. Today, we are primarily concerned with strengthening the community through legal and psychological support, but also continuous cooperation with decision makers. Our mission is to create a more efficient system of protection against discrimination and violence motivated by hatred, as well as the reaction of the competent authorities in accordance with international standards.
SKUC-LL & SKUC-Magnus
ŠKUC-LL and ŠKUC-Magnus represent two of the oldest LGBTI organisations in Slovenia and eastern and south-eastern Europe. Established in 1984 and 1987 they hold a long tradition of LGBTI visibility, fighting for human rights and creating safe spaces for LGBT community.
Through continuous work with governmental and non-governmental institutions, we fight for institution and protection of LGBT rights. ŠKUC-LL and ŠKUC-Magnus have the longest continuous media presence in Slovenia. We offer infrastructure (clubs, office), archive and library (Lesbian library and archive), access to knowledge (publishing Lambda and Visibilija), representation in media and creating grassroots media (magazines Revolver, Lesbo, radio show Lesbomanija) and creating safe supporting spaces for LGBTI creativity.
Legebitra is a LGBTI civil society organization, active in the fields of human rights, education, mental, physical and sexual health, and advocates social and systemic changes based on respect of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and or sex characteristics. It takes into account the intersection of other personal circumstances, such as health, nationality, race or ethnic origin, language, religion or belief, handicap, age, social status, wealth, education or any other personal circumstance.
Kaos GL is one of the oldest and the largest LGBTI+ organizations in Turkey. Kaos GL dispatches the applications from LGBTI+ individuals to its strategic partner, May 17th Association. May 17th Association was established in 2019, to build up expertise on and to deliver psychosocial and legal support services to LGBTI+ individuals. Both associations are continuing their operations in Turkey’s capital, Ankara.
Trans Network Balkan
Trans Network Balkan is a regional organisation, covering 8 countries in the Balkan region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia). We envision a society in which every person is respected, valued, and has a right to self-determination and expression of gender and sex. We aim to empower local communities and individuals in the Balkans to promote human rights of trans, gender variant, and intersex (TGVI) people; support other TGVI people; raise visibility of TGVI identities, experiences, topics. Our guiding values are: Respect of human rights; Bodily integrity; Equality and inclusivity of all identities and backgrounds; Feminism; Nonviolent communication; Intersectionality; Support; Transparency.
- Community building: Annual community event, Transposium (described as life-changing and magical!) Support, mentorship, trainings for community, especially those facing higher marginalization; connecting local and international activists (in partnership with TGEU). Supporting trans-led community organising, based on groups’ expressed needs (Trans Aid, Spektra, TransFormA, Talas, Trans Kvartir), and supporting LGBTI groups.
- Visibility: Online community/info portal and group, frequent interviews in various media, mini social media campaigns on various topics.
- Research and advocacy: We conducted a survey into our communities’ needs and priorities, and developed a comprehensive research survey on healthcare – a priority area for our communities.
- Art and culture: We promote and nurture trans cultural scene, including participating in art fairs, organizing exhibits, etc