Family rights in Latvia under attack

On January 7, 2021, the far- right National Alliance submitted a draft law in order to amend the Article 110 of the Latvian Constitution, which would narrow the definition of family to only a union of a man and a woman. 

We strongly condemn this draft law, which is a clear attempt to restrict family rights and consciously take away family rights from any other family forms, including single parents and same-sex couples. 

This reactionary draft law has the single aim of taking away family rights from families that were until now protected by the constitution. 

It’s obvious that this draft law is connected to lawmakers’ unwillingness to act according to a recent Constitutional court decision. 

NA’s offer would not solve the problem, as it is impossible to overrule the constitutional court’s decision. However, it could serve as a reason for several legal proceedings against Latvia as a state, including a case at the European Court of Human Rights. 

It is truly concerning that a party that is a part of the ruling coalition in an EU member state is ready to amend the constitution as a way to circumvent duties imposed by the current constitution. 

We see this as an attack on one of the oldest constitutions in Europe, as well as on the rule of law. 

The proposed amendments would only worsen the current situation for LGBTQIA+ rights in Latvia, which is already the second- worst in the EU. 

Furthermore, this amendment would go against one of the main points in the Latvian Constitution- legal equality and the exercise of human rights without discrimination. 

It must be noted that the current constitutional definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman is quite recent- Article 110 was amended in 2006 as a result of a homophobic campaign by a ruling, oligarch-sponsored party, shockingly similar to events currently ongoing in Poland.

During the pandemic, lawmakers should act in solidarity with society and families by providing them with the necessary economic and social support and the necessary means to facilitate the well-being of both children and adults in a time where socio-economic gaps are increasing. 

However, National Alliance is attempting to do the exact opposite by showing their disregard for democracy and the rule of law. No family will benefit from hate directed at other families. All families, both “traditional”, but especially socially vulnerable families, same-sex families and single-parent families need real support in this time, not populistic hate slogans. 

We stand in solidarity with all families in Latvia and ask the Saeima to vote against National Alliance’s proposal and instead comply with the Constitutional court’s decision and provide legal protection and support for all families. 

Protests/ Latvia

Gender awareness in Serbia

9th March 2016

,,Why does the discussion about gender make people uncomfortable? In Serbia, LGBT+ people are being excluded from their communities and International Women’s day is confused with romantic courting. People are afraid to say that they are feminists and young females are facing misogyny. The Green Forum intern Kristina Grujicic met with gender coordinators from two green organizations in Eastern Europe.”

To read the rest of the article, please visit the Green Forum website.

MODOM: Panel on Expectations of Youth from the Upcoming Elections in Macedonia

28th February 2016

MODOM is hosting the General Assembly, the highest decision making body of the Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe ( CDNEE ) which will be attended by delegates from all member organizations and is held from 25 to 28 February 2016 in Skopje.

MODOM used the presence of young Greens from Eastern Europe to introduce them with the needs of young people in Macedonia, closely ahead of the parliamentary elections and organised a panel discussion on youth expectations from the elections in Macedonia. Continue reading

Young Greens of Turkey & Georgian Young Greens against destruction of Cerattepe

19th February 2016

For the last twenty five years people of Artvin, a border town between Georgia and Turkey, have been resisting against gold and copper mines. During these twenty five years, the resistance of Artvin has defeated two Canadian mine companies and sent them back home. Unfortunately, this legendary resistance is now under attack by not just mine companies, but government forces.

Earlier this week, people of Artvin have been attacked by police and gendarmerie, who are apparently following oartvin2rders from a mine company: Cengiz Holding. This pro-government Cengiz Holding is a conglomerate that owns several construction, energy and mine projects that destroys the environment not just in Turkey but also in Bulgaria, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Now, they have their hands on Cerattepe, Artvin. Continue reading

Azerbaijan: Uprising unemployment vs Government

 
13th January 2016
Azerbaijan is an oil rich country, but it remains plagued by high levels of unemployment and a lack of essential services. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 crippled the country’s infrastructure, while conflict with neighboring Armenia created a wave of displacement. The  economic situation based on oil sector and other main services are located in the capital – Baku, which is why probably half of population lives there.

Continue reading

MIL Network: “Gender and Human Rights” session in Baku

 
MIL Network from Azerbaijan (The Project for the Development of Managers) held the session on “Gender and Human Rights” which was organized by MIL Gender Club on 8th of November 2015 in Turkish World Youth Association in Baku.  The session aimed to raise the public awareness of the issues as gender and human rights. The main topic was gender equality as a fundamental human right. However, people often have their human rights violated on the basis of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Furthermore, some of the key issues relate to participation, gender-based violence, armed conflicts, and poverty, as well as sexual and reproductive rights were also tackled during the discussions. The session was successful as most of participants were involved in the topic and had a lot of questions regarding the gender, human rights and Civil and Marriage Code.