By Rene Mertens
The German Institute for Human Rights has called for more systematic work for human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in developing and transition countries.
"Human rights are universal to all people equally, but obviously not to people whose sexual orientation and gender identity [are effected by] the majority of social norms. So far there are hardly any examples and strategies [as to] how their rights can be promoted," said Beate Rudolf, director of the German Institute of Human Rights.
To mark the publication of the study 'Menschenrechte fördern! Deutsche Unterstützung für lesbische, schwule, bisexuelle, trans* und inter* (LSBTI) Menschenrechtsarbeit im Globalen Süden und Osten' (Human rights support! German support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans * and * international human rights work in the Global South and East) Rudolf warned of a need for greater flexibility in the eligibility criteria as LGBTI organisations must often operate in secret and could often pay no co-payment. This hampers their access to funding
Ise Bosch, CEO of Linden Three gGmbH and co-editor of the study, urged the German foundations to take the precarious situation of human rights of LGBTI increasingly into consideration:
"Only 9 of 16,500 German foundations promote the human rights of LGBTI in the Global South and East," he said.This is surprising given the great need for action to protect people who because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, in many parts of the world, are particularly vulnerable to violence, poverty, disease and social exclusion. The research presented shows the financial scope and purpose on LGBTI funding of both government and private organisations. It calls for the involvement of local LGBTI actors, targeted funding in areas where LGBTI be criminalised, and the expansion of research to promote social change and to reduce discrimination.
In 2010, 17 German donors gave a total of 1,916,885 Euro to LGBTI human rights projects in the global South and East, 715,790 Euro of which were regrants. Compared to financial flows in 2008, covered in our 2009 study, LGBTI grantmaking has more than tripled. Since state actors participated in the survey for the frst time, this increase is largely due to their involvement since they were the most generous donors. But even without considering the funding supplied by state actors, LGBTI grantmaking is shown to have risen modestly – from 622,200 Euro to 766,715 Euro.
In addition, the number of donor organisations has increased to 17 (2008: 11) as has the number of projects funded (105 in 2010 from 47 in 2008) and the number of countries, from 11 in 2008 to now more than 30 countries worldwide.
The detailed analysis of the figures demonstrates that the inclusion of LGBTI issues in HIV/AIDS programming has progressed greatly. Funding activity for direct services, organisational development and international networking could be increased. Countries in North Africa and Eastern Asia have not been targeted by German LGBTI funders.
For the frst time, lesbians and transgender people received specialised funding, which is an encouraging development. Intersex and bisexual people, as well as LGBTI people who suffer from multiple forms of discrimination, remain conspicuously absent from the list of grantmaking recipients.
Menschenrechte fördern! Deutsche Unterstützung für lesbische, schwule, bisexuelle, trans* und inter* (LSB...