LGBT+ Rights in Ukraine
Freedom House seeks to improve respect for the human rights of LGBT+ people in Ukraine by strengthening and growing broad-based civil society and allies’ engagement.
Expanding Allies for LGBT+ Rights in Ukraine
Freedom House seeks to improve respect for the human rights of LGBT+ people in Ukraine by strengthening and growing broad-based civil society and allies’ engagement in support of the human rights of LGBT+ persons, reducing negative attitudes about LGBT+ people, and fostering respect for the rights of all among society, the authorities, and the legal profession. By educating civil society about how LGBT+ rights fit into Ukraine’s larger struggle for human rights and democratic development and encouraging civil society representatives to declare their support for the human rights of LGBT+ people, FH and partners work to increase the number and visibility of allies who can encourage the larger public and provide moral support to LGBT+ people in Ukraine.
Growing the Circle of LGBT+ Allies
Freedom House partner TERGO is an organization composed of parents, family, and friends of LGBT+ people who jumpstarted the parents’ and friends’ movement in Ukraine. Freedom House works with TERGO to support sustainable groups of LGBT+ allies, including parents of LGBT+ people, in the regions. TERGO also educates key professionals such as psychologists, teachers and social workers on LGBT+ rights.
Freedom House partner Fulcrum is a leading LGBT+ and HIV service organization. Freedom House works with Fulcrum to develop allies against anti-LGBT+ bullying among both educators and HR professionals in the business community.
Bolstering Legal Support for LGBT+ Communities
Freedom House partner Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (UHHRU) utilizes its expansive network and deep expertise on human rights issues to educate Ukrainian civil society organizations and human rights lawyers on LGBT+ rights and engage them as allies. UHHRU works to broaden and strengthen support among lawyers and organizations providing legal assistance to LGBT+ people in order to defend their rights in legal proceedings. UHHRU also works to improve respect for freedom of assembly (FOA) of LGBT+ people in Ukraine by strengthening engagement between activists and law-enforcement bodies charged with providing security for public events.
Click here for UHHRU’s recent policy brief on legal protections for LGBT+ people in Ukraine.
LGBT+ In Ukraine’s Political Process
Freedom House partner Fulcrum is working to expand support for the human rights of LGBT+ people among Ukraine’s politicians and political leaders in order to encourage and strengthen LGBT+ allies throughout the government.
Fellowship For LGBT+ Allies
In order to foster knowledgeable, vocal, and connected allies for LGBT+ rights that will act as advocates across Ukraine, Freedom House works with existing LGBT+ allies from diverse sectors (civil society, government and politics, the business community, and independent media) to participate in an eight-month Ally Fellowship. Over the course of the Fellowship, these LGBT+ rights allies deepen their knowledge and capacity to publicly support LGBT+ rights.
Local Ally Initiatives – Small Grant Competition
Freedom House provides small advocacy grants to LGBT+ allies to undertake activities in support of LGBT+ rights at the regional level. Recent ally initiatives include the following:
Ally Oleksandr Gatiatullin, the founder of the group “Ukraine without Torture,” launched a series of activities to address the needs of LGBTI people in detention facilities. The activity achieved a unique success in engaging the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) and government agencies responsible for oversight of prisons and detention facilities. The group developed a strategic plan for 2020 that calls for engaging the Ombudsperson’s institution to report on human rights issues especially relevant to LGBTI people in detention, such as medical care.
In Dnipro, ally Olga Polyakova worked with local Patrol Police officers to develop their understanding of specific crimes and violations against the LGBT+ community as well as how to protect their rights and freedoms. She implemented a community policing model that develop personal and regular interaction between police officers and the LGBT+ community so that the group’s unique needs can be more effectively addressed.
In Poltava, ally Olena Glazkova implemented the project “Know more!” focused on the development of knowledge of the LGBTI community among regional journalists, students, and teachers, as well as on decreasing SOGI-based bullying in schools. Glazkvoa organized a series of educational seminars with key youth communities as well as informal public discussions on LGBT+ issues.