Woman and Minority Refugees – conference in Istanbul

IMG_1900Rainbow Rose co-organized the “Woman and Minority Refugees Conference” under the leadership of the Global Progressive Forum.  This was our first event of this year: Women and Minority Refugees: another perspective to the crisis, co-organized with GPF, YES, PES Women and FEPS, which took place on February 18-19 in Istanbul, Turkey.

We have started this journey rising LGBTI situation of refugeesIMG_1906 at the Press Conference together with the Party of European Socialists family. On the first panel we were focusing on women and children’s difficult situation in the current refugees crisis. A meeting with MPs Gülsun Bìlgehan (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi – CHP) and Filiz Kerestecioğlu (Halkların Demokratik Partisi – HDP), was very encouraging. Even seating in the Opposition, they do their best to support LGBTI rights, which is highly needed with attempts from the current Government to repress the LGBT movement.

We also organized a meeting with MEPs from the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament Kati Piri (Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA)), Knut Fleckenstein (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD)) and LGBTI representatives from Kaos GL and SPoD LGBT. They explained the difficult situation facing LGBT activists in the country and ask for support which our S&D MEPs committed to provide.

During the evening we visited as a delegation two big organizations working with refugees. First, we visited KADAV (Women’s Solidarity Foundation), a Human Rights Foundation working on legal counseling and shelters for women, as well as fighting against human trafficking.

Later we met ASAM, which is the implementing partner of the UNCHR in Turkey which provides with legal, psychological and health counseling for refugees while assisting in resettlement. For both organizations LGBTI people are considered as prioritized refugees group, since they cross the Turkish border until they are resettled. Keep posted for the outcome of our workshop “Asylum Policies for LGBTI Refugees”, which will be hold tomorrow.

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