Posts Tagged ‘albania’

Civil Rights Defender of the Year 2022 to LGBTI defenders Xheni Karaj and Frank Mugisha

April 21, 2022

On 21 April 2022 LGBTI+ activists and human rights defenders Frank Mugisha from Uganda and Xheni Karaj from Albania were awarded the Civil Rights Defender of the year award 2022.  For more on this award and its laureates, see: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/F2D9088D-2A4E-4FFF-8EC8-7AF252D5B5E7.  

“Xheni Karaj, from Albania, and Frank Mugisha, from Uganda, are two of the world’s most courageous LGBTI+ activists and human rights defenders. Despite working in environments where homophobia is widespread, they continue fighting with impressive resilience, for every individual’s right to have their own sexual orientation and gender identity. They have both been instrumental in building LGBTI+ movements in their countries and inspire LGBTI+ activists all over the Balkan region and the African continent,” the Civil Rights Defenders Board of Directors writes in the motivation for the award.  

The right to one’s own sexuality and gender identity is a human right, but violence and discrimination against people from the LGBTI+ community is still a problem globally. Xheni Karaj, founder and Executive Director of Aleanca LGBT in Albania and Frank Mugisha, Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) are working for LGBTI+ and human rights in countries where violence, discrimination, and homophobia is widespread. Due to the situation in both Uganda and Albania, many LGBTI+ people keep their sexual identity hidden out of fear for the consequences they might face if coming out in public. Through education, advocacy, and building a community for LGBTI+ persons, Frank Mugisha and Xheni Karaj are contributing to improving the lives of thousands. Their commitment to LGBTI+ rights has played a huge part in the progress for human rights in their regions.   

I am excited and happy about the award. This prize shows that LGBTI+ rights are part of universal human rights. For us, it is a recognition that we are involved in advancing human rights work,” says Frank Mugisha. 

“The award made us all feel very happy and appreciated and motivates us to continue with the good work we are doing. To get this acknowledgment also helps me realise that we are making a revolution in Albania. From being invisible, we have showed people that we exist. That we are proud of ourselves, and we should have the right to be free and tell our stories,” says Xheni Karaj.

Some States have the courage to set out their commitments as members of the Human Rights Council

July 17, 2014

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have successfully co-hosted for the third time an event where candidate countries for the UN Human Rights Council have voluntarily shown up to set out their views and commitments in case they would be elected. ‘We are delighted to see more and more States prepared to participate in what is becoming an annual event, said Eleanor Openshaw of the ISHR. We would encourage all State candidates to see this as an opportunity to speak about their vision and commitments as members of the Council and, through their participation, to demonstrate the kind of transparency and accountability that should be expected of all Council members.  Ahead of elections to the UN Human Rights Council in November by the GA, seven candidate States have subjected themselves to public questioning, at the event hosted at UN Headquarters by the 2 NGOs and the missions of Tunisia and Uruguay.

Albania, Bolivia, Botswana, Costa Rica, Latvia, The Netherlands and Portugal elaborated on their pledges and were questioned on how they would work as members of the Council to challenge human rights violations and uphold the credibility of the Council. It is a pity that the other 10 candidates did not (yet) have the courage to join.

The protection of human rights defenders featured prominently in the discussion, with the Netherlands Human Rights Ambassador, Lionel Veer, describing human rights defenders as agents of change and calling for stronger recognition and protection of their work under both national and international law.  Building on this, all speakers affirmed their State’s commitment to the protection of defenders, with Albania and Bolivia committing to support and strengthen civil society engagement with the UN and Costa Rica pledging to support the right of peaceful protest. Botswana was explicit about its commitment to prevent and ensure accountability for reprisals and to work for the endorsement of Human Rights Council Resolution 24/24, adoption of which by the General Assembly would provide for the appointment of a high-level UN focal point to combat reprisals. We welcome the statements and commitments made by States to protect the work of human rights defenders and support robust civil society engagement with the UN, said Ms Openshaw. This is a recognition of the crucial role played by defenders in holding States to account for their human rights obligations at both the national and international levels.

A webcast of the event is available here: http://webtv.un.org/watch/human-rights-council-elections-a-discussion-of…-aspirations-and-vision-for-membership/3676385473001/.

via States set out their vision and commitments as members of the Human Rights Council | ISHR.

New media and art as tools for human rights advocacy: course for HRDs in Montenegro

October 22, 2013


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Stockholm-based Civil Rights Defenders is organising a five-day working conference in Przno, Montenegro, from the 22 – 27 October. The conference is entitled “Empowering people – ideas worth spreading“ and will gather human rights activists from Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. The goal of the conference is to increase the participants’ capacities in using new media and technology as well as art in their advocacy work.

We want to truly empower activists in using new media and technology in their work as well as giving them the tools to be more effective. New media and social networks are used everywhere and therefore our advocacy efforts must follow the trend. Art is also a well-known tool for sending a powerful message and engage people in a debate. During the conference, the participants will share ideas, create new projects and be given a „communications upgrade“ to create online and offline communities, thus making them part of the human rights advocacy network“, said Goran Miletic, Programme Director for the Western Balkans at Civil Rights Defenders.

Through intensive training and workshops, 40 activists from the Western Balkans will learn how to use new media, create communication strategies, learn about video production and theatre as well as civic journalism in advocacy. The participants will exchange ideas and create new ones at the conference, which will provide the foundation for future joint efforts and regional partnerships.

Civil Rights Defenders – New media and art as tools for human rights advocacy.

 

Natalia bracelet starts being used by human rights defenders in Belgrade

September 27, 2013
Kristi Pinderi, LGBT activist from Albania, is one of the human rights defenders included in the Natalia Project.

(Kristi Pinderi, LGBT activist from Albania, with Natalia Bracelet)

Stockholm-based Civil Rights Defenders announced today, 27 September 2013, that Kristi Pinderi, LGBT activist from Albania, will be one of the first human rights defenders to be included in the Natalia Project security system. His bracelet is activated just in time Read the rest of this entry »

Albanian Blerta Cani Drenofci Human rights defender of the month

October 2, 2012

Stockholm-based Civil Rights Defenders has chosen an Albanian disabilities specialist as its HRD of the month, see:

Civil Rights Defenders – Human rights defender of the month – Blerta Cani Drenofci.