Public appeal for the rights and freedoms of the LGBTI in Albania
Today, on May 17, the international day against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia, the Albanian Helsinki Committee (AHC) makes a public appeal for better respect for the rights and freedoms that the LGBTI community enjoys in our country.
Citizens belonging to this community face a series of problems that impede the effective and full exercise of their rights. Part of them is not accepted as such by their family or society, faced with denigrating prejudice and multi-faced discrimination. In some cases, members of this community are the victims of hate, verbal or physical violence, in public places or domestic violence. Lack of housing for individuals in need who are not accepted by their families, difficulties in employment or lack of quality psycho-social services are some of the other problems that this community faces.
Persons belonging to this community should enjoy their right to choose their gender identity according to their belonging. The Strasbourg Court has imposed sanctions on a series of states of the Council of Europe for the violation of the right to respect for privacy and family life of transgender persons. Some of these violations consist in the lack of a complete and clear legal framework for changing gender in civil registry offices, refusal by civil registry offices to change gender in certificates for transgender persons, budgetary constraints that do not enable medical surgery to change gender, refusal by the compulsory health insurance scheme to reimburse expenses for such surgery, etc.
The right to non-discrimination and the right to equality are universal rights sanctioned in our country’s constitution as well as in international acts such as the European Convention of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The fundamental rights and freedoms that every citizen of our country enjoys are rights that every member of the LGBTI community also enjoys.
AHC makes a public appeal for more awareness in order to effectively enable equal access to education, health care, employment and dignified treatment of the LGBTI community. For the purpose of better respect for their rights and particularly the right to privacy and family life, awareness campaigns need to be realized.
AHC encourages the full and effective implementation of the action plan for persons with different sexual orientation in order for this important document to not remain on paper only. Lastly, we wish to congratulate all the activists of the community who protect their causes and rights and invite citizens to show solidarity for these causes by participating in events to be realized during this week against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia