Lecture “We are unstoppable”

20140627-DSC_0541 (Small)Boris Dittrich, the director of the Human Rights Watch’s LGBT Rights Advocacy program gave a lecture titled “We are unstoppable” on Friday, June 27th in Mediacenter Sarajevo.

Boris Dittrich has been working for the Human Rights Watch, an organization whose primary focus is documenting human rights abuses, writing recommendations and lobbying for advancement of rights in countries around the world, for the past 7 years.

Boris started his lecture with statistics on the state of LGBT persons’ rights around the world. He pointed out that there are currently 83 countries in the world (UN Member States) which have anti-LGBT laws, which is 42% of countries globally.

During the lecture he pointed out that LGBT persons’ rights are often breached in the most brutal ways and the discrimination which they are exposed to puts them in difficult socio-economic circumstances and limits their access to mechanisms for protection of their rights.

He tried to demonstrate how the Human Rights Watch works when it comes to discrimination and different forms of violence against LGBT persons by using examples from his own work.

He talked about the brutal torture and abuse of gay activists from Africa and the current situation in Russia where groups of Fascists are using the impunity which the law affords them to abuse LGBT persons. The Human Rights Watch made a video about these abuses based on the research they conducted in Russia.

In the end he emphasized that it is necessary to point out the positive examples that can encourage all LGBT persons and activists and which, despite the discouraging figures, demonstrate that progress towards the equality of LGBT persons in the world is unstoppable.

The lecture was organized by the Sarajevo Open Centre and The Open Society Foundations BiH and the aim of the lecture was to discuss the progress that is paving the way to global equality of LGBT persons in the context of recognizing the question of gender identity, intersexuality, marriage equality as well as the need to address the breaches of LGBT persons’ human rights due to their sexual orientation and gender identity, in order to mark 28th June, the World Pride Day.

About Boris Dittich: He leads the advocacy efforts in the area of LGBT – lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender persons’ human rights around the world. He meets regularly with government officials, members of parliaments, journalists and victims of homophobia and transphobia in Africa, South America, Asia and Europe to advocate the advancement of issues that concern sexual orientation and gender identity.