LGBTIQ* inclusion plan for foreign policy and development cooperation

Civil society calls for a government policy paper – a chronology

Article in German

Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Canada all have a policy plan that addresses the existence and needs of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, trans* and intersex people (LGBTI) in foreign policy and development cooperation. Although Germany is an important donor country in development cooperation, it thus far does not have a comprehensive plan for integrating LGBTI rights into its international policy in concrete and sustainable form. For years now the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD), the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation and the Yogyakarta Alliance have therefore been calling for an LGBTI action plan on German foreign policy and development cooperation. In 2017 the German Foreign Office (AA) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) announced that they were drawing up an LGBTIQ* inclusion plan. We expect the AA and BMZ to finally produce this inclusion plan and put it into practice. We have presented and published our recommendations and requirements.

Here follows a reverse chronology from the present day to the initial call.

31 March 2019

Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth attends the annual meeting of the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD). Asked about progress on the inclusion plan, Minister of State Roth answers that the Foreign Office (AA) has submitted a draft proposal to the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for coordination, and that he hopes a joint AA/BMZ paper can be presented in summer. The LSVD passes a resolution that calls upon the German federal government to adopt the LGBTIQ* inclusion plan.

20 September 2018

The Foreign Office invites the LSVD, Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation, Yogyakarta Alliance and other civil society organizations to discuss its ideas for the LGBTIQ* inclusion plan.

May 2018

The LSVD publishes a 13-point list of requirements for an inclusion plan along with two expert commentaries in its magazine respekt. The commentary from Namibia supports the call for a “Cultures and colonialism” program: http://www.lsvd-blog.de/?p=17195.
The commentary from Germany welcomes the call for developing dialogue and flexibility in laws on public funding: http://www.lsvd-blog.de/?p=17195

18 January 2018

The Yogyakarta Alliance approves the “13-point paper with requirements for an LGBTIQ* inclusion plan for German foreign policy and development cooperation”. The Yogyakarta Alliance’s main demand is for the German government and all foundations that work with funding from the German government to have an LGBTI inclusion plan for foreign policy and development cooperation. We have laid the conceptual groundwork for this with the 13-point paper with requirements for the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development published in November 2017.

22 November 2017

The Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development invite representatives of civil society to Berlin to discuss the possible content of an interministerial LGBTIQ* inclusion plan.

18 November 2017

The LGBTI Platform for Human Rights formulates and publishes a “13-point paper with requirements for an LGBTIQ* inclusion plan for German foreign policy and development cooperation”.
http://www.lsvd-blog.de/?p=17232

14 June 2017

The German federal cabinet adopts a national action plan against racism. Under point 5 the plan reads: “The Federal Government … initiates, together with civil society, an LGBTI inclusion strategy for foreign policy and development cooperation.”
https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/downloads/EN/publikationen/2018/nap-en.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=4

1 June 2017

At the conference “Time to react – Creating an enabling environment for civil society”, which addresses shrinking spaces and LGBTI human rights defenders with experts from Russia, Botswana, Uganda and Germany, a representative of the Foreign Office announces that it and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development will jointly draw up an “LGBTIQ* inclusion plan for foreign policy and development cooperation”. Representatives of civil society are to participate in this process.http://www.lsvd-blog.de/?p=16928

May 2017

The network against racism (Netz gegen Rassismus), the LSVD and the federal Trans* association (Bundesvereinigung Trans*) draw up a paper entitled “Menschenrechte schützen, Diskriminierungen beseitigen” (“Protect human rights, eliminate discrimination”) for the national action plan against racism. The German government had earlier agreed to add sections on homophobia and transphobia. This civil society paper includes the following requirement (among others) for the action plan: “An LGBTI inclusion plan for foreign policy and development cooperation is needed to strengthen and stabilize German commitment to human rights. The plan must be developed together with civil society.”

https://www.lsvd.de/fileadmin/pics/Dokumente/Aktionsplan/NGO-Beitrag_fuer_NAP.pdf
(only in German)

April 2017

In its new program “Human Rights, Diversity and Respect” the LSVD calls for the following: “An LGBTI inclusion plan for foreign policy and development cooperation is needed to strengthen and stabilize German commitment to human rights. The plan must be developed together with civil society.”
https://www.lsvd.de/ziele/lsvd-programm.html
(only in German)

2013

In its checklist for the 2013 German federal election, the LSVD calls for the following: “The Federal Republic of Germany needs an LGBTI inclusion plan for its foreign policy and development cooperation. This must be developed together with civil society. The Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, the Foreign Office, the embassies and foreign services, and the implementing organizations must have a clear mandate to work against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
https://www.lsvd.de/politik/wahlpruefsteine/bundestagswahl-2013/fragen-des-lsvd.html
(only in German)

2012

The Yogyakarta Alliance is founded. Its agenda includes the following: “The Yogyakarta Alliance [calls for] German development cooperation and foreign policy to have a SOGI inclusion plan… [and] will be constructively contributing to this process.” An LGBTI inclusion plan is one of the basic demands of this civil society alliance.
http://www.hirschfeld-eddy-stiftung.de/vernetzung/yogyakarta-allianz/
(only in German)

2011

The Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation, which is the human rights foundation of the LSVD, publishes the volume Yogyakarta Plus. Menschenrechte für Lesben, Schwule, Bisexuelle,. Transgender und Intersexuelle in der internationalen Praxis (“Yogyakarta Plus. Human Rights in International Practice for Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals, Trans* and Intersex People”). It calls for an action plan for inclusive development work: “Government commitment following the Swedish example? An action plan for foreign policy and development cooperation”.
http://www.hirschfeld-eddy-stiftung.de/fileadmin/images/schriftenreihe/Yogyakarta_plus_web_CC.pdf
(only in German)

2009 In its checklist for the 2009 German federal election the LSVD requests the political parties to state their position on the Yogyakarta Principles: “In 2006 leading international human rights experts developed the ‘Yogyakarta Principles’ as the first systematic overview for ensuring human rights for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people… Are you committed to having the future federal government take the Yogyakarta Principles as the basis for its policy on lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people?”
https://www.lsvd.de/politik/wahlpruefsteine/bundestagswahl-2009/wahlpruefsteine.html
(only in German)

Sarah Kohrt
LGBTI Platform for Human Rights, Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation



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