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ILGA team in Geneva

in GERMANY, 02/04/2004

Philipp Braun

Philipp Braun has been involved with LGBT activism since the early 1990s. After working with the Lesben- und Schwulenverband in Deutschland (LSVD, Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany) on various projects since 1994 and as the representative of LSVD on the ILGA-Europe EU Co-ordination Network since 2002, he joined the board of LSVD in March 2003. In October 2003 he was elected to the executive board of ILGA-Europe, which has 200 member organisations in 40 countries.

LSVD supports and aids the gay and lesbian community with issues of legal and social discrimination, marginalization and violence, while also aiming to improve the situation of lesbian and gay rights in German society by promoting personal emancipation, greater political and social participation and opportunities for full integration into society. The LSVD is Germany's biggest Gay and Lesbian Federation. It counts 2500 individual members and 60 member organizations. Its structure is a federal one: Apart from the organization on the national level, there are associations in the different federal states and in several cities. It has prepared detailed legal briefs on relevant legislation such as the registered partnership law or the upcoming antidiscrimination legislation, we take part in parliamentary hearings on legislation and we hold meeting with government ministers and their staff. Only ten years after our foundation we were successful in obtaining a registered partnership law in Germany. This means that we convinced the German Parliament and society that equal rights for gay and lesbian couples are necessary for a modern, democratic society. Nevertheless, we still have to struggle for equal rights in areas like taxation and pension laws, adoption and child custody.

In April 2003 during the 59th session of the CHR I was very much involved in the ad-hoc campaign for the Brazilian resolution. In November 2003, I organised the visit of the German Human Rights Commissioner Claudia Roth to the ILGA World Conference in Manila. In December 2003 I participated for ILGA-Europe and LSVD in the NGO strategy meeting in Rio on the Brazilian resolution hosted by ACPD and ARC from Canada. In 2004 I have worked on mobilizing the membership organizations of ILGA-Europe to get involved with the CHR campaign. We were successful in getting the European Parliament to endorse the resolution in its report on the CHR.

In Geneva I participated in the official dinner hosted by the German Parliament's delegation to the CHR and the German Mission in Geneva for German human rights NGOs in the Palais de Nations where
the Brazilian Resolution was highlighted as one of the main issues for the 60th session of the CHR. I organized a meeting between the chairwoman of the German Bundestag Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid. Ms. Christa Nickels and representatives of the four parties represented in the German Parliament with a delegation of LGBT activists from Africa, Latin America and Asia to discuss the situation of LGBT people in the Global South and the work on the Brazilian Resolution. This was followed by a discussion with the head of the German delegation to the CHR, Ms. Claudia Roth, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid in the Foreign Office, on strategies for the resolution. LSVD and ILGA took the opportunity to thank the German government for its strong support for the Brazilian resolution and for LGBT rights internationally as expressed in Foreign Minister Fischer's speech to CHR and Claudia Roth's speech to the ILGA conference in Manila.
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