On 13 May 2019, the Head of Council of Europe Office in Tirana, Jutta Gützkow, addressed the Open Day: LGBTI Rights are Human Rights hosted by the People’s Advocate, Erinda Ballanca. The event is part of the commemoration agenda of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) and aimed at awareness raising of LGBTI rights violations and stimulating visibility of LGBT activism.
Addressing the audience, Ms Gützkow, pointed out that the rights of the LGBTI community are based on the principles of equality and non-discrimination in accessing fundamental rights, as provided by the European Convention on Human Rights. She also outlined the main principles enshrined in the new Council of Europe Action Plan on Building Inclusive Societies, including the existence of intersectionality and multiple discrimination faced by individuals of the LGBTI community; the importance of education in diversity; and the need to fight racism, intolerance, discrimination and hate speech for an inclusive society.
Members of the LGBTI community in the audience contributed to the discussion and provided an insight to the current situation and priorities in the fight against discrimination and intolerance that the LGBTI community faces in Albania.
The Council of Europe Office in Tirana has actively supported institutional capacities and different initiatives and events organized with the LGBTI community in Albania in the last years, and will continue its close cooperation with institutions and civil society organizations working on the protection of human rights and the promotion of equality and non-discrimination.