Rainbow Rays is a youth-led project that aims to empower young LGBTI people to achieve quality change in their local communities by strengthening their skills and understanding of solidarity, active citizenship and social inclusion. Two LGBTI youth groups were established – one in Sofia and one in another city in the country. The project participants participated in the organization of events in solidarity with the local community.Networking meetings between the youth and activists working in the fields of youth work, community organizing and LGBTI rights took place. The group shared best practices in a handbook about establishing LGBTI youth group within the local context. The project is financed by the European Solidarity Corpus of the European Union.
Youth for Social Change
The project aims to raise awareness about the worrying results on the acceptance of LGBTI people and its consequences, including 95% of LGBTI students reporting experiencing and/or witnessing homophobic and transphobic attacks and remarks and increase the sensitivity of the general public, support the LGBTI community as a whole and more specifically LGBTI youth.
General awareness was raised through public actions in Sofia and through media coverage of the following actions: Engaging a group of LGBTI activists in the decision-making process and providing them with the necessary skills to come up with their own creative solutions by organizing a workshop led by Svetla Baeva- an established activist, who has been working in the field of Creative activism for years. The group developed their own attractive visuals for brochures and Tshirts. The brochures had a part where people could write a message in support of an LGBTI students. The T-shirts said “ Gay, Bi, Trans - you can talk to me” and were used as a way to indicate allies that LGBTI people looking for support could approach. The group engaged with 5 public actions through which they reached over 500 people by handing out brochures and engaged in conversation with them over the rights of LGBTI citizens and specifically LGBTI youth.
The project was funded under the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation
A study of the current Bulgarian legislation at the level of legal normative acts regarding the rights granted to married couples and to couples of different sex living in actual cohabitation in comparison with the rights of couples of the same sex
This study was prepared by the team of Popov, Arnaudov & Partners Law Firm on behalf of the Youth LGBT Organization Deystvie. It reflects the state of the law in force at 30 April 2018. The study does not address any case law on the implementation of the relevant identified provisions, but where appropriate, conflicting interpretation by the courts exists or the law is unclear, this is stated.
This study identifies the rights and obligations assigned to individuals, part of married or cohabiting couples (or, respectively, of one of the married / cohabiting persons) on the basis of the legal consequences associated with some basic definitions that are associated with marriage and family relationships. Such are, for example, "marriage", "family", "household", "husband / wife / spouses", "Actual spouse cohabitation" and its derivatives. The following study does not commit itself to exhaustiveness regarding the possible unequal position of same-sex cohabiting couples in relation to same-sex cohabiting couples, insofar as it is limited to legal regulation at the legal level, and the unequal position may also be introduced by regulations. On the other hand, inequality may not stem directly from the legal consequences of the main family relations institutions, but from the overall application of the various institutions, which are rather indirectly related to the issue under consideration.
Bulgaria is one of the few countries in the European Union that has no legal protection for the families of same-sex partners?
Same-sex couples don’t have various state and private benefits, tax benefits, inheritance rights, adoption rights, etc. Such rights are also excluded from the legal sphere of unmarried couples of different sex because their relationship is also not regulated by law. This is a consequence of the lack of regulation of the legal institute of “factual cohabitation” that does not exist in the country. And while different-sex couples have access to marriage, same-sex couples don’t have that and there is no way for their relationship to be legally recognized and for them to settle their rights because the Constitution limits marriage as a union concluded only between one man and one woman.
The Together for LGBTI Rights in Bulgaria project has raised awareness to the many forms of discrimination and prejudice faced by LGBTI people in Bulgaria among teachers, politicians, business leaders, civil society leaders and parents of LGBTI youth. Through the project, we reached 300 non-governmental organizations, 600 teachers, and dozens of politicians, business leaders and civil society leaders. The project's communication campaign reached over 1 million people nationwide. The project is being implemented by a consortium of: Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation, Bulgarian Donor Forum, Bulgarian School of Politics D. Panitsa, Education Union at the Podkrepa Laboratory, Voice Bulgaria Foundation and Deystvie. The project partners working in various fields are coming together for the realisation of a broad awareness raising campaign among their target groups in support of the equality of LGBTI people in Bulgaria. The project is funded by the European Commission Law, Equality and Citizenship Program (2014-2020).
Bilateral cooperation with Norway in the field of HIV
At the end of 2017, Deystvie exchanged experiences, good practices and know-how with Norway with regards to HIV prevention and treatment policies in the following three main areas:
HIV prevention policies and practices focusing on testing initiatives as well as the use of PrEP and PEP;
Policies and practices to ensure quality treatment and decent living for people with HIV;
Initiatives and practices for organizing and empowering people living with the HIV virus.
The project was funded by the BG07 Bilateral Cooperation Fund for Public Health Initiatives Program of the Ministry of Health.
Monitoring the implementation of the Committee of Ministers' Recommendation CM / REC (2010) 5 on measures to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
In 2018, the Council of Europe undertook a review of the implementation of the Recommendation in the Member States, examining the changes resulting from its implementation in each country. Non-governmental organizations were invited by the Council of Europe to carry out a parallel study and to produce a follow-up report. In Bulgaria, the report was prepared by Deystvie's team.
Rainbow Over Hate with American Bar Association
The project is funded by the Justice Works program of the American Bar Association. Within the framework of the project, we conducted the first of its kind training of Ministry of the Interior officers on how to responding to hate crimes based on homophobic and transphobic motives. 54 police officers took part in the training and there were representatives from 27 Ministry of the Interior units in the country. Our speakers included representatives of the Anti-Discrimination Commission, the Ministry of the Interior Academy, Krasimir Kanev of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, Marja Lust and Yanitsa Bakalova of the Pink Police of the Netherlands, Goran Staton of the Swedish Police Hate Crime Unit Forces, Borislav Dimitrov - human rights defender. The training was facilitated by Maria Alkalai.
The three-day seminar, held at the Aquatonik Hotel in Velingrad, was sponsored by the American Works Association's Justice Works program with the support of the US Embassy and the Ministry of the Interior.
Collection of hate crime data
This report is based on the data collected by Deystvie on hate crimes targeted at LGBTI people in Bulgaria. The data was collected from May to October 2017 through an online victim and witness questionnaire distributed through the organization's online communication channels. In addition to the questionnaires, representatives of Deystvie held a number of meetings with individual victims and witnesses of crime, with the LGBTI community itself, with representatives of the non-governmental sector, police, prosecutors, judges and citizens.
The project was implemented with the financial and methodological support of ILGA-Europe. It allowed for the documentation of new incidents and the future monitoring of hate crimes against LGBTI people on a national level.
Comparative analysis of hate crime legislation
The project is a comparative analysis of the legislation of 3 different countries regarding hate crime. The analysis covers the USA, Hungary and Albania. The project is a joint action of Youth LGBT Organization Deystvie and was prepared for the work program of the American Bar Association in the Justice sector by Covington & Burling, LLP. The opinions expressed in this document are not endorsed by the House of Delegates or the Governing Board of the American Bar Association and should therefore not be construed as representing the policies of the American Bar Association.
The project is aimed at uniting LGBTI activists from the 6 largest cities in Bulgaria - Sofia, Blagoevgrad, Varna, Bourgas, Veliko Turnovo and Plovdiv. The project provided several consecutive trainings of LGBTI people on how to get involved in the movement, how to organize events in cities outside Sofia. 20 young people took part in the training. As a result of the project, events were organized in Blagoevgrad (attended by over 70 people), Varna, Burgas and Veliko Turnovo. Тhe event planned for Plovdiv could not take place for security reasons.
The book The Courage to be Yourself
The book is a series of short stories of LBT women who are out and established in the Bulgarian society. It raises questions about what it is like to be an LGBTI person in Bulgaria? What is it like to be an LBT woman in Bulgaria? And what is it like being an LBT woman in Bulgaria? And what is success? How much does it cost?
"The questions are many ... The answers are sometimes frightening, often harsh, but always sincere and ultimately hopeful. In this little book we have collected the stories of several LBT women in Bulgaria. In this little book, we talk about their greatest success .... courage. The courage to stand. The courage to show your face ... The courage to be and to love! ”
The book presents the stories of 10 successful LBT women and has been printed in 1000 pieces that have been sold out within months, with orders from all over the country.