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This June, the Consortium for Elections and Political Processes Strengthening (CEPPS) is once again marking Global Pride! Throughout the month, we’ve been honoring and celebrating the contributions and victories of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) partners around the world.
While Global Pride is a celebration of the LGBTQI+ community, it is also an important moment to acknowledge and recommit to actively combatting the prejudice, discrimination, and violence experienced by members of LGBTQI+ communities. Democracy only flourishes when all members of a population can freely, safely, and equitably exercise their full range of human rights. Ensuring equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, expression, or sex characteristics, is fundamental to resilient, accountable, inclusive democracies.
CEPPS stands in unwavering solidarity with the courageous members of LGBTQI+ communities around the world who support democracies that are inclusive of all people. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more on building inclusive, resilient democracies.
The CEPPS Team
Global Trends in Elections & Political Transitions
Earlier this month, CEPPS attended RightsCon, an annual summit focused on human rights in the digital age. Hosted by Access Now, this year’s conference took place in Costa Rica and gave space for members of civil society to merge with tech in hopes of building a rights-respecting digital future.
The agenda highlighted the protection of marginalized people’s rights. For example, the program entitled, “Resisting marginalization: Online hate speech and harassment against LGBTIQ persons in Asia”, was hosted by the International Commission of Jurists and outlined the consequences of digital hate and harassment of LGBTQI+ individuals. Hate speech often leads to violence and introduces security concerns such as the intentional online outing of people’s personal information, plus a decline in political participation with a simultaneous increase in cases of mental health issues.
At the same time, however, online platforms can offer safe spaces for community networks. Ideally, the internet creates a space where activism thrives and groups can grow. In order to support these beneficial aspects of online platforms, it is essential to ensure online privacy, security, prosecution of hate speech, and combat prejudice to produce safer spaces for LGBTQI+ people on and offline.
Keep an eye on our social media channels and blog for more takeaways from RightsCon!
Tune in to CEPPS
Have you caught up on all the issues of Democracy! The Podcast? The entire first season and the complete “Defending Democracy: Ukraine” miniseries are now streaming wherever you get your podcasts! Learn more about how people all over the world tirelessly work towards more inclusive, resilient, and accountable democracies. Listen and subscribe now to never miss an episode!
Research & Innovation
Under the Democratic Elections and Political Processes (DEPP) funded “Strengthening Brazil’s Electoral Landscape” project during Brazil’s October 2022 election, CEPPS senior technical partner, Internews, conducted an innovative examination into hate speech linked to disinformation against the Black LGBTQI+ community in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Internews and local partner, Data_Labe, conducted an Information Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) investigation into how members of the Black LGBTQI+ population of Rio de Janeiro find, share, value, and trust information in their local ecosystem with particular attention to whether hate speech increases and how it affects this community during electoral periods. The findings indicated an information ecosystem marked by high degrees of violence that affect the greater community’s political participation and mental health. Read more about the project and the IEA findings here.
From The Technical Trail
CEPPS was proud to host the inaugural Annual Learning Forum. This major event focused on socializing and validating the new DEPP Learning Agenda throughout the democracy, rights, and governance sector. This week-long event featured thematic panels and various workshops with outstanding experts from across the field. These specialized, in-depth discussions focused on promoting inclusive accountability in both the political and electoral processes, government institutions, civic society, and more! Recordings from the Annual Learning Forum are now available online, check them out now!
From The Field
The turmoil that enveloped Burma after the February 2021 military coup and the overthrow of the elected government ushered in a period of both increased violence toward LGBTQI+ individuals, as well as a surge in initiatives aimed at fostering social harmony and promoting personal growth among LGBTQI+ individuals. With support from USAID, under the “Strengthening Elections and Political Transition” program, CEPPS has been working with local partners like Rainbow Alliance, Myanmar LGBTQIA Human Rights Watch Forum, and Kings N Queens to bring visibility to and advance the rights of members of Burma’s LGBTQI+ community. Read more.
CEPPS collaborates closely with local partners around the globe who are working to advance LGBTQI+ rights and equality. Learn more about the work of trailblazing leaders like Marlon González in Guatemala, Karla Guevara in El Salvador, and civil society organizations like Caribe Afirmativo in Colombia.
Democracy by the Numbers
In Burma, CEPPS partners have been collaborating with members of the LGBTQI+ community to build rights awareness, promote sensitivity on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, and foster leadership skills!