Background information


From the 2nd to the 7th of December 2018, the 4th World Congress of the ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark.
This might be an opportunity of organising a side event on how trade unions can defend people who are discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Belgian Union ACV/CSC organises a conference/symposium on November 6, 2018 about LGBT at Work. This meeting is meant for staff, activists and possibly members, and will have an international facet. More information via facebook.

In October 2018 we got the sad news of the death of Nettie Groeneveld, former representative from Abvakabo to several international conferences.

In 2018, Stockholm (and Gothenburg) (Sweden) hosted the EuroPride/WestPride festivities from 27th of July - 19th of August. The Swedish trade union organisation Vision organised a follow-up conference to the Amsterdam Europride conference in 2016 and the Madrid World Pride conference in 2017. More on the Pride itself can be found here. Information from Vision can be found here.

In July, 2018, a the European Court of Justice ruled about the pension of a transgender woman in Great Bittain (just in time before the Brexit). Read about it here.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) issued in June, 2018, an update of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), the so-called ICD-11, in which - based on current scientific research - 'gender incongruence' has been deleted from the mental disorders spectrum. ICD-11 does mention the condition, but under the chapter 'sexual health conditions'. This is because transgender people should not be considered as having a mental disorder, but (may) have significant and specific health care needs. Read the WHO news and watch the video on youtube with the WHO statement.

Also in June, 2018, the European Court of Justice condemned the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in the United Kingdom for not accepting a transgender woman for a state pension at the age of 60.
The UK officials considered this person as a man, although she had lived as a woman since 1991 and underwent sex reassignment surgery in 1995.
In the United Kingdom, under the legislation in force, women are allowed to retire at the age of 60, whereas men can only have their retirement at the age of 65. The UK officials had been reluctant to officially acknowledge the person's new gender, because she had refused to have her marriage declared annulled. She and her wife had decided to stay together for religious reasons.
The European Court ruled that the UK should still consider this person as a women and grant her retirement rights as a woman.
You can read the judgement here.

In June, 2018, the European branch of ILGA (the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) launched a position paper on LGBTI sex workers. Red it here.

In February, the European Trade Union Confederation launched, on behalf of its LGBTQI* Rights Trade Union Network, a campaign to support a Spanish initiative for improvement of LGBT+ workers' rights and LGBT+ equality. More information about this initiative (in Spanish) can be found at the website of the FELGBT.

Sad news reached us in January 2018: the deaths of
Kürşad Kahramanoğlu and of Claus Brandt.