Documenting and reporting sexual orientation discrimination

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Guidelines for Human Rights Violation Documentation Fund projects

1 Introduction
General surveys of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation can be a very valuable tool in presenting the need for action to governments, the media, the LGBT community and the European institutions.
Over the years many such surveys have been carried out, some as part of projects coordinated by ILGA-Europe in the EU accession countries in 2000 - 2003. These guidelines build on the experience gained in these projects, and on a more recent survey conducted by two organisations in Poland, Campaign Against Homophobia and Lambda Warsaw Association, and partly funded by this Fund1.
The purpose of the guidelines is to allow future applicants to the Fund interested in conducting such a survey to benefit from past experience, through the provision of a “model” questionnaire, and advice. However it is important that applicants, when considering the possible use of the “model” questionnaire, should consider carefully their objectives, and the specific needs in their own country, and make adaptations as necessary.
While survey findings are important in themselves, their impact can be enhanced if they are presented as part of a wider report addressing discrimination from other perspectives. This could include the results of general opinion polls, homophobic statements by politicians, religious leaders, the media etc, and details of any discriminatory laws or practices by state agencies such as the police, the education system, the health service, the armed forces. This information shows that the results of the survey are not isolated, but part of a general, recognised social phenomenon.
The recent Polish report (see footnote2 for link) provides an excellent example of such a report, which applicants are encouraged to examine, although those with more limited resources may wish to consider preparing something less ambitious.

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