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Emergency Housing for LGBT Youth in Tirana, Albania

The psychologist at the LGBT youth shelter waited for me in a small side street in the city center of Tirana, Albania’s capital. “No one knows our exact address, we want to avoid arson and havoc,” she told me.
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LGBT Program Advocacy Director Boris Dittrich (2nd from Left) with the psychologist and the social workers from an LGBT youth shelter, STREHA, in Tirana, Albania.
News

LGBT Rights Groups Bring Legal Case to Fulfil Long-Delayed Promise

Last week Kristi Pinderi, executive director of the Albanian group PRO LGBT, announced his organization would file a lawsuit requesting recognition of same-sex partnerships.
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Kristi Pinderi, the executive director of the Albanian group PRO LGBT.
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Urgent need to safeguard students, teachers and schools during armed conflict

Albanians older than 40 know about militarized schools. For years during communism, children took time from classes to march, dig, and shoot in preparation for an onslaught from the “imperialist West” or “revisionist East.” Last week they drew on that…
A boy stands in a classroom at his school after it was hit by a Saudi-led air strike in Yemen's capital Sanaa July 20, 2015.
News
The Hungarian government today dealt yet another blow to asylum seekers and migrants by declaring a state of emergency throughout the entire country due to “mass migration.” The decision follows a similar declaration on September 16, 2015, imposing a…
Migrants walk along Hungary's border fence on the Serbian side of the border near Morahalom, Hungary, February 22, 2016
News

Protect Asylum Seekers, Roma; Ensure Media Freedom; Prosecute War Crimes

(Beirut) – Hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers and migrants faced substantial difficulties during 2015, as they followed a key transit route in the Western Balkans, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016.
 Problems along the route…
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Referendum to Decide LGBT People’s Rights

(Berlin) – Voters in Slovenia, a European Union member state, began voting on December 15, 2015, on whether to uphold a March law legalizing same-sex marriage, Human Rights Watch said today. The preliminary results are to be announced on December 20. …
Slovenia's parliamentary hall is pictured during a session in Ljubljana, May 24, 2013.
News

Stranded in Misery by Delay, Lack of Coordination, Indifference

(Budapest) –The European Union and Western Balkans countries meeting on October 25, 2015, should focus on alleviating the suffering of migrants and asylum seekers stranded at various European borders, Human Rights Watch said today.
 Cascading border…
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(Brussels, July 15, 2015) – Journalists in the Western Balkans work in a hostile environment that directly affects their ability to do critical, independent reporting essential to a democratic society. Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,…
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Six years ago I was invited to Tirana, Albania’s capital, to meet with human rights activists who told me stories of rampant homophobia and a dire lack of legal protections for LGBT people. Yesterday, Albania took an important step forward combatting both…
News
On September 17, a court in Kosovo acquitted Fatmir Limaj, a former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander and high-ranking politician, and nine others of war crimes related to the 1998 torture and killings of Serbian and Albanian civilians in a makeshift…
News

Called for Violence Against Pride Paraders

(London) – The Albanian government should publicly reprimand Deputy Defense Minister Ekrem Spahiu for homophobic remarks and endorsing violence against people participating in a Gay Pride parade, Human Rights Watch said today. Asked what he thinks of…
News

Ensure Lesbian and Gay Couples Adoption Rights

(New York) - The Slovenian Parliament should adopt the new Family Code proposed by the Slovenian Government, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to parliament members. The law would extend civil marriage to lesbian and gay couples and put…