Invisible Voices: The Struggle for LGBT Rights in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

The Eurasian Coalition on Health, Rights, Gender and Sexual Diversity (ECOM) has published the results of a unique study, Invisible Voices, a regional report on violations of the right to health of LGBTQI people in eight countries in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) region: Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

In 2022, there were 508 cases of human rights violations against LGBTQI people in 8 countries in the region. Ukraine leads in the number of cases and Moldova is in last place. Hate speech, physical violence and abuse of power are just the tip of the iceberg. 

It is important to remember that transgender persons are particularly vulnerable due to difficulties with medical care and access to hormones. Changing laws and international support are the keys to changing this situation. 

Social media has become a platform for spreading hatred. Activists are afraid to associate with LGBTQI people to avoid reprisals. International organizations should pay attention to this. 

“Effective HIV prevention programs are impossible without respect for human rights. If you are afraid of criminalization just for who you are, if you are afraid of disclosure of personal data, you will live in the shadows.” Our report is called Invisible Voices. Thanks to the support of the Global Fund, we are helping to tell the lives of people who don’t have the opportunity to do so themselves. We see the importance of putting more effort and resources into decriminalizing homosexuality and HIV transmission, and making national laws trans-inclusive. At the international level, we need to speak louder about the difficult situation of LGBT rights in EECA and how it needs to change. This will help make the Global Fund’s investments to end the epidemic in the region more effective.”

Vitaly Djuma, Executive Director of ECOM, Alternate Board Member of the Global Fund from the Developed Countries NGO Delegation.

Let’s join forces to support the LGBTQI community and fight for equal rights and safety for all. 


This publication was developed by ECOM and published as part of the regional project «Sustainability of services for key populations in the EECA region», implemented by a consortium of organizations from the countries of the EECA region under the leadership of the ICF “Alliance for Public Health” and #SoS_project in partnership with the CO “All Ukrainian Network of PLHIV”, the “Central Asia Association of People Living with HIV” and the EurasianKey Population Health Network, with financial support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

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