Organization Q

Organization Q for promotion and protection of culture, identities, and human rights of queer persons

Our first initiative for working on the issues of human rights of LGBTIQ persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina started in September 2002. During this period, we adopted the platform of our work as well as terminology. At that time, initiative was operating under the name ''Bosnia 14th of September'', an organization which was already registered in BiH. This initiative was started by two individuals, but through every day community-building, at the end of 2002 and the beginning of 2003, few more persons joined us, and more substantive steps were made in creation of the web-page as the first educational and informational portal about queer issues and human rights of the LGBTIQ persons in BiH.

In February 2004, Organization Q was registered as the first LGBTIQ organization in BiH. At the same time, Bosnia and Herzegovina was the last republic in the ex-Yugoslavia to have a registered LGBTIQ organization.

In September 2010, Organization Q finished its work on a longitudinal national project and in early 2011 we closed our office in Sarajevo, thus turning a new chapter. Officially, since then, the Organization Q stopped being active in BiH and the region. However, we still maintain our web site and mailing lists, and remain open and available for communication, consultations, support and certain types of cooperation.

Mission
Organization Q works on the promotion and protection of the culture, identity, human rights and support to the LGBTIQ persons; elimination of all forms of discrimination and inequality based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression and intersexual characteristics.

Vision
Our vision is a society in which all persons live free from fear of themselves and of those who are different; a society which, through all of its segments, improves human rights and accepts and respects diversities of human sexuality.
Values

Basic values and principles that guide us in our work and future activities are:
• Each person is unique
• Equality and Egality
• Non-discrimination on any basis
• Individual is the most important
• Responsibility
• Participation
• Transparency
• Dedication
• Openness
• Activist approach to the work
• Principles of trust and confidentiality
• Non - violence
• Professionalism
• Creativity
• Solidarity

Based on those values, Statement on Values as one of the fundamental, basic elements of the organization is:

The value that will always guide us is respecting the right of each individual to her/his/sie own uniqueness, self-identification, self-definition and right to non–discrimination on any basis.

Goals
• Institutional capacity building of the organization
• Promotion and protection of human rights of LGBTIQ persons
• Raising awareness and knowledge of LGBTIQ persons regarding their human rights, identity and culture
• Promotion of culture and identity of LGBTIQ persons
• Providing services to LGBTIQ persons

Platform

Organization Q's work and activities are based on the:
• standards and principles of human rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 16 Conventions which are a part of the BiH legislation), including human rights-based approach which takes into consideration and respects human rights, needs, and individual characteristics of LGBTIQ individuals as well as everybody else in BiH; and
• principles of peace, post-feminist and LGBTIQ movements.

Organization Q strives for the following rights:
• a right to one's own body, sex, gender and (inter)sexual characteristics;
• a right to self-definition and self-conception of sexual and/or gender identity and modification of the same;
• a right to self-identification, bodily integrity, choice, gender expression, and one's own sexuality and dignity;
• a right to a sexual orientation;
• a right to an expression of gender and sexual/gender identity (through language, as well) including a right to gender ambiguity and contradiction;
• a right to a life without sexual violence, maltreatment and torture of any kind; and
• a right to human rights and dimensions of equality and non-discrimination.

Up to date projects and activities:

• Project of Public Visibility: Strengthening awareness regarding LGBTIQ issues in BiH community (SHC)
• Feasibility study: LGBTIQ community in BiH: Position, projects and development (HIVOS)
• Project about LGBTIQ sexual health and education (with a special focus on HIV/AIDS) - Promente / UNICEF
• Photo exhibition - Christoph Burtscher (Heart and Hand Fund / Goethe Institute)
• Q Network of BiH - creating and developing LGBTIQ Network in BiH (HIVOS)
• Campaign for Human Rights of Sexual and Gender Minorities (SHC)
• Study regarding health issues of LGBTIQ population in BiH (ILGA-Europe / OSI)
• Arts for Rights (Heart and Hand Fund and Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice)
• In and Out (SHC)
• Seminar about Activism and Human Rights of LGBTIQ Persons (Embassy of Switzerland in Bosnia and Herzegovina)
• Pride Activities 2007
• Seminars about Activism and Human Rights of LGBTIQ Persons (Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bosnia and Herzegovina)
• Scale up IEC/BCC in Population with Increased risk for HIV/AIDS, Objective 2, Coordinated National Response to HIV/AIDS in a War-torn and Highly Stigmatized Setting (UNDP / The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria)
• Queer Parties :)
• Public Petitions/reactions
• Queer gatherings
• Queer Sarajevo Festival 2008 (Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in BiH, Embassy of Switzerland in BiH, Embassy of Canada in BiH, Global Fund for Women, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Urgent Action Fund, COC/HIVOS, Offstream, and Heart and Hand Fund)
• Closer Look at Education in BiH: What is in school textbooks about LGBTIQ issues? (SHC)
• Create Open Minds (Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice)

Publications:

LGBTIQ vježbanka: O spolu, rodu, seksualnoj orijentaciji i seksualnosti, Jelena Poštić, Svetlana Đurković i Amir Hodžić, Udruženje Q, Sarajevo, 2010. (E-verzija)
Spomenar - kao i svaki drugi, ur. Alma Selimović, Udruženje Q, Sarajevo, 2010.
1 + 1 = 0: Analiza srednjoškolskih udžbenika o LGBTIQ pojmovima u Bosni i Hercegovini, Svetlana Đurković, Udruženje Q, Sarajevo, 2010.
The Invisible Q? Human Rights Issues and Concerns of LGBTIQ persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Svetlana Đurković, Udruženje Q, Sarajevo, 2008.
Aktivizam kroz riječi: Javne ličnosti o LGBTIQ temama u Bosni i Hercegovini, ur. Udruženje Q, 2007.
Nevidljivo Q? Pitanje ljudskih prava i potreba LGBTIQ osoba u Bosni i Hercegovini, Svetlana Đurković, Udruženje Q, Sarajevo, 2007.
Na-strani: Zbornik radova o seksualnosti, ur. Slobodanka Dekić, Tamara Šmidling i Svetlana Đurković, Udruženje Q, Sarajevo, 2007.
LGBTTIQ i zdravlje: Istraživanje specifičnih potreba LGBTTIQ populacije u Bosni Hercegovini, Udruženje Q, Sarajevo, 2006.
Analiza terminologije koja se odnosi na LGBTIQ populaciju u štampanim medijima u Bosni i Hercegovini, Taida Horozović, Svetlana Đurković i Slobodanka Dekić, Udruženje Q, Sarajevo, 2006.
Prava i slobode LGBTIQ osoba u Bosni i Hercegovini: Analiza relevantnih pravnih akata, Damir Banović i Svetlana Đurković, Udruženje Q, Sarajevo, 2006.

Collaborations and joint activities:

• 16 Days of Activism Against Violence on the Basis of Gender/Sex, Foundation CURE, Sarajevo, 2004, 2005, 2006.
• Conference on Transgressing Gender: Two is not Enough for Gender (E)quality, Zagreb, October, 2005 (Transgressing Gender: Two is not Enough for Gender (E)quality - The Conference Collection, Women's Room and CESI, Zagreb, 2005)
• Training for News-reporters: "Media and Reporting about LGBTIQ population", Media Center, Sarajevo, October 10-12, 2005
• Internacionala Pride Zagreb 2006, Zagreb, June 22-24, 2006
• Creation of Sex? Gender?, Ženska soba, Zagreb, 2006
• Political Parties in BiH on sex/gender equality issues, Fondacija CURE, Aug.-Sept., 2006
• Recommendations for the media on treating gender issues and usage of gender sensitive language in B&H media, Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 2006
• The Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Shadow Report, Global Rights & International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law, 2006
• Drafting of the Antidiscrimination Law, BiH
• Kreacija Spol? Roda?, drugo izdanje, Ženska soba, Zagreb, 2008.
• Creation of Sex? Gender?, Women's Room, Zagreb, 2008.
• Workshops about sex, gender and sexual and reproductive health for SOS mothers in Sarajevo and Gračanica, with Italian Cooperation, 2008.
• Training about LGBTIQ issues and human rights, for Youth Group, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in BiH, Sarajevo, 2008.
• QSF digital stories (workshop), owpsee Fondation, Sarajevo, 2009.
• O spolu, rodu i seksualnom i reproduktivnom zdravlju: Radionice SOS Kinderdorf, with Italian Cooperation for Development in BiH, 2009.

Organization Q is a member of SEE Q Network, Youth Network of BiH, ILGA, IGLYO, IGLCN.