In March and April, the Human Rights Monitoring Institute invited media representatives to trainings in Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda on the topics of reducing hatred against the LGBTQ+ community and respectful communication.
The training has resulted in a memo for media representatives, in which the team of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute provides some tips on what is important to know in order to write respectfully about the LGBTQ+ community and other communities that are vulnerable to hate crimes, and to contribute to the reduction of hatred in society. You can access the memo here.
During the training, human rights experts, people interested in communication and human rights, members of the LGBTQ+ community, media representatives discussed the role of society and respectful communication in reducing hate and how to write and speak respectfully about LGBTQ+ people and other groups that experience a lot of hatred.
According to the organisers of the training, the majority of LGBTQ+ people in Lithuania are afraid to disclose their identity, so for a large number of people the media is the only source of information about LGBTQ+ people. “A survey conducted by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Council in 2020 reveals that LGBTQ+ people in Lithuania are the least likely to come out in the EU. LGBTQ+ people in Lithuania face a lot of hatred, and most people do not feel safe enough to come out in our society,” says Ajus Jurgaitis, Project Manager at the Human Rights Monitoring Institute.
“In such a context, it is crucial that media representatives would be able to speak respectfully about LGBTQ+ people, their stories and any other related issues, thus contributing to the reduction of hatred in society,” says Ieva Laugalyte, a member of the transgender rights and self-help association Trans Autonomija and LGBTQ+ rights activist, on explaining the importance of the training.
The training was organised within the framework of the project “Sustainable Support for Human Rights through Advocacy and Education” supported by the Active Citizens Foundation.