Center for Social Group Development – CSGD was officially registered in October 2003, with the aim to support, protect, advocate for the rights of LGBTI community in Kosovo. There are four main areas where CSGD is focused to operate:
Empowerment of LGBTI Community in Kosovo.
Awareness Rising of General Population about LGBTI Rights.
Advocacy for LGBTI Rights.
HIV prevention among MSM in Kosovo.
Since the beginning CSGD started working with the LGBTI community by establishing the drop-in center as a safely, warm and welcoming environment where the community can be themselves. Since then, thousands of LGBTI persons and supporters have visited the centre.
Other activities were implemented during the years, aiming to build and empower the community. Among other activities which are worth to be mentioned are: trainings, workshops, group discussions, different social activities, participation in events happening in the region and beyond such are prides, conferences and seminars.
Starting from 2007, CSGD has marked the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia – IDAHOT, by designing different public campaigns through posters, leaflets distributed in main daily newspapers, by participating in TV shows etc. From 2014 in collaboration with other LGBTI organizations in Kosovo, CSGD was part of organizing the March every year on 17th of May.
With the support of CSGD, the first ever documentary “Beyond the Rainbow” which reflects the LGBTI life in Kosovo was produced in 2007. This documentary was screened in Sarajevo Film Festival, in Kosovo national TV stations and in different LGBTI events in the region and Europe.
The staff members of the organisation have gained steady experience and deep knowledge in working with sensitive issues within LGBTI community over many years, as well as built experience in working within the institutional framework, establishing a fruitful and professional relationship with institutions and the donor community.
As the first advocacy activities that CSGD has undertaken is the consultations with the working group on drafting of Anti-Discrimination Law in 2003. This law was adopted in 2004 and in the protected basis was included the sexual orientation. The Law on the Protection from Discrimination was amended in 2015 where the gender identity is included as a protected base. Other advocacy actions that are worth to be mention are close cooperation with the police in dealing with the hate crime cases based on sexual orientation and gender identity, cooperation with the Office for Good Governance within the Prime Minister’s Office.
Recently CSGD has technically supported the drafting and finalizing the two years National Action Plan (November 2016 – November 2018) of the Advisory and Coordination Group in national level in Republic of Kosovo for the rights of LGBTI community. This Group is established for the purpose of creating a unity, partnership and regular cooperation amongst local and international institutions and Non-Government Organizations that work on protection and promotion of rights of LGBTI community. For more, establishing of this Group serves the purpose of initiating joint activities on prevention and combating discrimination on LGBTI community and raising awareness on human rights, with particular emphasis on LGBTI community rights.
CSGD in collaboration with Youth Initiative for Human Rights – YIHR KS have conducted the study and published the report “Freedom and Protection of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender in Kosovo” in November 2013, which is the first documentation of human rights violations experienced by the LGBTI Community in Kosovo and the knowledge and attitudes of duty bearers. This included conducting interviews with LGBTI persons, as well as police, prosecutors, judges, lawyers, human rights officers in the Kosovo Government and medical professionals.
CSGD has managed to establish cooperation with various local and regional organizations working on matters concerning the LGBTI Community and Human Rights in general. CSGD has become a part of a network of different regional and national NGOs and institutions that work in the field of human rights and with LGBTI community such as: the regional association ERA “LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey”, Equal Rights for All Coalition – ERAC and member of Advisory and Coordination Group for the LGBTI Community (Office of Good Governance within Prime Ministers Office in Kosovo).
CSGD will aim to continue to implement the HIV prevention programme as one of the most needed programmes by the LGBTI community, therefore contributing to the overall wellbeing of beneficiaries. The long-term project goal of the CSGD is maintaining the low prevalence of HIV among MSM in Kosovo.