Tag: Projects

VOPS 24 – Call for Graphic Designer

Are you a keen designer with an interest in local LGBTQ+ history? 

If so then we invite you to apply for the position of design a book with photography and text of approximately 30 pages, alongside graphics for an exhibition commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Pride in Malta through photos, and interviews of individuals who were present during the first Pride march.

Terms of Reference

  • To determine, after consulting the MGRM’s team, the content and form of the media
  • To keep in mind the context of the project
  • Coordinate with MGRM’s team and provide critical input of the project
  • The creative liberty of the designer will be respected
  • Individuals or companies are welcome to apply

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants interested in the position of Book Designer should have:

  • Experience in editorial design, especially of books
  • Time Management 
  • Attention to detail
  • Sensitivity to LGBTIQ issues

Applicants must submit a CV and a portfolio with relevant experience demonstrating the ability to produce the work being contracted to the high quality sought.

Intellectual Property

All intellectual property rights belong to MGRM

Subcontracting

Individuals may propose working jointly with one or more persons given the tight deadlines envisaged. This must be clearly stated in their submission. Bidders are to attach CV’s of each expert.

Following the adjudication, any subcontracting to third parties other than the selected service provider/s needs to be approved in writing by MGRM other than for technical elements such as translations or proof reading.

Bids, of a maximum of €1000, are to be sent to MGRM on mgrm@maltagayrights.org. For any queries, please contact Robert Attard on +356 99255559. Deadline is 23rd June 2024.

Provisional Timeline of Project

Call Deadline Application

23rd June 2024

Contracting of Selected Applicant

26th June 2024

Gathering of all Resources

10th July 2024

Final Draft available to MGRM

4th August 2024

Printing

12th August 2024

Book Launch & Exhibition

9th September 2024

 
This project has been funded through the Voluntary Organisations Project Scheme managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector supported by the Ministry for Inclusion, Voluntary Organisations and Consumer Rights (MIVC).
This project reflects the views only of the author, and the MCVS cannot be held responsible for the content or any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

A Guide on Hate Speech and Hate Crime

A guide on hate speech and hate crime

Don’t accept hate.

No one has the right to abuse you for who you are. Everyone has a right to be respected and to express themselves free from abuse.

Quick links


What is hate speech?

Hate speech, also known as bias motivated speech, is written, printed or verbal speech that uses threatening, abusive or insulting language, with the intent to stir up violence or hatred with reference to a person or group based on gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, colour, language, ethnic origin, age, disability, religion, or belief or political or other opinion.

What is hate crime?

Hate crime is any criminal offence which is aggravated or motivated* by hostility, aversion or contempt  based on a victim’s membership (or presumed membership)** of a group based on gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, colour, language, national or ethnic origin, age, disability,  citizenship, religion or belief or political or other opinion. Hate crime is made up of a combination of the following acts such as verbal insults, violence and aggression and inciting. 

* The offender demonstrates this hostility, aversion or contempt, at the time of committing the offence, immediately before or after the offence. 

** Membership in relation to a group, includes association with members of that group. “Presumed” means presumed by the offender.

What are the effects of hate speech?

The effects of hate speech can be devastating to targeted individuals or groups, which affects society. Hate speech is directed not just to LGBT persons, but even people of colour, Muslims, persons with disability, the elderly and other groups. Hate speech is not an isolated phenomenon or limited to extreme groups; it can come from anyone. When hate speech is normalised and entering everyday discourse, it jeopardises peace, social cohesion, and democracy. 

Online and verbal hate speech may affect individuals’ psychological well being directly or indirectly. The amount of damage is significantly larger when an individual is targeted, compared to witnessing it on others. Victims of hate speech are at risk of low self-esteem, depression, increased anxiety and feelings of fear and insecurity.

Hate speech has been shown to lead to and escalate bias motivated violence. Historically, hate speech against different groups has fuelled wars, violent extremism and even genocide.

Genocides do not start with bullets, but with hate speech.

The Holocaust did not start with the gas chambers and concentration camps, but with hate speech and discriminatory policies over a number of years before. Decades of hate speech worsened by ethnic tensions led to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. These are just two examples from many.

 

In the case of LGBTIQ persons, it has been observed that increased hate speech has led to an increase in hate crimes against LGBTIQ persons globally, even in countries where homosexuality is not criminalised. 

In 2023, following trends in previous years, ILGA-Europe noted that there had been an increase in bias motivated speech in Europe, especially towards trans people. 2023 has seen a stark rise in violence against LGBT persons, and in the severity of violence. Anti-LGBT hate crime is on the rise in France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, and the UK amongst other European countries. 

In August 2023, an ally of the LGBTIQ community who displayed a pride flag outside her shop was shot and killed by a man in Southern California after she had an argument with him when he tore the flag down and shouted homophobic slurs. This comes alongside an increase in threats and acts of violence towards LGBTIQ persons and allies, as well as a wave of anti-LGBTIQ legislation and policies in the US.  Hate speech hurts everyone.

 

What is the difference between Hate Speech and Free Speech?

Freedom of expression (aka free speech) is recognised in Maltese, European and International human rights law. But in all instances, duties and responsibilities come with this right and limitations for hate speech exist in law to protect everyone in society. 

“I’m just saying what I think!” or “I have a right to free speech!” are common responses when people who have written or said hateful comments are challenged about what they expressed. 

Addressing hate speech does not mean limiting or prohibiting freedom of speech. It means keeping hate speech from escalating into something more dangerous, particularly incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence, which is prohibited under international law.”

— United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, May 2019

Speech that criticises or challenges ideas or the status quo (for example, criticising events, policy, government, teachings), even if it is offensive or unpopular, is protected – it is important so that we can learn about different ideas, think and discuss critically and challenge. That is fundamental to a democratic society. On the other hand, speech that threatens or encourages discrimination, abuse and violence against people should be addressed. 

Internet-based platforms have become places where hateful content has become very common, be it words, videos, photos, memes or articles. It is important for everyone to consider what they are posting, whether it is to exchange and challenge perspectives, or target a group to encourage ‘othering’, violence or hatred. Not all hateful comments would be considered hate speech in the eyes of the law, but they are still hurtful and can be harmful. If you need support, reach out to the services in the next section.

What should you do if you encounter hate speech or hate crime?

Before taking any action, it is important to ensure the wellbeing of the victim, be it yourself or another person. Seek support if you need it. You can reach out to the contacts below:

  • MGRM
    call +356 99255559 or +356 794300006 
  • Victim Support Agency
    call 116 006 (7.30am – 7.30pm, including weekends and public holidays)
  • If in Gozo, you can call LGBTI+ Gozo’s counselling services on +356 9935 6622, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
  • Call 179 or 1579 for emotional support. (National Helplines)

We’re still working on guidelines for bystanders, but here are some existing resources from international organisations.

Bystander intervention training
Bystander Intervention (Please note support services contacts are UK only)

How to report

You can report the incident to the police at a police station or online here,  or the Victim Support Agency. The Victim Support Agency has been established to act as the national contact point for victims of crime, including victims of hate crime. Victims of crime who need assistance are invited  to call on 116 006 (freephone) which is available every day from 7.30am till 7.30pm, including weekends and public holidays. This national victim supportline is meant to provide information to Victims of Crime and facilitate access to victim support services.

When you report a case of online hate speech with the Victim Support Agency, you need to provide a screenshot of the post and comment, and the URL link of where the post/comment was originally published.  If it is a video, use a safe online downloader or screen recorder to download the video. The screenshot/video should not be altered in any way. You also need to provide the URL link to the alleged offender’s Facebook (or other social media) profile, and a screenshot of said profile.

IMPORTANT! Collect the evidence as soon as possible. Offenders sometimes take down their posts/comments/videos within hours or days. 

What happens after a report is filed?

Following the analysis of evidence followed by the lawyer, an official complaint (kwerela) will be issued should the report be found to be hate speech or hate crime and the official complaint will be handled by the Police, who will investigate from their end. Should the investigations result that a criminal act was committed, the alleged offender will be arraigned in court and the persons reporting or victims will be called to act as witnesses. If the offender is convicted of a hate crime, they will be imprisoned between six and eighteen months and a fine could be issued.

 

I’m encountering a lot of anti-LGBT hate speech online, and it is distressing. What should I do?

Self-care is important. Take a break from social media, go out and do things that sustain you like exercise, meditation, hobbies, hanging out with friends. If you need to talk to someone, you can reach out to our Rainbow Support Service. (support@maltagayrights.org and +356 79430006)

If you are not feeling emotionally well, are passing through a difficult time, or contemplating suicide and need immediate and free emotional support, and advice, you can seek help through the below services.

Online chats

  • kellimni.com
    Available 24/7. Run by SOS Malta.
  • OLLI chat
    Available Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm, and Saturday between 8am and 4pm. Run by Richmond Foundation.

or call 

  • Freephone 179.
    Available 24/7.National Helpline.
  • Freephone 1579
    Available 24/7. Run by the Ministry of Health.
  • Freephone 1770
    Available Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm, and Saturday between 8am and 4pm. Run by Richmond Foundation.
  • If in Gozo, you can call LGBTI+ Gozo’s counselling services on +356 9935 6622, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Legal information and support

aditus foundation
info@aditus.org.mt or call +356 7707 2221


This page has been written by MGRM with the support of the aditus foundation and information provided by the Victim Support Agency. While this page consists of information based on local legislation, MGRM is not a legal expert and the aim of the material available here is to make the information more accessible. For legal information and advice, please contact a lawyer. If you were a victim of a hate crime, reach out to any of the services provided above.

References

  • https://legislation.mt//Pdf/web/viewer.html?file=https://legislation.mt/getpdf/64ca06b95ca4ed1a30715099#page=53
  • https://legislation.mt//Pdf/web/viewer.html?file=https://legislation.mt/getpdf/64709e9d710d004dec495c2b#page=19
  • https://racismnoway.com.au/about-racism/hate-speech/
  • https://www.unesco.org/en/countering-hate-speech/need-know
  • https://www.ohchr.org/en/special-procedures/sr-religion-or-belief/hate-speech-and-incitement-hatred-or-violence
  • https://www.ilga-europe.org/report/annual-review-2023/
  • https://hackinghate.eu/news/the-consequences-of-online-hate-speech-a-teenager-s-perspective/
  • https://www.stophateuk.org/about-hate-crime/what-is-online-hate-crime/online-hate-and-free-speech/
  • https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/freedom-of-expression-and-racial-hatred.117705
  • https://classic.iclrs.org/content/blurb/files/paper%20Francisca%20PM.pdf

Safe and Seen Education Toolkit

Why should youths learn about LGBTIQ+ at school or in youth groups?

In 2017, MGRM conducted a survey among youth aged 13 – 22 in State and Church schools, and published the 2017 Malta National School Climate Survey Report in 2019. The survey reflected the absence of LGBTIQ affirming education, revealing the majority of respondents did not feel safe in their school environment and this has a negative impact on the wellbeing of students, and their educational success. However, LGBTIQ students tend to have positive feelings about their school when they find support from school staff, which highlighted the crucial role of educators in creating safe and accepting environments at school.

In the European Wide LGBTIQ Survey by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, 17% of Maltese LGBTI teenage students (15 to 17 years old) were still hiding being LGBTI at school, while 73% found support from their peers and teachers. At the same time, only 48% said their school education address LGBTI issues in a positive way.

In the Special Eurobarometer 493 on Discrimination in the European Union, published in 2019, over 71% of respondents agreed that school lessons and material should include diversity on sexual orientation, being transgender and being intersex.

These surveys highlight the importance of inclusive education for all youths, both those who identify as LGBTIQ and those who do not. It allows them to be better informed, support their peers, create a safe and welcome environment that fosters understanding on a personal and social level.

What does this toolkit consist of?

  • Structured workshop on history, with Powerpoint Presentations
  • A Queer Trivia Board Game covering History, Culture, General Knowledge, Open Questions, Maltese and International trivia
  • x2 Animated Explainer Videos
  • Information Leaflets for support, youth and parents

Who is it for?

The toolkit is to be used by educators working with youths 12 years and older. That includes:

  • PSCD, Social Studies, or History Teachers
  • Youth workers
  • Individuals who works with youths in groups
  • Youth organisations
Explainer Videos

LGBTIQ+ bil-Malti

LGBTIQ+ (with Sign Language)


Genderbread Person

HISTORY WORKSHOP

The history workshop is split into 5 parts so you may continue on more than one day, and at the same time, not overload your audience with a lot of information in one go. Powerpoint Presentations, and the guide for each, can be downloaded below.

Youtube videos are playable in slides. Should you encounter issues, the video links are provided in the same slide to open in a browser.

Part 1: Native Americans

Download Presentation | EN / MT Download Guide

Part 2: The Holocaust

Download Presentation | EN / MT Download Guide

Part 3: Stonewall and Pride

Download Presentation | EN / MT Download Guide

Malta: Past to Present

Download Presentation | EN / MT Download Guide

Present Times Around the Globe

Download Presentation | EN / MT Download Guide

QUEER TRIVIA BOARD GAME

It is important to have watched the videos, and done the workshop before playing the Queer Trivia game. There are 6 themes, covering History, Culture, General Knowledge, Open Questions, Maltese and International trivia. Each theme is identified by a different colour of the Pride Rainbow. The board game consists of:

  • Game mat
  • 12 character pawns
  • Dice
  • 6 packs of themed cards
  • Instructions
  • Answers booklet

The board game comes in two forms. The only difference between the two is the size of the game mat and the character pawns. Which to choose depends on the number of game participants.

LARGE

150cm square game mat when open, suitable for a class or large group. The mat is provided folded, and in an archive box with the rest of the toolkit items.

SMALL

50cm square game mat when open, is suitable for small groups. The mat is provided folded, and in an archive box with the rest of the toolkit items.


About the Project

Malta ranks first again, for LGBTIQ rights in Europe according to ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Map and Index 2020, scoring 89%, with much of that progress having been registered through the adoption of policies and legislation.

The European Wide LGBTIQ Survey by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency which was published recently presented some surprising statistics for Malta. While on a positive note, the majority of LGBTIQ individuals saw a decrease in intolerance and violence, and viewed the Government leading the charge in fighting this; the report also showed that almost 50% still fear holding a same-sex partner’s hand in public and just over 20% avoided certain places.

While much of what has been achieved is truly impressive, there is still work to be done in the area of education and awareness so that people in the community can be visible, and safe. This mainstreaming is an open-ended process.

Through this project, we hope to take this advocacy one step further by providing a service to the country’s educators, to ensure that they are better informed about how to incorporate LGBTIQ issues in the curriculum. By supporting all those working in education, we can tackle misinformation, try and combat ignorance, support greater understanding of the community as a whole, promote a safe and inclusive school environment as well as provide direct support for those struggling to deal with LGBTIQ issues or LGBTIQ individuals in the class room.

This project has been funded through the Voluntary Organisations Project Scheme managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector on behalf of Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sports and Voluntary Organisations within the Ministry for Education and Employment. This project/ publication reflects the views only of the author, and the MEDE and the MCVS cannot be held responsible for the content or any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

LGBTIQ Experiences in Paceville

At the end of October 2019, the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement (MGRM) launched an online questionnaire to obtain more knowledge about the experiences of people from the LGBTIQ community in Paceville, Malta’s entertainment and club Mecca.

The initiative to conduct this study was primarily instigated by media reports claiming that members of the LGBTIQ community were being treated unfairly, harassed or refused to be served because of their gender identity, sexual orientation or gender non-conforming appearance and/or behaviour. Furthermore, through its interaction within the LGBTIQ community, it is not uncommon for the members of the community to speak to members of MGRM of their negative experiences in Paceville.

MGRM has received 210 responses from the entire spectrum of the LGBTIQ Community. Based on those responses, we are making a series of five recommendations which are intended to improve the security not just of the members of the LGBTIQ community but also that of every patron who frequents Paceville.

Download the full report by clicking the link below.

TRANSformazzjoni Documentary

TRANSformazzjoni is a documentary that provides an insight into Trans* peoples’ everyday lives in Malta. The documentary puts a spotlight on 5 Maltese Trans* people from different walks of life giving full visibility to a wide range of people in the Trans* community, which all represent a section of Maltese society and which different people can relate to.

Watch TRANSformazzjoni online. 

This project was funded by

The 2017 Malta National School Climate Survey Report

Addressing the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) issues in schools has long been a priority for MGRM although national data on the school experiences of LGBTIQ youth was hard to come by.

In the initial years following MGRM’s inception in 2001, access to schools by LGBTIQ organisations was often restricted and direct contact, when granted was often limited to that with educators. Few opportunities to engage directly with students existed. Schools were wary to explore LGBTIQ issues for fear of opposition from parents and many educators felt ill-equipped to handle explorations of LGBTIQ topics in the classroom.

Nevertheless, MGRM tried to make the most of any opportunity to intervene that presented itself. This included the publication and dissemination of information booklets for LGBT youth through EU Youth Programme funding in 2005, an anti-bullying campaign produced with funding from the VOICES Foundation back in 2009 and the donation of a number of books to the Ministry for Education in 2015 purchased through an EEA/Norway Grant.

When providing feedback on the proposed National Curriculum Framework in 2011, MGRM remarked that ‘safety is a precondition for learning’ and advocated for a number of measures that would help ensure that the school climate was one that was inclusive of LGBT students such as inclusive curricula, teacher training and anti-bullying policies that made specific reference to homophobic and transphobic bullying.

The EU LGBT survey conducted by the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency in 2012 found that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia were experienced by 80% of students in education across all EU member states and Malta was no exception. It highlighted the need to provide equal opportunities to LGBTIQ students.

Malta has come a long way over the past 6 years in legislating for LGBTIQ equality and now boasts one of the best legal and policy frameworks in the world, including in the educational sector. Access to schools by LGBTIQ community organisations has become much more commonplace and the work with educators to ensure that schools are safe spaces for all children and young people under their care is ongoing. This is no easy task and requires skilled and committed educators and administrators who are able to implement appropriate strategies that help to create inclusive environments where diversity is not only tolerated but celebrated. This process of mainstreaming is a long term project and will take time to reach all those involved in education whether they be school administrators, teacher trainers, educators, support service professionals, students and parents.

In 2014 the Ministry for Education launched the ‘Addressing Bullying Behaviour in Schools Policy’ which for the first time made specific reference to homophobic and transphobic bullying. This bound schools to develop strategies that were cognizant of various forms of identity based bullying when drawing up their school based anti-bullying policies.

This was shortly followed by the launch of the ‘Trans, Gender Variant and Intersex Student in School Policy’ in 2015. The policy aims to foster a school environment that is inclusive, safe and free from harassment and discrimination for all members of the school community, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics.

Furthermore, the policy promotes the learning of human diversity that is inclusive of trans, gender variant and intersex students, and aims to ensure a school climate that is physically, emotionally and intellectually safe for all students to further their learning and well- being. In practice, it translates to a shift away from the often strict binary definitions and stereotypes of what makes a boy a boy and a girl a girl, recognising that traditional notions of gender and gender expression do not necessarily apply to all students.

To implement the policy, over the past three years, experts from the LGBTIQ movement and the Ministry of Education collaborated in delivering training to psychologists, counsellors, social workers, guidance teachers and other student support staff in a systematic manner.

Over the past two years, MGRM’s Rainbow Support Service has increasingly been involved in delivering training and assisting schools in dealing with a number of trans children and youth who are transitioning in state-run but also in Catholic and Independent Schools. Other LGBTIQ groups such as Drachma and Drachma Parents have also been involved in similar initiatives, providing training and support to teachers and parents. The drivers behind this shift in educational policy, as for much of the legislative and policy changes that Malta has undergone, have been the lived experiences of LGBTIQ individuals, in this case, children and youth. This school climate survey is aimed at garnering a better understanding of what it is like to be an LGBTIQ student in Malta and what still needs to be addressed given the lack of data at hand.

In the absence of quantitative data around the experience of LGBTIQ students, MGRM partnered with GLSEN and Columbia University to conduct this School Climate Survey. Malta was one of a number of European countries to conduct the survey. We hope that this will provide baseline date against which future progress can be measured.

“For 12 years I attended a Catholic school, it was horrible for any LGBTIQ+ students. In fact, the only few that were out were constantly either bullied or ignored. Even the staff was not supportive.”

Download report

A partnership between:

MGRM, GLSEN & Teachers College Columbia University
Author: Oren Pizmony-Levy

LGBTIQ Youth Activism- The Past & The Present

In summer 2017, the idea of a short narrative of the experiences of a number of activists from the LGBTIQ community came about due to a common desire to explore the history of LGBTIQ activism and the importance of activism within the community itself and society at large.

Nine interviews were conducted with the people who were pioneers of LGBTIQ activism; those who started the fight for LGBTIQ rights. This was important to get to know their stories and perspectives in relation to activism.

Twelve interviews with the younger generation of activists, those who will determine the future of the LGBTIQ movement were carried out also. The book describes the rewards of activism as well as the challenges one might encounter along this journey. 

The purpose of this project was to inspire the young and not so young to engage in activism and to stand for what is right no matter what, as the activists recall their beginnings, with the hope that the publication serves as a point of reference in the setting up of other youth lead organisations and encourages young people to get involved. 

The publication was possible thanks to the funding and support of Aġenzija Żgħażagħ’s ‘Be Active scheme’ which enables the engagement and participation of young people as well as organisations. 

PLAN - PRICE

Description

Pickup

Pickup the book: 

€10

from our offices in Mosta,

Tuesday and Thursday 

from 3-6 pm

Postage Malta 

Book plus Malta postage:

€10 + €3

Postage Europe 

Book plus Europe postage:

€10 + €8

WordPress Pricing Table Plugin

A Seat at the Table by Simon Bartolo

The Coming of Age of the LGBTIQ Movement in Malta

Over the past year MGRM has been working on a publication aimed at documenting the history of the LGBTIQ Movement. This is part of a project entitled A Seat at the Table: The Coming of Age of the LGBTIQ Movement in Malta co-funded through VOPS 2017. Simon Bartolo was commissioned to research and author the publication.

Read More

UNI-Form Project

The UNI-Form Project being implemented with the financial support the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme 2014-2020 of the European Union aims to bring LGBTIQ organizations closer to the security forces and law enforcement agencies for effective collaboration in combating hate crimes against LGBTIQ people in Europe. The project aims to create a single complaint form and a Mobile phone application for greater ease and encouragement of victims to report. Malta is one of ten partner organisations who are collaborating on this project.

Read More

Information Booklet for LGBTI Young People and Their Parents

This project brought together LGBTIQ young people and parents of LGBTIQ individuals to draw up an information booklet aimed at LGBTIQ individuals and their parents. One part of the booklet aims to provide information for LGBTIQ individuals who are exploring their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and gender expression, coming out issues and searching for general information on support and legal structures. For the first time, the booklet also addresses intersex persons.

Read More