“LGBT World Beside” is a European non-profit organization supporting LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees who came to the Netherlands and other European countries from Russia and from other post-Soviet countries. On this page, you can read the policy plan of the LGBT World Beside Foundation in English. You can find the Dutch (original) version of the policy plan here.
Policy plan of the LGBT World Beside Foundation
The following information describes the challenges faced by LGBT+ individuals in Russia and other former Soviet republics, which have made life very difficult for them, often forcing them to flee.
In 2013, Russia introduced a law to “protect” young people from homosexuality. In April 2017, the Russian magazine Novaya Gazeta revealed that gays and lesbians in the Russian Republic of Chechnya are systematically hunted down, imprisoned, tortured, and sometimes killed. Human Rights Watch has reported that people are held in “informal prisons” without trial, where they are tortured and forced to hand over information about other LGBT+ individuals. LGBT+ parents are also targeted by authorities, with the Commission of Inquiry in 2020 announcing the arrest of gay fathers who used surrogate mothers. In 2022 Russia adopted a law that effectively bans expressing any positive information about LGBT people.
In Tajikistan, the government has compiled a registry of known LGBT individuals for use in fighting sexually transmitted infections. A study by Kyrgyz Indigo found that 84% of Kyrgyz LGBT individuals have experienced physical assault, and 35% have been victims of sexual violence.
The foundation aims to support these refugees and other political refugees in building new lives in their new homeland and increase awareness of their situation through activities aimed at the public, media, and politics, both in the Netherlands and in their countries of origin, with the goal of improving their position.
Aim and Key Activities of the Foundation
The statutory aim of the foundation is to support LGBTQ+ and political refugees who have come to the Netherlands and other European countries from Russia and former Soviet republics. The foundation’s activities focus on the following areas:
- Providing accommodation for refugees when they arrive in the Netherlands or other European countries from the former Soviet republics
- Offering legal and mental support
- Organizing social activities
- Providing information to the Dutch and other European public, media, and politicians about the situation in those countries
- Supporting LGBTQ+ individuals who still live in those countries and the families of those who have fled and still live there
- Supporting LGBTQ+ individuals in combination with practicing their (Muslim) religion
- Collaborating with other like-minded organizations, such as the COC.
The primary target group of the foundation is political and LGBTQ+ refugees from Russia and former Soviet republics. The secondary target group is the family members of those who have fled and LGBTQ+ individuals who still live in those countries.
Reception of refugees when they come from the former Soviet republics to the Netherlands or other European countries
The foundation organizes information sessions to facilitate the integration of LGBTQ+ refugees into their new environment. Psychologists, among others, discuss how to deal with the traumas they have experienced.
It provides legal contacts and other important information for LGBTQ+ refugees to contact lawyers and local NGOs for legal and psychological support.
It also works closely with the European Parliament in dealing with LGBTQ+ refugee issues.
The foundation also tries to support finding work. It collaborates with organizations such as StartWerk Vluchtelingen.
Social activities play an important role in enabling refugees to help each other cope with the discrimination, persecution, and repression they have experienced in Russia and the challenges they may still face even after seeking asylum in other countries.
The Netherlands is known for relatively accepting LGBTQ+ individuals, but there is still work to be done to ensure that all individuals can live their lives freely. It is important for governments and communities to create safe spaces and provide support for those seeking asylum, especially those who may be more vulnerable due to their gender identity.
Providing information to Dutch and other European citizens about the situation in those countries. This is directed towards the general public, media, and politics.
The foundation achieves this by organizing various events:
- Public lectures by experts, academics, etc.
- Workshops and debates on socially important topics related to Russia and Russian society;
- Entertaining events such as picnics, walks, and simple community gatherings.
- Public-facing actions
- Political-legal activities, such as writing petitions and opinion pieces, consulting with politicians, etc.
Supporting LGBT people who still live in those countries and the families of those who have fled who still live there
An important goal of the LGBT World Beside is to enable LGBTQ+ people from Chechnya and other countries to come forward and no longer live in fear. It is important for LGBTQ+ individuals from Chechnya to start discussing existing problems and dangers, such as the torture and murder of their friends, family members, and loved ones.
These are difficult issues, as families of LGBTQ+ refugees from Chechnya who remain in the republic are still under pressure from Chechen authorities and society. Speaking out can mean that the families of LGBTQ+ refugees will be tortured and that law enforcement agencies may be involved.
Collaborating with other like-minded organizations
To maximize the effectiveness of its activities, the foundation collaborates with other organizations that are active in this field wherever possible, such as COC, Amnesty International, and Çavaria.
Fundraising to enable support
The foundation relies on donations from supporters. Therefore, the foundation is committed to recruiting as many donors as possible. The foundation aims to raise funds both specifically for individual cases and generically for the objectives of the foundation.
Communication with the target audience will take place through newsletters, the foundation’s website and Facebook page, other social media, and local partners collaborating with the foundation.
The board consists mostly of people who are from Russia and other former Soviet republics and still have many contacts there. Board members do not receive compensation for their work. Currently, all other employees are volunteers. Some of them, who organize the substantive events, receive a volunteer allowance for their work. If the scope of the work grows, it is possible to attract paid employees who will be rewarded based on market-conform self-employed rates.
The foundation expects donations from organizations, businesses, individuals, and funds.
Management and spending of the assets
• The received funds will be spent on the goals described in the articles of association. The starting point is to keep recruitment, management, and administrative costs as low as possible. See the separate budget for an overview of the activity.
• The treasurer will draw up an annual report each year. In that annual report, a continuity reserve will be included in those cases where it is possible and necessary.
• Money received in advance of expenditures is held in the current account or an internet savings account and then spent on the intended purpose.
• Any positive balance upon liquidation of the foundation will be spent for the benefit of a public benefit organization (ANBI) or for the benefit of a foreign organization that aims solely or almost exclusively at the general benefit and has a similar objective.
Chair: Harlem van Hayzer
Secretary: Daniel Phifer
Treasurer: Mel Alexandr Daluzyan
A member: Andrey Mosalev
The members of the board do not receive any compensation for their work. They are entitled to reimbursement of the expenses they have incurred in the performance of their duties.
Contact details of the foundation
Name: Stichting LGBT World Beside
Chamber of Commerce number: 71882766
Registered address: Cerespad 12 5694 WC, Son en Breugel