The new partnership will further reinforce CODIVA and ARCOIRIS’ efforts with their partners to reduce discrimination against members of LGBTIQ+ and to create accessible support that is equal to leave no one behind.
The duration of the partnership agreement this year will closely look at the prioritized activities that focus on the three objectives areas. The three areas are: 1) Raising awareness and knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community members about their rights in the law and political sphere, 2) Raising awareness to the right of LGBTQ+ community members about the public services that supports survivors from gender-based violence, 3) Reinforcing the members of CODIVA and ARCOIRIS’ ability to promote LGBTIQ+ community’s rights in the national and municipality level, including build a connection with relevant ministers and Ombudsman Office for the Human Rights and Justice to protect its policies and regulations.
The new partnership agreement is part of the implementation of Spotlight Initiative funded by the European Union with a contribution of $15 million, which aims to help the government and civil society in Timor-Leste to accelerate the efforts to stop violence against women and girls, making this part of a global vision to reach the Sustainable Development Goals number 5 for Gender Equality.
“The European Union is strongly committed to equality and non-discrimination and to the entitlement of all persons, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity, to enjoy the full range of human rights and to do so without discrimination and violence. I am proud, through the Spotlight Initiative, to support the work of CODIVA and Arcoiris. These organisations play an invaluable role in supporting the LGBTI community in Timor-Leste” said EU Ambassador Andrew Jacobs.
Along with this agreement, UN Women provides a total amount of $60,000 directly to CODIVA and ARCOIRIS and will provide technical assistance to support these organizations for the implementation of their prioritized activities that have been identified for November 2020 – October 2021.
UN Women’s Head of Office Sunita Caminha in her remarks emphasized that “UN Women congratulate both CODIVA and ARCOIRIS for its work for almost 10 years to raise the visibility and ensure that LGBTIQ+ persons in Timor-Leste can enjoy their fundamental human right to live free of violence aligned to Timor-Leste's laws and policies.”
In Timor-Leste, challenges for violence against women and girls is still high and LGBTQ+ community still face a higher risk compared to the heterosexual community due to the discrimination they face based on their gender and sexual orientation. In order to support Timor-Leste and its efforts that is working towards preventing violence against women and girls before they actually occur and secure the multi-sectoral response to support survivors of domestic violence and violence committed from intimate partners, the European Union partnered with United Nations Timor-Leste to develop Spotlight Initiative with Timor-Leste government through the leadership of the Secretary State for Equality and Inclusion and a collective partnership with the civil society.
Appreciating the support from the European Union and UN Women, the representative from the Civil Society Organization Iram Saeed added, “Arcoiris is a small organization, but we have a big vision. Through this support, we will work harder to leave no one behind.”
The EU-UN Spotlight Initiative is a pluriannual partnership between the European Union and the United Nations, with the total global investment of $550 millions, which aimed at ending all form of violence against women and by 2030.