Background of Qendra per Emancipim Shoqeror (QESh) / Center for Social Emancipation :
Established in 2005, QESh’s goal and purpose is to promote a society characterized by diversity and respect for human diversity, where all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, should have equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities to live and work.
QESh was actively involved in advocating and lobbying for sexual orientation to be included in the Kosovo constitution and Anti-Discrimination Law (ADL) as grounds for discrimination on all levels. QESh has also been engaged in ensuring the ADL is amended to include gender identity and expression as grounds for discrimination as well.
In the past QESh has drafted training tools on combating hate crimes, based on sexual orientation for Kosovo police, which is in the Kosovo Police Academy curriculum, while continuing documenting such cases of homophobia, discrimination, and hate crimes. QESh continues to be involved in various awareness raising campaigns and activities for the general public and support activities for the LGBTQ community in Kosovo including visibility-related activities, university lectures, trainings, conferences, and workshops, media campaigns, and the first and only LGBTQ magazine in Kosovo.
Diversity Week: Creating Visibility and Awareness of the LGBT Community in Kosovo
Since 2002, there have been active NGO’s that advocate for the rights of the LGBT community in Kosovo; however a week full of public activities that aim to educate the general public about the LGBT community, as well as raise awareness and aim for tolerance, has never taken place. With this project, QESh aims to reach its goals by organizing a concert, art exhibitions, monoluge performances, open panel discussions, workshops with experts, health activities, as well as film and documentary screenings, including a documentary currently in production by QESh. Diversity Week will also have people from various backgrounds involved, including artists, youth, university students, health care providers, and experts from various different fields as well as activists from within the region. Inclusion of such a diverse group of people will even further foster the growth of expertise, supporters and networking within the region. QESh will also focus on bringing the LGBT community together to participate in activities but in addition give the community agency to present their skills and express themselves.
Activities will take place from Wednesday to Saturday evening during September. Each day will be designated with a focus on Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgender individuals respectively. Due to the fact that the LGBT organizations are in Prishtina, and the LGBT community is more present, QESh has decided for the diversity week to take place in Prishtina. More so, from previous events, QESh has very good collaboration with the Police Department in Prishtina. For security reasons, we feel that for this year it is necessary for this event to partake in Prishtina especially since it is the first event.