Since 2012 Nefes LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance is working for social change, social organization, education and political reforms in leading issues of the day. The main purpose of the organization is to end discrimination and marginalization against LGBT people and women in Azerbaijan. Nefes LGBT promotes diversity in Azerbaijani civil society and integration of marginalized persons into social life. The key component of our work is to be the voice of the minorities in our community organizing and advocacy work, and to propel visibility and national dialogue.
In order to get registered with the Ministry of Justice, we sent out formal requests two times, with no success. Members of the organization have been persecuted as a result.
Nefes LGBT regularly carries out awareness about LGBT issues, gender equality for LGBT and other members of the civil society. From a series of such events, one that carries greatest weight and for which we laid the foundation to carry on as a tradition is the First LGBT/Gender Forum. Another project in this sphere is the dubbing of the movie “All You Need Is Love” into Azerbaijani language using our own resources, with the support of volunteers.
The organization provides the LGBT community, especially LGBT youth from various Azerbaijani regions, with legal services. In connection with that the organization is conducting an online legal services campaign titled “My Rights”. LGBT individuals are able to get answers to legal questions that interest them on the official website.
Nefes conducts various campaigns and events on a voluntary basis for centralization of the minority voices in the public consciousness and raising public awareness. In 2013 Nefes organized the first open press conference in Azerbaijani LGBT movement and achieved a discussion about the LGBT community and rights in Azerbaijan. In 2014, in relation to the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we organized a march “We Have History As Far As Gobustan!”. Due to serious criticism coming from the religious fundamentalists, the topic of LGBT rights turned into a main public discussion, especially for Azerbaijani media and politicians. In 2015, in relation to the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia we organized Bowling championship among LGBT and Straight people-Compete for Equality. Another activities for IDAHOT are Queer Tea, and Remembrance day of Hate Crime in the World and LGBT Flag Day.
In May of 2014, we conducted a “President, Answer!” campaign during Azerbaijan’s term as the chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. After the speeches of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov, Norwegian parliamentarian asked questions on the state of LGBT rights in Azerbaijan. In this campaign ILGA Europe supported us.
One of the key priorities of the organization is to conduct social research and initiate campaigns to combat hate crimes and harassment against LGBT persons in Azerbaijan, as well as to promote legislation against hate crimes and harassment.
Nefes LGBT has carried out two social surveys. One of them titled “Research Right for Education” was carried out with the cooperation of GALE-Global Alliance for LGBT Education in 2013. Main purposes of the project were to research the current situation with LGBT education in the world, to investigate educational opportunities for LGBT people, define the abilitiesand inabilities of receiving education and determining the influential factors. Another survey was titled “Labor Environment for LGBT’