The meaning of “Nefes” is “Breath”. Organization aiming to protect the rights and freedoms of LGBT people in Azerbaijan. Nefes will focus on advocacy such as rights and liberties of LGBT people in Azerbaijan, elimination of prejudice and phobia. In this direction, the Alliance intends to work with local and international human rights organizations.
The Legislation of Azerbaijan Republic prohibits all forms of sex discrimination, and our Republic is a secular country. Furthermore, the first law that was ratified by the National Assembly (Milli Majlis), after being a member of Council of Europe, was related to the sexual minorities. However, current law does not work, and discrimination are carried out LGBT people and they cannot appeal to law enforcement agencies to protect their rights, because of threats and violence against them. Moreover, they bear an increased risk of suicide, substance abuse, problems in educational and labor institutions, and isolation because of a hostile and condemning environment, verbal and physical abuse, rejection and isolation from family and peers.
“Coming out” as a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person is therefore rare in Azerbaijan and individual LGBT people are afraid of the consequences.Thus many lead double lives. The reasons behind phobia are mostly due to the lack of knowledge about it, as well as due to the “old traditions”. Families of LGBT people often cannot come to terms with the sexual orientation and gender identity, especially in rural areas. As a result of the lack of knowledge many still hold the view that same-sex activity is “unnatural” or “dysfunctional”. Nefes wants to en-light people and prove that this is an example of a natural variation in human sexuality, and identity.
To eliminate these problems, Nefes intend to improve the legislation and to work not only with the local, but also with international human rights organizations.
The main thing is that, for doing all of this, you don’t need to be a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, intersex person. Just be humanist!