Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year, 2011!

Dear friends, partners and supporters,

We wish all of you a Happy New Year that all of your wishes come true. We expect that we can all make many efficient and successful new projects in 2011.

We are optimistic about the future... We hope that 2011 will be a year full of peace, happiness, joy and friendship. We hope that human rights violations and abuses, hatred and discrimination will diminish; interculturality, respect, peace and understanding will improve...

Better days to come, dear old globe!

With best wishes,

Young Society Initiative.

National Forum Against "Hate Crimes"

National Forum Gathering

Taxim Hill-Istanbul, 17-18 December 2010

Forum Against “Hate Crimes” was initiated by Social Change Association in order to facilitate the process of forming a platform against “Hate Crimes”.

During the two-day long event representatives from human rights organisations and civil society organisations that are founded by minority groups discussed the legal, social and cultural background that leads to hate crimes. The civil society organisations also shared their concerns on the recent political and socio-cultural atmosphere in Turkey. The representatives also agreed upon the need for a joint work against hate crimes.

The participant list of the National Forum against “Hate Crimes” includes Social Change Association, Human Rights Agenda Association, Human Rights Research Association, International Hrant Dink Foundation, Positive Living Association, Pink Life Association, Edirne Roma People Association, Association in Solidarity with IDPs, Young Society Initiative, Minority Rights Group, OSCE ODIHR, Global Dialogue, and Delegation of the EU to Turkey-EIDHR.

The national gathering against hate crimes became possible by EU EIDHR funding.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

HIV is a virus, not a crime! Criminalise Hate not HIV!

Street Action
>Galatasaray Square-Taksim Square<-Istanbul, 1 December 2010
HIV interests all of us!

Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is all about raising awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education and help stop the spread of HIV. The World AIDS Day theme for 2010 is 'Universal Access and Human Rights'. World AIDS Day is important for reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

On World AIDS Day the human rights activists, women rights activists, artists, lawyers, doctors, HIV+ people and their relatives gathered in Galatasaray Square/Istanbul at 11:00. After the opening speeches and the press release, the street action went on with shows and march along Istiklal Street till Republic Monument.

Creative Street Artists and Sambistanbul Percussion Group performed in Galatasaray Square and down on Istiklal Street. The action finished with a human red ribbon made by activists in Taksim Republic Monument.

The president of Positive Living Association, Nejat Unlu, underlined "the need for common action in order to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS" in his speech. He reminded once again that "we should look Positive to the reality of HIV and people living with HIV!".

UNFPA-Turkey coordinator, Gokhan Yildirimkaya, emphasized on the fact that HIV is no more a lethal disease, but the discrimination and stigmatisation against HIV+ people is the main problem.

According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.3 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During 2009 some 2.6 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 1.8 million people died from AIDS. The vast majority of people with HIV and AIDS live in lower- and middle-income countries. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.

World AIDS Day Istanbul street action and other activities around Turkey are organised by Positive Living Association in cooperation with UNAIDS, Gilead, Jannsen and MAC AIDS Fund.

Young Society Initiative members and supporters took part in the street action on World AIDS Day.

Young Society Initiative supports the cause of Positive Living Association.