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For all press enquiries please contact:

Abigail Goundry
Communications Officer
Tel: + 32 (0)2 500 10 34
abigail.goundry@solidar.org


SOLIDAR Silver Rose Awards 2012 Winners


[8/02/2012]
 
Now in their 12th year, the SOLIDAR Silver Rose Awards 20121 this year honour four individuals or organisations whose extraordinary struggles contribute to social justice and solidarity in Europe and worldwide:

European Category: Kaos GL, Turkey

Since 1994, Kaos GL has been carrying out crucial work in the streets of Turkey advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights and fighting all forms of discrimination. Although homosexuality has never been illegal in Turkey, there has also never been any specific protection for sexual orientation or gender identity in their law. LGBTs in Turkey therefore face many legal and social challenges, hate murders and hate crimes.

As a candidate country for EU membership, Turkey is currently drafting a new Anti-Discrimination Bill to bring its legislation in line with EU standards. Kaos GL has been actively involved in discussions since the drafting of the Bill, but in the end the Turkish Ministry of the Interior dropped reference to sexual identity from its draft. “Re-inserting reference to gender and sexual orientation would be a strong signal of Turkey’s determination to complete the accession process”, said Nevin Öztop, representative of Kaos GL. Before continuing: “Also, the new Turkish Constitution must immediately recognise LGBT reality in its 10th Article, which defines equality among citizens, and the State should take immediate actions to stop all hate murders and crimes that LGBTs face everyday.”

International Category: Iris Munguia, Honduras

Women workers in the Latin American banana industry are often victims of sexual harassment and labour discrimination. Iris Munguia has campaigned for decades for the rights of workers, particularly women, in the Chiquita packhouse where she worked in La Lima, Honduras. Last year, Iris was voted in as the first female Coordinator of COLSIBA, the Coordinating Body of Latin American Banana and Agro-industrial Workers.

“The European Commission needs to regulate supermarket buyer power to ensure decent working conditions for all workers on banana plantations. Bananas are the most traded fruit in the world. Violations of labour rights and environmental standards are common in the banana industry and in some cases this situation is worsening”2, said Iris Munguia.

Special Prize for Democracy: The Norwegian People represented by Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg

After the terrible attacks in Norway in July 20113, Prime Minister Stoltenberg vowed that they would not hurt Norwegian democracy, and said the proper answer to this violence was "more democracy, more openness, but not naivety"3. Thousands of Norwegian people illustrated this by gathering together to show that Norway’s open society should not be threatened.

“We welcome the reaction of the Norwegian people and the call by Prime Minister Stoltenberg for more democracy and openness, instead of reducing democratic rights under the pretext of preventing future attacks. It is only by promoting democracy and solidarity that we can prevent fear from creating feelings of nationalism”, concluded Conny Reuter, SOLIDAR Secretary General.

Lifetime Achievement: Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, President of the Party of European Socialists (2004-2011)

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen is one of the most prominent centre-left figures in European politics. Rasmussen was party leader of the Danish Social Democrats, and then Prime Minister of Denmark for nine years, before being elected as President of the Party of European Socialists (PES), which brings together Europe’s socialist, social democrat, progressive and labour parties.

“During his time as President of the Party of European Socialists, Rasmussen laid the foundations for a pan-European movement opening up political parties to initiatives by citizens and progressive civil society, and thus widening the progressive alliance”, said Conny Reuter, SOLIDAR Secretary General.

The Ceremony

This year’s awards ceremony, hosted by Véronique de Keyser MEP, will take place in the European Parliament in Brussels on 6 March, bringing together representatives of the European institutions, our partners and allies, as well as other stakeholders to celebrate the outstanding work of the winners.


About SOLIDAR

SOLIDAR is a European network of 56 NGOs active in over 90 countries working to advance social justice in Europe and worldwide. SOLIDAR voices the concerns of its member organisations to the EU and international institutions across the policy sectors social affairs, international cooperation and lifelong learning. For more info http://www.solidar.org/

For more information/interviews please contact

Abigail Goundry

+32 2 500 10 34 / +32 472 607 449

Abigail.goundry@solidar.org

Notes

1 The Silver Rose Awards Ceremony: will take place in the Members’ Dining Room in the European Parliament on 6 March from 7-8.30pm. To attend, please register.

2 Make Fruit Fair Campaign: http://www.makefruitfair.org.uk/

3 Find out more about the Norway attacks in July 2011.

4 http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/iriks/article4180951.ece

Further information on the Silver Rose 2011 Awardees

European Category: Kaos GL, Turkey

Nominated by SOLIDAR Swedish member, Olof Palme Center International.

Kaos GL works for LGBT rights since 1994. Since its founding, the organisation has been publishing the journal KAOS GL, a quarterly publication. Kaos GL started in the 1990s as a series of house gatherings where black and white copies of “underground” magazines would be handed out for distribution in the streets of various Turkish cities.

Kaos GL organises the annual International Meeting Against Homophobia; monitors discrimination in the workplace, education, health, housing and law; reports hate murders, crimes and speeches; gives legal support; and provides LGBT refugees program.

In 2005, the Ankara Governor’s office accused Kaos GL of “establishing an organisation that is against the laws and principles of morality”. After appealing the case, the charges were dropped.

http://www.kaosgl.com/home.php (English & Turkish)

International Category: Iris Munguia, Honduras

Nominated by SOLIDAR UK member Banana Link.

Women workers in the Latin American banana trade face many challenges. They are often subject to sexual harassment and labour discrimination, as they are seen to be unreliable workers. Those who do secure jobs are forced to leave their children at home in order to earn a living, and in some Latin American countries the wage women receive will be significantly less than their male counterparts. Progress in addressing this discrimination has been stunted by the fact that woman have been severely under-represented in unions.

After many years working in a packhouse for Chiquita near her home in La Lima, Honduras, Iris became coordinator of the Women's Secretariat of COSIBAH (the Honduran Banana Workers' Union Coordinating Body), then in 1996 she established the Women's Secretariat of COLSIBA (the Coordinating Body of Latin American Banana and Agro-industrial Workers).

In August 2011, Iris was voted in as Coordinator of COLSIBA This represents a major breakthrough within the Latin American trade union movement and a move that no women banana worker would have dreamed possible in previous decades.

Make Fruit Fair Campaign: Supermarkets are the most powerful actors along tropical fruit supply chains. They can make enormous profits byabusing this power and paying unsustainably low prices to their fruit suppliers. This results in many plantation workers living in poverty. Sign the petition now to call for the regulation of buyerpower. http://www.makefruitfair.org.uk/ (English, French, German, Spanish, Czech)

Lifetime Achievement: Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, President of the Party of European Socialists (2004-2011)

Nominated by the Hungarian delegation in the S&D group in the European Parliament.

Special Prize for Democracy: Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, and the Norwegian People

Nominated by SOLIDAR Norwegian member, Norwegian People’s Aid.
 
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