COC Netherlands has been advocating the rights of lesbian women, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people (LGBT’s) from 1946 on. COC strives for the decriminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity and for equal rights, emancipation and social acceptance of LGBT’s in the Netherlands and all over the world. COC is one of the few LGBT organizations that has a special consultative status with the United Nations.
Involved in many aspects
COC Netherlands is involved in many aspects of LGBTI rights, with a focus on youth & school, 50+, safety, culture & religion and international issues. COC Netherlands is a federation that consists of 20 local associations. So, wherever you live in the Netherlands, there’s always a COC in the neighborhood.
Power from within
The way we work can be defined as inside-out: we support LGBTI people and groups and empower them to make a change from within their own community or organization. We believe that this power from within ultimately has a stronger effect than a top down approach. Plus: we are convinced that we accomplish so much more when we act together the fight for emancipation, social acceptance and equal rights.
The people we call Frontliners are activists that play a key role in our inside-out approach. They are the driven and motivated people that act in the front line of the process of social acceptance. A lesbian pupil who starts a Gender and Sexuality Alliance at her school with our support. A bisexual man from a cultural, etnic or religious minority that we help to start the discussion within his community about what it means to be bi. A transwoman from Uganda that we provide platform to address violations of human rights of LGBTI people at a United Nations conference.
Power of Pride
The Power of Pride alliance brings together COC, Pan African ILGA and ILGA Asia in a five-year partnership (2021-2025) with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the goal of working towards diverse and inclusive societies in which LGBTI are able to participate to their full potential. Power of Pride is based on strengthening LGBTI communities and civil society and engaging in LGBTI lobbying and advocacy for laws and policies respectful of sexual and gender diversity. Power of Pride focuses on the African and Asian regions with direct grant-making to partners in 22 countries.
- COC supports LGBTI organizations in over 35 countries in building their own strong and confident LGBTI communities. COC coaches and trains activists and provides financial support wherever possible. Besides that COC uses its international network to intensively lobby in co-operation with LGBTI activists from many countries with international organizations, such as the United Nations Together we fight for human rights for LGBTI’s all over the world and we counter those who oppose LGBTI rights, groups that have become stronger and more organized over the last years.
- Sometimes LGBTI’s fear for their lives in their home country and flee to the Netherlands. COC strives for a Dutch asylum policy that welcomes these refugees and offers them a safe haven in our country.
- Although LGBTI’s in many countries suffer from discrimination and lack of equal rights, the situation in some parts of the world is extremely serious: pride manifestations are prohibited or violently attacked without police protection, prosecution, rape, murder, death penalties and other violations of basic human rights.
Some facts and figures
- Homosexuality or homosexual acts are punishable in 69 countries, in six countries even by the death penalty.
- HIV infections are ten times higher in countries where homosexual acts are a criminal offense.
- Every year more than two hundred transgender people around the world are murdered because of their gender identity.
- COC supports LGBTI organizations in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Africa and South East Asia. This allows them to open their own office, start health and rights programs, build strong communities, organize prides and lobby for better laws.
- COC has a special consultative status with the United Nations which enabled us to contribute to the UN resolutions against the violation of LGBT human rights.
- Every year COC supports dozens of LGBTI activists to lobby for their rights at meetings of organizations such as the United Nations and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.
- Thanks to COC advocacy the Dutch asylum policy improved in favor of LGBTI’s. No longer can they be send back to their home country if this means going back ‘in the closet’. LGBT’s are for example no longer sent back to Iraq or Iran.
- Otgoo Tsedendemberel from Mongolia managed to address LGBT issues with his government in Mongolia. With the support of COC he attended several UN assemblies. He there managed to convince his government to publicly promise to end discrimination and violation of human rights of LGBT’s in his country for the first time ever in the Mongolian history.
- Support international activities of COC with your donation.
- Foreign LGBT organizations and activists who want to co-operate with COC can get in touch by sending an e-mail: [email protected].