Since the establishment of Sphere until 2021, all programs were being carried out in partnership with Russian LGBT network. In 2021, Sphere started the development of its own brand and began implementing independent projects all while continuing the collaboration with Russian LGBT Network in realizing part of the programs.


Strategic programs

The overall goal of our strategic programs is to make systemic changes in Russian legislation with regards to the rights of LGBTQ+ as well as to substantially improve the quality of life for LGBTQ+ people.


The overall goal of our strategic programs is to make systemic changes in Russian legislation with regards to the rights of LGBTQ+ as well as to substantially improve the quality of life for LGBTQ+ people.

LGBTQ+ rights monitoring
As a part of fulfilling this program, we monitor cases of violations of rights of LGBTQ+ people and discrimination against them , as well as hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and that allows us to build new strategies of fighting for LGBTQ+ rights. The volunteers in the monitoring team are partly represented by Russian LGBT network.

Program structure:
  • We collect instances of discrimination, hate crimes and LGBTQ+ right violations with the help of regional organizations and helpline volunteers. 
  • We analyze the data on LGBTQ+ right violations gathered during the monitoring process, and prepare reports based on the carried out researches.
  • We present the results of LGBTQ+ rights monitoring on various events at international and regional levels along with sharing reports with bodies of international recognition, such as the UN and OSCE.
  • .

Results:
  • We have created monitoring databases with particular cases and statistics. 
  • In 2020, we have documented 184 cases of human rights violations in 24 regions of Russia in collaboration with Russian LGBT Network.
  • In 2019, 319 cases were documented in 42 Russian regions.   
  • About 30 volunteers work on the helpline. 
Advocacy
As a part of fulfilling this program, we protect the interests and rights of LGBTQ+ in Russia on both international and national levels, which contributes to the changes in national policy regarding LGBTQ+ people and raises awareness of the international community about the situation in Russia. The program is implemented on the basis of data collected jointly with Russian LGBT Network.

Program structure:
  • We report cases of LGBTQ+ rights violations in Russia to international organizations (OSCE, UN, the European Council, and others). 
  • We participate in international conferences, coalitions, LGBTQ+ rights related projects and initiate them. 
  • We report offences, instances of violence and discrimination to the Commissioner for Human Rights institution in Russia and cooperate with regional Commissioners for Human Rights. 
  • We are working on integration of the movement for LGBTQ+ rights into the common space of Russia’s civil society.
  • We spread the information on LGBTQ+ rights’ violations and make problems of the community visible. 

Results:
  • In 2020, we prepared an alternative report on human rights in Russia for the UN Human Rights Committee, as well as a report on Russia’s fulfillment of the requirements of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
  • In 2019, we took part in the 40th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council and achieved a joint statement made by more than 30 participating countries on persecution of LGBTQ+ in Chechnya and submission of the report on hate crimes in Russia to OSCE.
Litigation
As a part of fulfilling this program, we go to Russian courts with cases dealing with LGBTQ+ rights violations  and build wide publicity around the progress and results of the cases in the media.

Program structure:
  • We organize legal support of cases dealing with LGBTQ+ people’s rights violations in Russian judicial institutions and in the ECHR.  Subject matter of the legal cases includes: 
  • cases on the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”;
  • physical violence motivated by hatred towards LGBTQ+;
  • prosecution of activists for their human rights activity;
  • family matters and the right to privacy;
  • discriminatory speech;
  • LGBTQ+ rights in places of detention.
  • We provide commentary for the media on cases the lawyers of our foundation are working on at the moment, as well as on different aspects of legal protection of the rights of LGBTQ+ people. 

Results:
  • In 2018, we supported 10 legal cases;
  • in 2019 – 20 legal cases in Russian courts;
  • in 2020 - 33 legal cases. The amount of cases under the program has increased by 65%.

Programs of social and legal assistance

Social and legal assistance is aimed at creating the necessary conditions for supporting people in cases of discrimination and human rights violation

Social and legal assistance is aimed at creating the necessary conditions for supporting people in cases of discrimination and human rights violation

Psychological Support
As a part of fulfilling this program, we organize psychologist appointments for LGBTQ+ people and contribute to raising the level of competency within the professional community. The program is implemented jointly with Russian LGBT network.

Program structure:
  • Psychologists provide free-of-charge psychological support to LGBTQ+ people, their relatives and friends, online (via skype and email), including emergency assistance via phone helpline.
  • We provide free-of-charge psychological support to LGBTQ+ teenagers. 
  • We organize competency development events for psychologists to raise their level of competence when working specifically with LGBTQ+ people within the psychological community in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and other Russian cities, as well as online.
  • We work with the global psychological community such as American Psychological Association) and IPsyNet (International Psychology Network for LGBT and Intersex Issues) 

Results:
  • In 2020, our psychologists answered 1179 requests from 78 Russian regions, 247 of which were from teenagers, and 198 were from trans*people.
  • We have held two conferences for psychologists concerning the work with LGBTQ+ patients, one training and seven supervisions.
  • In 2019, our psychologists answered 814 requests from 77 Russian regions, 177 of which were from teenagers, and 176 were from trans*people.
Legal Assistance
As a part of fulfilling this program,our lawyers give legal advice on matters regarding LGBTQ+ rights protection and intersectional discrimination free of charge, which contributes to the legal literacy of the community. 

Program structure:
  • Lawyers give legal advice online on the following matters:
  • Family law
  • Discriminatory speech/bullying
  • Trans* matters 
  • Threats of physical violence
  • Political asylum, migration from or to Russia
  • We provide legal assistance during public events.

Results:
  • In 2020, our lawyers provided 406 legal consultations.
  • In 2019, they held 327 legal consultations, including 31 consultations for LGBTQ+ teenagers.
Emergency Assistance
As a part of fulfilling this program, we provide immediate assistance to LGBTQ+ people in crisis in all across Russia..

Program structure:
  • We ensure safety: we provide shelter, security, and help to escape a dangerous place or a region. 
  • We help with food, basic necessities and urgent medical help.
  • We provide a range of assistance to LGBTQ+ activists. 

Results:
  • In 2020 we supported 20 requests for emergency assistance from different regions of Russia.  
  • In 2018, we supported 8 requests.
Resource Support
As a part of fulfilling this program, we provide LGBTQ+ activists and organizations with resources for creating their own projects and programs. 
Thus, we contribute to the development of LGBTQ+ initiatives all across Russia, as well put in the effort aimed at the expansion and enhancement of the activist community.

Program structure:
  • We provide financial help to LGBTQ+ activists and organizations for realization of their projects.
  • We provide expert advice on various issues for support of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • We hold events for experience exchange, as well as general educational purposes, and for the support of the LGBTQ+ community in Russia. 
  • We create educational materials for LGBTQ+ community, activists, and initiative groups. 

Results:
  • In 2020, we supported 13 applications for a total of more than 1,5 million roubles. 
  • In 2019, we supported 15 applications for almost the same total amount.
Amongst the supported applications are seminars, trainings and media projects, targeting the ways of helping LGBTQ+ community in Russia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contacts

Press secretary: press@cfsphere.org 


With all questions: info@cfsphere.org