Associate professor at MF, Solvor M. Lauritzen, will together with Arman Heljic at Södertörn University, lead a research project on antigypsyist homophobia and the rights of Roma and Traveller LGBTQI people in the Nordic countries. The project is funded by Nordisk information för kunnskap om kön (NIKK).

Solvor Mjøberg Lauritzen is also leading the MEMOROBIA research project.

Compared to many countries in Europe and the world, the Nordic countries have come a long way in the fight for the rights of LGBTQI people. But the rights of Roma and Traveller LGBTQI people are still entangled in a complex web of discrimination and marginalization. Little or no research has been carried out on this group within the Nordic region. This project is a first step towards putting the living conditions of Roma LGBTQI people on the agenda in Nordic countries.

The purpose of the project is to make visible Roma LGBTQI minorities in the Nordics and the discrimination based on several aspects that affect them, including antigypsyist homophobia. The result of the project will be a publication and a series of public book launches/seminars in three Nordic capitals (Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo) where the voices of Roma LGBTQI people and LGBTQI activists are heard.

Arman Heljic is a PhD candidate at University of Gothenburg.

- Romani LBTIQ rights have been invisible in the Nordic countries, Arman Heljic says.
- We have seen this emergence in Europe, but in Scandinavian and Nordic countries it's still very in the early days. One of our goals with our project is to create information that will be valuable for queer organisations, such as FRI in Norway and RFSL in Sweden, to help them be even more inclusive, says Solvor M. Lauritzen.
- Also, we want to map the current state of affairs in the field, as well as provide deeper insight into multiple forms of discrimination that LGBTQI Roma and Travelers face and what support networks exist to overcome these, Arman adds.

So how come there is this discrepancy between so many rights on one hand and so much discrimination on another?

Arman Heljic

Arman points to the strong rights for the LGBTQI community in the Nordics, while there is little knowledge about the situation of Roma LGBTQI people:

- In the Rainbow Europe country ranking Denmark is the second, Norway the fourth and Sweden is the sixth country in Europe. But there is a community within the community that nobody knows anything about. So how come there is this discrepancy between so many rights on one hand and so much discrimination on another? Arman asks.

- A recent report from Norwegian National Human Rights Institution shows that the Norwegian population has a significantly worse prejudice and negative impressions of Roma and Travellers than other minorities. So intersectional thinking is very important in our project, Solvor adds.

The publication for the project will be published by the Swedish-Romani publishing company Förlag DIKKO. It will contain interviews and personal stories, that will be available to the general public. One of the aims of the project is that the Nordic countries can learn from each other.