L’Observatori Contra l’ Homofòbia (OCH, in English Observatory Against homophobia), is an entity created as a project within the Front d’ Alliberament Gai de Catalunya (FAGC, in English Gay Liberation Front of Catalonia). In 1993, the Anti-Discrimination Office was created, with headquarters in Barcelona, with the aim of making visible and denouncing homophobia, lesbophobia, transphobia and biphobia (LGBTIphobia) in Catalonia. In 2008 is legally constituted as OCH and operates as an independent body of FAGC.
At the OCH we work on the design and implementation of a permanent observation system against discrimination and LGBTIphobia in the different scenarios where they can be produced. Since the approval of Law 11/2014, the OCH aims to monitor and ensure the rights of the LGBTI community, as well as respond to the needs of the victim in the face of possible situations of discrimination and / or victimization.
The task of OCH focuses on caring for people who have experienced discrimination or assault based on affective-sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. It also acts as an observer entity for the fulfilment of the rights of LGBTI people and their guarantee. OCH therefore acts to give visibility to the LGBTI community and its struggle to ensure equality and eradicate discrimination on the basis of affective-sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression in all aspects and settings that may occur.
We have been legally registered as an NGO in the Directorate General of Law and Legal Entities since 2008. We are based in Barcelona, although our activity is intended to extend to the rest of Catalonia. At OCH we have people – technical, activist and volunteer – who are diverse in identities, orientations, ages, ideologies, ways of looking at life, anxieties and experiences, people who have just arrived and people who have been here for a long time.
We are working on the design and implementation of a permanent observation system for discrimination and LGBTIphobia in the different scenarios where they may occur. Since the enactment of Law 11/2014, OCH aims to monitor and ensure the rights of the LGBTI community, as well as to respond to the needs of the victim in the face of possible situations of discrimination and/or victimisation.
In our work structure we have the following services:
Complaints Office. Attention of incidents. The aim is to offer advice and legal support, incorporating a human rights perspective and the principles of diversity and non-discrimination based on respect for the dignity and privacy of those affected. The OCH carries out a task of compilation and analysis of LGBTIphobic incidents in the Catalan territory, which is reflected in the LGBTIphobia Report in Catalonia (and the corresponding year). On a case-by-case basis, and whenever the victim wishes to report, OCH files a claim or complaint with the competent authorities.
Attention to the victim. The service offers care and accompaniment to LGBTIphobia victims. The aim is to offer psychological and emotional support and accompaniment, incorporating a human rights perspective and the principles of diversity and non-discrimination based on respect for the dignity and privacy of those affected.
Training and Research. We believe that one of the forms of struggle to eradicate different forms of discrimination is to emphasize information and knowledge about the LGBTI reality. This premise, together with an increasing demand from different institutional and social agents, leads to the establishment of this area. The service is intended for any public and/or private entity interested in LGBTI issues. We can highlight four blocks: (1) current legal framework; (2) affective-sexual and gender diversity; (3) hate crimes and intervention strategies; and (4) LGBTIphobic bullying.
Media and Press. Given the extent and scope of the services and work carried out by OCH, a new area in the structure of the entity was created with the aim of bringing the work done by OCH and its day-to-day work to the audiovisual media and public opinion.