HUMAN RIGHTS CONFERENCE
Human Rights Conference
August 17 at Världskulturmuseet, Gothenburg
12.00 – 13.00
Welcome from Emilia Wikström Melin, vice president of Stockholm Pride and Tobias Björk, vice president of West Pride. Opening speech by Cecilia Malmström, Sweden’s EU commissioner.
Participant: Emilia Wikström Melin, vice president Stockholm Pride, Tobias Björk, Vice President West Pride and Cecilia Malmström, Sweden’s EU commissioner. Organised by EuroPride.
13.15 – 14.00
Yogyakarta + 10
Julia Ehrt, executive director of Transgender Europe, TGEU, and one of the experts working with the Yogyakarta + 10 document presents the document and explains its potential as a tool for activists. The Yogyakarta principles was first created in 2006 and outlines how human rights tools can be used to advance lgbtqi rights.
Participant: Julia Ehrt, Executive Director Transgender Europe, TGEU (Germany). Organised by EuroPride
Seminar room 2:
The state of lgbti rights in Bangladesh: the murder of Xulhaz Mannan and beyond
In April 2016, prominent lgbti activists Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy were hacked to death by a group of attackers, armed with machetes, in Xulhaz’ apartment in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Xulhaz was the founder and editor of Roopban, Bangladesh’s first lgbti magazine, and they were both outspoken proponents of lgbti rights.
Two and a half years later, nobody has been brought to justice for their murder: the authorities have even failed to condemn the brutal crimes. Due to the hostile climate and constant death threats, many Bangladeshi lgbti activists have been forced to leave their country, in fear for their lives. Some have ended up in Sweden.
In this seminar, two members of the Bangladeshi lgbti community and friends of Xulhaz and Tonoy will tell us about the situation in Bangladesh today, their hopes for the future — and how the rest of us can support them in their plight.
Participants: Asheque Haque, expert on Bangladeshi political and security matters, and Obydur Rahman Panna, lgbti activist.
Moderator: Johanna Westeson, Legal and Policy Adviser at Amnesty International, Swedish section. Organised by: Amnesty International, Swedish section
Seminar room 3:
Lgbt+ rights work in difficult contexts – Activists from Georgia, Iraq and Jordan dialoguing about strategies, challenges and keys to successful community-building
A dialogue in panel format between lgbt+ activists from from Georgia, Iraq and Jordan, moderated by a RFSL representative. The dialogue will revolve around the strategies used by the activists to strengthen the lgbt+ community and promote lgbt+ rights from a human rights perspective and the challenges that they face. The dialogue will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience.
Participants: Activists from MyKali (Jordan), Rasan Organization for Women’s Rights (Iraq), Women’s Initiative’s Support Group (Georgia).
Moderator: Jenny Sundberg (RFSL). Organized by RFSL in cooperation with lgbt+ activists from Georgia, Iraq and Jordan
Seminar room 4:
Cities as promoters and protectors of human rights for lgbtqi people – a case study from the City of Gothenburg and the City of Stockholm.
How can local government take an active stand through measures to strengthen, protect and promote lgbtq equality and combat/prevent discrimination? What are the efforts focusing on, what are the lgbtq policies, action plans and guidelines and how have they been implemented?
Take part of how the two major cities and municipalities of Sweden are working to ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality and strengthen human rights at a local level.
Participants: Sissela Nordling Blanco, (Fi), Mariya Voyvodova, (S), Richard Brodd (L), Pia Emanuelsson and Angelica Löwdin. Organised by EuroPride and the cities of Stockholm and Gothenburg
14.15 – 15.00
Working for the human rights of intersex people
OII, Organisation Intersex International, works for the full implementation of human rights, bodily integrity, self determination and societal acceptance of intersex people. This includes taking the necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to guarantee respect for the physical integrity and autonomy of intersex persons and to ensure that no one is subjected during infancy or childhood to non-urgent medical or surgical procedures intended to decide the sex of the child. OII demands that ensuring the right of intersex people of bodily integrity, physical autonomy and self-determination must be a priority in all action taken regarding intersex people.
Intersex people must be supported to be the drivers of social, political and legislative changes that concern them. In this session you will hear from two representatives of OII about the priorities and strategies in their work right now.
Participants: Kitty Anderson, OII Europe (Iceland), Del LaGrace Volcano, OII Sweden (Sweden/UK). Organised by EuroPride
Seminar room 2:
Jason Jones and the case against Trinidad and Tobago: Using the court system to advance the rights of lgbtqi people.
Jason Jones successfully challenged the constitutionality of Sections 13 and 16 of the Sexual Offenses Act of Trinidad and Tobago prohibiting consensual adult intercourse per anum and sexual acts between consenting same-sex adults. Jones returned to Trinidad and Tobago in 1992 and 1996 but ”was forced away again” to the UK to avoid persecution and homophobia.
He received death threats in Trinidad for his activism. In 2010 and 2014 he returned to Trinidad and Tobago but returned to the UK again in the face of ”intolerable” homophobia. He filed the historic lawsuit in the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago on February 23, 2017. In this session Jason Jones will tell his story.
Participant: Jason Jones. Organised by EuroPride and Sarah Hansson och Melisha Linnell – EQLovesMusic
Seminar room 3:
Lgbtq rights at work and beyond: an update from the United States
The United States witnessed dramatic advances in lgbtq rights over the past decade. In 2009, President Obama signed legislation that extended federal ”hate crimes” law to include crimes related to sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity. In 2011, he signed legislation overturning a ban on being openly gay while serving in the military. The Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that the Constitution guarantees marriage equality to all Americans.
In the US and around the world, many people are familiar with such advances for lgbtq Americans during the Obama Presidency – but 87% of Americans do not know that there is no federal law banning employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The situation is markedly different from Europe, where the EU banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in 2000. In 28 US states, Americans can still be fired or denied employment based on their sexual orientation.
This panel will take stock of how far the US has come on lgbtq rights, and where there is still progress to be made. The aim is to provide an update to American expats and to inform the wider Swedish public about a little-known but important subject. The panel focuses on lgbtq rights generally and labor rights specifically, analyzing the political and legal hurdles that must be overcome and the roles that business, government and civil society have to play.
Participants: Martha McDevitt-Pugh, Co-Chair of the Democrats Abroad LGBT Caucus, Ian Higham, PhD candidate at Stockholm University. Moderator: Maria Sjödin, Outright Action International. Organised by Democrats Abroad Sweden
Seminar room 4:
European Lesbian conference: presentation of mission and state of affairs for lesbians* in Europe and Central Asia
The discussion will begin with a description of EL*C’s mission, how the NGO came into existence and what the key objectives and accomplishments have been so far. The session will then include an outline of the ”state of affairs” for lesbians* in Europe and Central Asia. Findings from the ”EL*C Brief Report on Lesbian* Lives in (parts of) Europe”, which focuses on health and discrimination will be presented.
The discussion will be concluded by sharing the plan for the next conference due to take place in April 2019. EL*C look forward to hearing from other participants what issues they would like to address during EL*C edition 2.
Participants: Anastasia Danilova (Moldova), Leila Lohman (Switzerland) and Aurora Baba (Albania). Organised by EuroPride and the European Lesbian Conference.
15.15 – 16.00
Engaging with UN mechanisms – advocating for lgbti rights
For activists working with advocating the rights of lgbtqi people globally, engaging with UN mechanisms is part of the job. In this session you will hear from activists with experience from for example the UN Universal Periodic Review system and the various committees and annual conferences that work with issues that concerns the rights of lgbtqi people. What does the resistance look like? Who are our allies? What can we hope to achieve, looking ahead?
Participants: Julia Ehrt, Executive Director Transgender Europe (Germany), Maria Sjödin, Deputy Executive Director, Outright Action International (Sweden/USA), Shakhawat Hossain Rajeeb, Training Program Manager, RFSL International Unit/Board member ILGA Asia and Boys of Bangladesh (Sweden/Bangladesh). Organised by EuroPride
Seminar room 2:
The right to seek asylum as an lgbtqi person
Asylum rights activists tell their stories and share experiences from different countries. What are the experiences from Sweden, Greece and Kenya for lgbtqi asylum seekers? What is the situation in camps and other housing facilities? What are the most pressing issues, and how can we work together to ensure that lgbtqi asylum seekers get the protection they have the right to have?
Participants: Jasminé Mehho and Adam Alian, RFSL Newcomers (Sweden), Eddy Kalyango, Rado Uganda (Sweden/Uganda), Katherine Reilly, Thessaloniki Pride (Greece). Moderator: Joakim Lundquist, Lawyer at Folkets Juristbyrå, Sweden’s first law firm focusing on lgbtqi people (Sweden). Organised by EuroPride
Seminar room 3:
Rainbow Riots: queer culture and human rights
Rainbow Riots is a politically and religiously independent, non-profit organisation advocating for human rights for LGBTQ people globally, using arts and culture as tools. In this session you will hear from the founder Petter Wallenberg and other activists about the successes and challenges in the work so far.
Participants: Petter Wallenberg, Nimo, Brayo, Mista Majah P from Rainbow Riots, (Sweden, Uganda and Jamaica). Organised by EuroPride
16.15 – 17.00
The Global state of affairs for lgbtqi people – challenges ahead
Presently, we see difficult times for lgbtqi people around the world. Our rights are threatened by religious and right wing extremists, and populist political forces are contributing. Still, criminalization and even the death penalty affects the lives of many of us.
How will we work to protect the rights already achieved and to improve the situation further? How can a global movement be as strong as possible, leaving no one behind, joining forces to combat the different challenges in the different regions?
Participants from Outright Action International, RFSL, ILGA, TGEU, OII. Organised by EuroPride.