ILGA-Europe’s 19th Annual Conference in Athens is the largest event on the LGBTI political calendar in Europe. ILGA-Europe is the European Region of ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and works for human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans & intersex people in Europe. ILGA-Europe represents over 400 member organisations in 45 European countries.
The Annual Conference will take place from today until the 31 October 2015 in Athens under the theme of “Many voices, One movement – Together, mobilised for a just society.”
LGBTI people in Europe have witnessed some incredible victories in 2015: Malta introducing the continent’s most advanced legislation on the rights of trans and intersex people and Ireland’s overwhelming Yes vote in their marriage equality referendum are just couple of examples.
These legal victories are only possible in places where there is sufficient political and social support. This year, they will be looking closely at how the LGBTI movement can mobilise even greater support around equality and human rights issues. They want to build even stronger, broader and more diverse coalitions, and ultimately win the hearts and minds of a greater public.
The visit to Athens is particularly timely. It’s the perfect opportunity to re-energise the debate on LGBTI human rights in Greece. Following criticism from the European Court of Human Rights in 2013, the Greek government has announced its intention earlier this year to amend its civil partnership legislation and to include also same-sex partners. In Athens, they will be trying to engage with the Greek politicians who will attend the conference.
This is your chance to meet with the European activists striving for equality for LGBTI people and the political leaders responsible for implementing it.
Confirmed speakers are:
= Elke Ferner, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Germany)
= Randy W Berry, US State Department’s Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI persons
= Geeta Misra, Co-Founder and Executive Director of CREA – a feminist human rights organisation (India)
= Jessica Stern, Executive of OutRight Action International (USA)
= Mike Jackson, Founding member of Lesbians and Gay Support the Miners (UK)
= Murat Köylü, External affairs coordinator at Kaos GL (Turkey)
= Gráinne Healy, Co-Director of Yes Equality and Chairwoman of Marriage Equality (Ireland)
= Thomas Hammarberg, Former Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
The conference theme will be explored in over 44 different workshops and several self-organised spaces.
The Annual Conference 2015 is hosted by ILGA-Europe member OLKE, in collaboration with: SYD; Trans Gender Association; Queer Trans; Rainbow Families; Athens Pride; Thessaloniki Pride; Praksis; Positive Voice; Homophobia and transphobia in education; Volunteers of 2004 Athens Olympic Games and LGBT PwD of Greece. The funders of this Annual Conference include: The European Commission , The Nation al Government of The Netherlands, Freedom House, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour, US Department of State, Open Society Foundations, Solidarity Now, Embassy of the Netherlands in Athens, Bodoussaki Foundation.