LGBT and Human Rights: New Challenges, Next Steps
02 Jun - 07 Jun, 2013
"As I wrote in the Lancet last July, In the future, the laws that criminalize so many forms of human love and commitment will look the way apartheid laws do to us now - so obviously wrong. We know that LGBT people are a part of every human community. We therefore need a forum for a truly global conversation about how they contribute to, and are affected by, the law, culture and creativity - and how we can ensure that their voices are heard and understood. I applaud the Salzburg Global Seminar for deciding to hold a session on 'LGBT and Human Rights: New Challenges, Next Steps', at which all regions of the world will be represented, and I hope that it will mark the beginning of that global conversation."
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South Africa, September 2012
- Human rights activist; Professor, Central University of Venezuela; Trans Alternate Representative for ILGA-Lac, Venezuela
- Filmmaker, Indonesia
- Executive Director, Arab Foundation for Freedom and Equality, Lebanon
Shiu Ki Kong
- Associate Professor, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
- Sociologist, Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS); Activist for LGBT Rights in The People's Republic of China
- Visual Activist/ Photographer, South Africa
- Founder, Freedom and Roam (Farug), Uganda
- Human Rights Lawyer, Interights, South Africa
- Director Emeritus, National Portrait Gallery, United States
- Co-founder Trans Media Watch;Trans Rights Activist, United Kingdom
- Artist, Curator and Artistic Director of Sa Sa Art Projects, Cambodia
Additional Session Support:
- Resource Specialist, Senior Researcher, Transgender Europe, Germany
Louse Wies Van der Laan
- Resource Specialist; former chef de cabinet of the president of the International Criminal Court; former Member of the Netherlands Parliament and the European Parliament; The Netherlands
Dennis van der Veur
- Resource Specialist; Head of Sector Equality, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Austria
LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) issues and human rights have been rising steadily up the international agenda. South Africa spearheaded the first UN Resolution on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (supported by Brazil and 39 other countries), Argentina adopted landmark legislation in recognition of gender identity, and the US, the European Union and UK have identified LGBT rights as a cross-cutting priority in foreign and international development policy. The groundbreaking 2006 Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity have become an important resource, inspiring National Human Rights Commissions in Australia, Indonesia, Mongolia, the Philippines and New Zealand to review their legislation.
While the sphere of the law in an increasingly interconnected world provides an essential frame of reference, underlying cultural value systems need to be taken into consideration. No longer defined by conventional Western/non-Western divides, the meanings given to LGBT equality - in such diverse debates as those of a society's moral fiber, political belief system, specific history or social health - fluctuate greatly.
This seminar will bring together 60 participants from all regions of the world, 40 of them from non-Western countries, and from diverse professional or civic backgrounds where the law and culture intersect.
Speaking ahead of the opening session, seminar Chair Klaus Mueller said: "Human kind is defined by its diversity: the free expression of sexuality and gender is increasingly defining the societies in which we want to live in the 21st century. But progress is by no means certain. In 2011, South Africa spearheaded the first UN Resolution on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, supported by 40 other countries--yet in 78 states, governments continue to legitimize and sponsor violence again their LGBT citizens."
Mueller, who is a museums consultant, film-maker and historian, and whose academic work includes in-depth study of the persecution of homosexuals under the Nazi regime, hopes that his initiative and the seminar will go on to launch a new Global LGBT Forum.
"I strongly believe now is the time to create a Global LGBT Forum. A space to come together and reflect on the new challenges we are facing and consider the next steps needed to secure the safety, free expression and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people and communities," said Mueller.
This session is designed to:
- Support better understanding of this evolving moral, legal, social and political landscape
- Create a platform for exchange and communication for decisive global voices from diverse spheres
- Look at LGBT and human rights through the lens of cultural diversity, creative expression and civic responsibility.
Following the seminar we will present a Salzburg Statement on next steps to the UN, the Council of Europe and other relevant bodies. Pending the recommendations of the group, follow-on work from this initial seminar is likely to include: regional initiatives in 2014 and beyond; the publication of a first global survey of the issues explored at the seminar; and web-based knowledge sharing.
Conference fees vary depending on the financial circumstances of an individual applicant.
The conference is fully residential, with board and lodging included in the fee, from dinner on the opening day until breakfast on the departure day. Travel to and from Salzburg is not included.
For a very limited number of outstanding early to mid-career applicants from developing countries, Salzburg Global Seminar and its partners cover travel as well as session fees. Our aim is to bring
together a unique mix of people and strongly encourage individuals from all parts of the world to apply.