Advancing Human Rights for LGBT People and Communities

Humankind’s strength is its diversity. Free expression of sexuality and gender increasingly defines the societies in which we want to live in the 21st century.

But progress is uneven. In 2011, the first UN Resolution on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity was supported by over 40 countries.

Yet in many others, governments still legitimize and sponsor violence against LGBT* citizens through legal discrimination, condoned police violence and hate speech.

Now is the time to create a Global LGBT Forum. A space where all those working to advance LGBT human rights can come together to further progress, reflect on new challenges and opportunities, and consider the next steps to secure the safety, free expression and assembly, and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and communities.

We, the sixty participants at Salzburg Global’s session on ‘LGBT and Human Rights: New Challenges, Next Steps’ (June 2–7, 2013), came together from over 30 countries to launch the Global LGBT Forum.

The following principles and recommendations (listed in the menu to the left) are a result of our discussions. They are not exhaustive or prescriptive. We hope they serve to deepen future conversations and help us to reach out and build broader alliances across law, politics, activism and culture.

The Salzburg Statement of shared principles and recommendations is accompanied by a comprehensive report on the conversations and topics addressed by this first Global LGBT Forum.

We hope this statement allows us to begin conversations on many levels.

The views expressed in this Statement are those of session participants individually and should not be taken to represent those of any organizations to which they are affiliated.

Salzburg Global Seminar is an independent non-profit organization founded in 1947 whose mission is to challenge present and future leaders to solve issues of global concern.

We design and facilitate international strategic convening to drive progress based on Imagination, Sustainability and Justice.

Salzburg Global Seminar hopes that this Statement by participants at our session on LGBT and Human Rights: New Challenges and Next Steps (June 2-7, 2013) will pave the way for a Global LGBT Forum to address interconnected issues surrounding LGBT, human rights and wellbeing.

*LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. We are using this term as it is currently widely used in human rights conversations on sexual orientation and gender identity in many parts of the world, but we would not wish it to be read as exclusive of other cultural concepts, contemporary or historical, to express sexuality and gender, intersex and gender-nonconforming identities.