Past Program

Oct 02 - Oct 07, 2016 Session 570

Salzburg Global LGBT Forum: The Many Faces of LGBT Inclusion

Chiang Rai, Thailand


The current attention given to LGBT* issues by many policy-makers across the world constitutes a critical opportunity to further entrench LGBT rights as an integral part of the global human rights agenda. Connecting thought leaders and practitioners worldwide, the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum is uniquely placed to address both the global dimensions and local challenges and opportunities in this field.

In 2016 the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum convened in Thailand and, building on the Forum's global expertise and cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Being LGBTI in Asia Programme, brought together diverse stakeholders from around the world. Continuing its focus on inclusion, the 2016 Forum provided a platform for enhancing Asia's previously underrepresented role in existing global LGBT dialogues, and highlighted Asia's unique legal, religious, and cultural positions regarding LGBT individuals and their communities.

The 2016 Forum fostered strategic, focused discussions while examining progress on as well as challenges for LGBT rights in the region, identified concrete potential for further positive change in Asia, and shared best concrete potential for further positive change in Asia. Recognizing that the challenges confronting the LGBT and human rights movement are not only national or regional, the 2016 Forum in Thailand expanded understanding of how the region's successes and challenges relate to and influence issues at a global level. The lessons that different cultures and regions provide will be harnessed to advance LGBT human rights on the global stage.

Drawing on and expanding the unique network the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum has created since 2013, the 2016 Forum provided a safe space in which to discuss both the significant expertise and the life experiences of Forum members. It prepared individual participants intending to contribute to future global conferences (i.e. the 10 Year Anniversary Conference for Yogyakarta and the ILGA World Conference in Bangkok) by enhancing their opportunities to advocate for the full and equal rights of all gender and sexual minorities. In addition to its global focus, the 2016 Salzburg Global LGBT Forum gave special attention to the human rights of LGBT persons in Asia.

Key Themes

Building on the progress made since the establishment of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum in 2013, the October 2016 Forum focused on inclusion to explore the following interconnected issues:

  • Family: Current and future leaders will be given an opportunity to identify the specific challenges LGBT communities face in the region regarding family rights, social inclusion and legal challenges as well as to re-examine the notions of family within a global group.
  • Storytelling: The Forum will continue to cooperate with and magnify the work of writers, filmmakers and photographers who portray the complexities of LGBT experiences across the globe. Acknowledging the importance of individual stories for identity and as a critical means to achieve social impact, the 2016 Forum will help activists and policymakers use such storytelling for local action.
  • Strengthening International Connections: To foster positive, sustainable change through impact and outreach, the Forum will continue to strengthen connections between LGBT human rights groups, government agencies, international organizations and embassies, and private sector supporters. Training and capacity building for LGBT activists remains a key priority.
  • Transgender-Asian Perspectives: The 2016 Forum will continue to focus on the high visibility of the transgender community in Asia, and especially Thailand, including the progress made and the continuing legal challenges.

Series Overview

The Salzburg Global LGBT Forum was formed in cooperation between its Founder and Chair, Dr. Klaus Mueller (kmlink Consultancy) and Salzburg Global Seminar to establish a truly global space to reflect upon and advance the LGBT and Human Rights discussions around the world.  Its signature is the truly global representation of leaders from diverse fields – including human rights, legal, artistic and religious backgrounds. 
The Salzburg Global LGBT Forum is a network of expertise through which we facilitate conversations needed to advance equal rights for LGBT people across the world. The Forum currently includes representatives from more than 54 countries, facilitating an open dialogue on critical issues facing LGBT communities in diverse contexts – from China, to India, to Russia, to Uganda, to Venezuela.

Please click here to learn more about the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum.




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Session Photos

View full set on Flickr