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SALZBURG GLOBAL LGBT FORUM

Past Program

Jun 02 - Jun 07, 2013

LGBT and Human Rights: New Challenges, Next Steps

Session 506

Abstract

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.

PARTNERS

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Contact

For more information about the 2013 session and the Global LGBT Forum, please contact Klaus Mueller, Chair, Global LGBT Forum: km@kmlink.net

Salzburg Statement

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 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. 

Click here download The Salzburg Statement of the Global LGBT Forum: Advancing human rights for LGBT* people and communities

 

 * LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. We are using this term as it is widely recognized in many parts of the world, but we would not wish it to be read as in any way exclusive of other cultures, terms or groups.

Report

Related Internet URL

HomoLAB podcast
Amy Lamé attended session 506, and shares some of her interviews with session participants in this podcast collection.

Videos

Dr. Klaus Mueller on why now is the time to create a Global LGBT Forum

Dennis van der Veur speaks about the EU FRA's survey of LGBT discrimination

Tamara Adrián, Venezuela, on how the core of being a trans person is about being oneself and transforming into who you are

Milan Antonijevic, Serbia, on progressing legal protection for LGBT persons, combating hate crime and achieving freedom of assembly for pride marches in Serbia

George Azzi, Lebanon, on integrating LGBT rights into the broader human rights agenda and building alliances with mainstream organizations on other human rights issues

 

Ana Chacon, Costa Rica, on the "big steps to go" in realizing LGBT rights in her country

Arsham Parsi, Iran, on the lack of basic human rights in Iran and the situation of Iranian LGBT refugees 

 

Fadi Saleh, Syria, on online security of LGBT activists in the Arab world: how can you be safe online? 

Travis S.K. Kong, China, about interviewing older Chinese men about their lives on video for the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum

 

Aung Myo Min, Burma, on his survey of how LGBT Burmese are affected by the old British sodomy law, blackmail, harassment and family expectations 

Geetanjali Misra, India, on thinking outside the box:  new ideas for LGBT philanthropy

 

Shereen El Feki, Egypt/Canada, on sexuality in the Arab world and the shifting borderlines between ḥalāl and ḥarām

 

Vuth Lyno, Cambodia, on exhibiting his photos of Cambodian LGBT families at the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum, and on how artists shape our conversations on LGBT human rights 

 

Elisabeth Khaxas, Namibia, reads her poem My loves knows no boundaries

 

Yinhe Li, China, on how Chinese cultural values force gay men and women into heterosexual marriage (translation available in the YouTube description)

 

Lousewies van der Laan, Netherlands, on how civilizations are measured by how they treat (sexual) minorities