LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

ILGA-Europe Annual Conference brings call for LGBTI equality and political change to Brussels

At one of the largest ever ILGA-Europe Annual Conferences, hundreds of equality and diversity organisations have come together to issue a strong call for change – right at the heart of the European political system.

Over 550 LGBTI activists and allies are gathering together in Brussels at a time when populism, nationalism, anti-equality groups and right-wing extremism are prominent features – infiltrating both our news headlines and our daily lives. And LGBTI equality is at the forefront of all of this.

Inequality is a social pollutant and finding common solutions is in everyone’s interest.” noted Brian Sheehan, co-chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board.  “The LGBTI communities cannot win this fight alone.”

The visibility of these divisive forces reminds us all of a basic truth. These threats concern us all. The fate of the LGBTI community is also bound to the experiences of the migrant communities, climate justice advocates, feminist groups… Our march towards equality will be based on deep and meaningful solidarity.” commented ILGA-Europe Executive Director Evelyne Paradis.

The story of the 2018 ILGA-Europe conference is also the story of the LGBTI movement. In spite of the repressive forces that seek to divide us, we have created one of the largest ever gatherings of LGBTI activists that ILGA-Europe have ever seen.” remarked Joyce Hamilton, co-chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board

Our family is growing. A broad spectrum of allies – from fellow human rights movements, to EU institutions and policymakers like FVP Frans Timmermans who joined us yesterday – are with us. We are mobilised, we are angry and we are thirsty for action that will create lasting change.” said Brian Sheehan.

  • The 22nd ILGA-Europe Annual Conference is taking place in Brussels, Belgium from 24-27 October 2018. For the first time the Annual Conference is taking place in Brussels – the capital of Europe and the home of ILGA-Europe.
  • ILGA-Europe’s latest Year in Review video explores the 2018 conference theme Politics for Change:
  • A political panel involving European policymakers took place on 26 October, kicking off conversations on inclusion and equality, just months before the 2019 European Parliament elections.
  • Intersex Awareness Day (26 October) also falls during the 2018 ILGA-Europe Annual Conference, providing a valuable opportunity to put intersex issues on the European political agenda:
  • Speakers at the ILGA-Europe press conference on 26 October were:

Mirka Makuchowska (Campaign Against Homophobia, Poland)

Dan Ghattas (OII-Europe)

Kaspars Zālītis (Mozaika, Latvia)

Jelena Vasiljevic (Labris, Serbia)

ILGA-Europe Executive Board co-chair Brian Sheehan

ILGA-Europe Executive Director Evelyne Paradis

Petra de Sutter

Malin Bjork MEP