Shameful parts of an enduring colonial legacy are finally becoming history: courts ruled that consensual same-sex relations are no longer a crime in India and in Trinidad and Tobago.
All states and territories in Australia have now passed expungement bills for historical same-sex activity convictions, and voters in Romania boycotted a referendum to restrict the constitutional definition of family.
We know all too well that our communities’ struggle to be recognised and accepted has never come without challenges. But when the path seems too bleak to thread, just remember: there are reasons for hope, and there is a whole global family standing with you!
TIME TO CELEBRATE! Our first 40 years, and updates about the ILGA World Conference
Many of the social, legal and political advances that have happened since it all started seemed unthinkable back then. ILGA has been there through all this, and nothing would have been possible without the work of our member organisations and our wider global communities.
A few weeks later, we were present in full force at the 39th Human Rights Council, where we delivered statements, joined panel discussions, and assisted human rights defenders as they made their remarks during the adoption of their countries’ UPR outcomes.
We also organised a side event to look at the state of the global research on trans rights. In case you missed it, you can watch a recording here.
Meanwhile, in New York, the General Assembly was presented with a new report by the UN Independent Expert on SOGI, focussing particularly on depathologisation and legal gender recognition. ILGA joined other organisations worldwide to congratulate Victor Madrigal-Borloz for “giving trans and gender diverse people’s human rights the careful attention they deserve.”
Promising times await for these final months of 2018, as we are gearing up for the 31st session of the UPR Working Group, and for the upcoming 71st session of CEDAW. Stay tuned!
DATES AND DEADLINES
Human rights defenders by the Alley of Flags at the Palais des Nations in Geneva
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As we celebrate our past, we are also shaping our future together.
Led by our board, ILGA is drafting a strategic plan for 2019-2022, and member organisations were invited to input. The plan will be adopted at the next World Conference.
Meanwhile, the ILGA World team has definitely grown in the past few weeks! We have been delighted to welcome three new persons in our Geneva office: our new incoming Director of Programmes Julia Ehrt, our Senior Research Officer Lucas Ramón Mendos and our Administrative Support Officer Paula Klik.
the ILGA World team during the staff retreat, September 2018
Moreover, both Gabriel Galil and Zineb Oulmakki have joined the team as interns, supporting our work on UN advocacy and communications respectively. We also want to take a moment to thank both Callum Birch and Bernardo Fico for the great work that they have done in the past few months to support our UN Programme: we wish them all the best for their careers!
With such a reinforced team, we can now raise our members’ voices in international fora even louder, and empower our global LGBTI communities even better. This is an ongoing commitment for us. During the past few months only, we have been in Vancouver, Canada as the Equal Rights Coalition meeting took place, ready to develop recommendations on how to advance human rights and inclusive development. We also welcomed to Mexico 19 LGBTI human rights defenders from 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean for a training on digital security, conducted with the support of ProtectDefenders.eu.
A group picture at the ILGA Oceania regional conference in Samoa, August 2018
What about our regions? For the first time in the history of ILGA, one of our events was hosted in a Pacific country, as more than 100 human rights defenders gathered together in Samoa for the third ILGA Oceania regional conference.
Indeed, these are exciting times ahead for our global family!
Meanwhile, the ILGA family has further grown in numbers and representation: more than 1,300 organisations from 141 countries across the globe now form this organisation committed to advancing LGBTI rights worldwide.