Participation in conferences – 2011

International LGBT Human Rights Summit in Wales

John Fisher was pleased to be invited to deliver a keynote address at the first International LGBT Human Rights Summit, in Cardiff, Wales on August 31, 2011. The conference was well-attended by activists from around the UK and international guests, and served as a useful opportunity to highlight the Yogyakarta Principles and Activist’s Guide, as well as recent developments at the UN.

Watch out for the Yogyakarta Principles in Welsh!

Assises Genevoises contre l’Homophobie

On October 5, 2011, John Fisher was invited to present the opening keynote address at the “Assises genevoises contre l’homophobie”, a follow-up conference to measure progress and discuss challenges in Switzerland since the first such initiative in 2009. As host to many of the United Nations human rights mechanisms, Switzerland has a particular responsibility to lead by example, and the forum served as an opportunity to highlight a number of areas in which further work is needed.

Expert Meeting with UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women

On October 12, 2011, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo, convened a day-long expert group meeting in New York on gender-motivated killings of women. The purpose of the meeting was to examine the manifestations, causes and consequences of gender-motivated killings in preparation for a report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in June 2012. ARC International was honoured to participate in this group meeting. Kim Vance prepared and presented a research paper, intended to provide a somewhat brief and current overview of the global situation of gender-motivated killings of women on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. There is also an accompanying 30-minute powerpoint presentation. ARC would welcome opportunities to present this research in other fora, if needed. The paper will be published on our website in due course.

Naming and Framing, The Making of Sexual (In)Equality

On July 8th 2011, Kim Vance co-presented at “Naming and Framing, The Making of Sexual (In)Equality”, the VIII Conference of the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society in Madrid, Spain. Her co-presenters, pictured here, were Mauro Cabral (GATE – Global Action for Trans* Equality), and Kenita Placide (United and Strong, Inc. – St. Lucia). The abstract was entitled “Lost Ground, Gained Ground and Fractured Ground: The literal fight for our lives at the UN”, and focused on the massive civil society effort, in December 2010, to overturn the loss of the reference to sexual orientation in the UN resolution on extra-judicial killings, and an analysis of the exclusion of a reference to gender identity.

Because of advances at the UN since December 2010, the presentation also linked the advocacy around the extra-judicial executions resolution to the victory around the UN Human Rights Council resolution in June 2011 that included references to both sexual orientation and gender identity. The presentation drew on documents collected during the December 2010 initiative and follow-up data collected through a survey circulated on the SOGI listserv.

Building Global Democracy: Including the Excluded in Global Politics

In mid-April 2011 Kim was invited to be an author for this initiative, and will be working on documenting the work undertaken by global LGBTI communities for the Building Global Democracy project.

Whilst there has been significant involvement and advancement in international democratic processes, very little documentation and analysis of this work exists. The workshop entitled ‘Including the Excluded in Global Politics’ took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and “brought together leading academics, activists and officials from around the world to explore how marginalised groups can be empowered in global affairs”.

Asia-Pacific Outgames Human Rights Conference

John Fisher was delighted to have the opportunity to participate in the 2nd Asia-Pacific Outgames Human Rights Conference, taking place in his home country New Zealand from March 15-18 2011. A highlight was the Pacific and Asia Trans and Intersex Regional Hui, a full-day event which explored and celebrated the diversity of gender identities across the Asia-Pacific region.

John presented at a workshop on the Yogyakarta Principles, provided an overview of the Activist’s Guide in a forum including strong participation by national human rights institutions, and was honoured to deliver the closing address, reflecting on the many changes since New Zealand decriminalised homosexuality in 1986, and highlighting both positive developments and remaining challenges internationally and regionally. The more than 300 Outgames Conference participants also adopted unanimously a motion endorsing the UN joint statement on Ending Violence and Related Human Rights Violations based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, and calling on Governments throughout the Asia-Pacific region to do the same.

International Conference on African Same-Sex Sexualities and Gender Diversity, Practices, Identities and Communities

Kim Vance was delighted to take part in this conference in Pretoria from February 13-16 2011, and presented a paper co-authored with lawyer/advocate Monica Mbaru, and Monica Tabengwa of LEGABIBO, entitled “Human Rights and Traditional Values: exploring the intersections, challenges, and opportunities”. The paper aims to ensure that research on sexuality, gender diversity, culture, and expression can inform and impact a rights-based discourse within national, regional and international human rights mechanisms. Over 80 people attended the conference with participants travelling from all over the continent. The conference also provided opportunity for a successful African launch of the Activist’s Guide to the Yogyakarta Principles.