Participation in conferences and convenings – 2013

Women’s rights and gender justice in the face of religious fundamentalisms

ARC Advocacy and Communications Manager, Sheherezade Kara, was pleased to attend an international strategy meeting on women’s rights and gender justice in the face of religious fundamentalisms in December 2013, hosted by AWID, Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, Musawah, and Global Rights Watch. The aim of the meeting was to create a space to share diverse experiences and insights, inspire creative and effective strategies, discuss plans of action and formulate political actions to advance our collective advocacy on this issue.

Expert meeting on sexual rights, privacy and technology

From  November 8-10, 2013, key researchers, advocates and activists on issues on sexual health and rights, and technology, privacy and violence came together to discuss issues of online violence. The meeting was convened by the Association for Progressive Communications and the Centre for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution and Human Rights at Rutgers University, Newark. ARC was represented by Advocacy and Communications Manager Sheherezade Kara.

ILGA Europe Conference, Zagreb

ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference 2013 took place in Zagreb on  October 24-27, 2013. The theme of this year’s conference was Family matters! Reaching out to hearts and minds.

See more here.

Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders

Established in 2002 the Front Line Defenders’ Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders is a biannual event which provides a truly unique opportunity for human rights defenders at-risk, from every corner of the world, to come together to share experiences, learn from one another, discuss relevant issues and engage with decision makers from governmental and intergovernmental bodies. ARC Co-Director John Fisher was pleased to attend the Seventh Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders which took place in October 2013.

See more here.

Caribbean Woemn and Sexua Diversitu Conference, Curaçao

In 2012, the International Dialogue and Training on LGBT Human Rights was hosted in Saint Lucia. The first of its kind to be staged in the Caribbean, it recorded the highest number of lesbian and bisexual women from around the region in one space. A women’s caucus was organised which highlighted the need for further dialogue. United and Strong, with support from ARC International, took the decision to organize a follow-up conference, and during consultation with various stakeholders, it came to light that the Fundashon Orguyo Korsou/Curaçao Pride Foundation (FOKO) was also planning toward the same vision. Thus began a partnership to organize the upcoming conference taking place from 24-28 September 2013 in Curaçao.

4TH Regional Changing Faces, Changing Spaces Conference (CFCS), Kenya

On May 29-31, 2013, Kim Vance was invited to Naivasha, Kenya, to deliver a presentation about the Human Rights Council, in particular how to engage the process and link local work to the HRC mechanisms and vice versa. It was also a chance to network with activists, particularly in East Africa, and learn about the inspiring work of UHAI and coalitions of LGBTI activists and sex worker rights advocates.

ILGA Asia Conference

Sheherezade was pleased to be invited to facilitate a series of training workshops on engaging with the UN human rights mechanisms at the 5th ILGA Asia conference which took place in Bangkok from 29 to 31 March 2013. Additionally, Sheherezade and Sunil Pant (Blue Diamond Society, Nepal) held an open session to provide information and debrief on the Asia-Pacific Regional Seminar on human rights and SOGI which concluded in Kathmandu the previous week. All workshops were well attended by dedicated and inspiring activists from across the region, who were keen to engage further in international advocacy.

East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project – Strategic Roundtable

In late February, ARC was invited to partner with the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) and the Katiba Institute on a Strategic Roundtable for LGBTI Rights Defenders. Kim and John delivered a keynote speech on the “International Legal Framework for LGBTI Rights – Opportunities and Ongoing Actions”, and also facilitated a sub-regional consultation on SOGI processes at the UN Human Rights Council with 25 human rights defenders from the region. An Envisioning Project video crew from Kenya also documented the process and recorded interviews with defenders from the region.