News in English

2013.07.29 10:54

International human rights conference and LGBTQ workshops held in Vilnius

Victoria Leigh | The Lithuania Tribune 2013.07.29 10:54

The LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) community, along with the rest of Vilnius, were showing their colours in the capital in support of Baltic Pride 2013 at International Human Rights Conference: ‘Towards a European Roadmap for LGBT Equality’ on 26 July, 2013. 

The LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) community, along with the rest of Vilnius, were showing their colours in the capital in support of Baltic Pride 2013 at International Human Rights Conference: ‘Towards a European Roadmap for LGBT Equality’ on 26 July, 2013.

Stuart Milk addressed the crowd in a keynote speech. Nephew of American civil rights activist Harvey Milk, Stuart Milk is a global LGBT human rights activist and political speaker, and is the co-founder and president of the Harvey Milk Foundation.

Marco Perolini, Amnesty International discrimination expert, further examined the situation for LGBTQ people in Europe.

Birgitta Ohlsson, Swedish Minister for European Union Affairs, also spoke in defence of LGBTQ rights. Ohlsson is a member of Sweden’s Liberal People’s Party.

The conference provided an opportunity to evaluate the progress of LGBTQ rights across Europe, and assess the work that can be further carried out to safeguard EU citizenship rights.

Issues raised were challenges faced by the Baltic States: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and other European countries in integrating LGBTQ dimensions in policy development processes, sharing best practice methods in the field of LGBTQ inclusion, and observing implementation of the Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation on their LGBTQ rights stance.

IGLYO (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Youth and Student Organisation) further took part in afternoon workshops is. Founded in 1984 and based in Brussels, it seeks to be an important meeting point for LGBTQ youth in Europe.

IGLYO speakers were Jordan Long, Alex Michaelidou, Sarah Rowlinson, as well as Karolis Zemaitis on behalf of the National Youth Council of Lithuania, whereby they shared their views on getting young LGBTQ people’s voices heard in society through policymaking, and lobbying and advocacy work.

Later, the ‘People like ME’ workshop brought together young activists from Mozaika (Latvia) and Estonian LGBT Association, presenting a workshop where people could meet other LGBTIQ people in order to encourage each other, absorb positive energy, and reinforce self- identity.

Anna Shepherd from Lithuania Gay League (LGL) said: “It has been a successful day, and we have had discussions on different levels.”

“We have had very high level discussions and also events aimed at the community, which are so important to have in terms of Pride events. People can be themselves amongst other people, and encourage each other to be open.”

  

0