22nd annual ILGA-Europe conference meets in Brussels: in pictures

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

On Saturday, the four day event of the 22nd Annual conference of ILGA-Europe (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association) ended which was hosted at the Belgian capital Brussels. According to the organisers, over 550 LGBTI activists attended this year's conference for LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia.

The conference commenced on Thursday, October 24. The theme of this year's conference was "Politics for Change", which according to the organisers was an "opportunity to put out a loud call for action towards politicians, institutions, partners and other allies". Three organisations — Arc-en-Ciel Wallonie, Çavaria, and RainbowHouse — helped to organise the conference, the first of its kind in the Belgian capital.

On Thursday, Development Cooperation Minister of Belgium, Alexander De Croo announced pledging 500 thousand for LGBTI organisations working for the rights of LGBT+. In his speech, he said "Even in Europe, there is still a gap between fundamental rights laid down in laws and the reality with which the LGBTI + community is confronted. LGBTI + persons are still too often the victim of discrimination, hate speech and physical violence. Belgium has always been one of the leading countries in the area of ​​LGBTI + rights. We will continue to take on this role, also internationally." ((nl))Dutch language: ‍Ook in Europa is er nog steeds een kloof tussen de fundamentele rechten vastgelegd in wetten en de realiteit waarmee de LGBTI+ gemeenschap wordt geconfronteerd. LGBTI+ personen zijn nog te vaak het slachtoffer van discriminatie, hate speech en fysiek geweld. België is altijd één van de leidende landen geweest op het vlak van LGBTI+ rechten. We zullen die rol blijven opnemen, ook internationaal.

Regarding the genital mutilation of intersex children, Yuri Guaiana, an Italian member of the association, told Gay News: "Although Western Europe is one of the most advanced corners of the world in terms of LGBTI rights, there are several issues that arise, such as those relating to the mutilation of intersex children and girls." ((it))Italian language: ‍Nonostante l'Europa occidentale sia uno degli angoli del mondo più avanzati in termini di diritti Lgbti, ci sono diverse questioni che si pongono, come ad esempio quelle relative alle mutilazioni dei bambini e delle bambine intersessuali. Guaiana went on to say, "Only Malta has a law that prohibits similar interventions of real mutilation, which should not be considered only as a function of the people who suffer them but on the basis of their gender bias and bias. This is achieved by investing specifically in the medical profession, but which must also be considered within the framework of public opinion. Keeping the bar of the claims high is certainly a way to prepare ourselves for the impact of the populist wave in the next Europeans." ((it))Italian language: ‍Solo Malta ha una legge che vieta simili interventi di vera e propria mutilazione, che non vanno considerati solo in funzione delle persone che li subiscono ma in base al loro portato di pregiudizio e binarismo di genere. Portato che investe nello specifico la classe medica, ma che va considerato anche nel quadro dell'opinione pubblica. Tenere alta l'asticella delle rivendicazioni è sicuramente uno modo per prepararci all'urto dell'ondata populista alle prossime europee. Friday was the Intersex Awareness Day.

The 2020 ILGA-Europe Annual Conference is scheduled to be hosted in Bulgarian capital Sofia. Sofia had previously hosted the tenth annual conference in 2006.