60 LGBTIQ Activists, 27 Countries, 5 Days of Activism

OutRight Action International kicks off the global week of advocacy, where 60 LGBTIQ activists from 27 countries from every region of the world has come to participate in the organisation’s 5th annual United Nations Advocacy Week.

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From December 5 to 9, human rights defenders meet with government representatives and UN officials. Advocates will meet dignitaries such as United Kingdom Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, South African Ambassador Jerry Matthews Matjila, and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, as well as dignitaries from Denmark, Botswana, Thailand, Australia, and Canada and more.

Change doesn’t happen in any one place. It happens from a combination of forces that create a forward momentum that eventually produces a catalyst for change,” notes Jessica Stern, Executive Director of Outright Action International, on the significance of the global week of advocacy.

Throughout the week, activists will also participate in high-level meetings with UN agencies such as the UNDP, UN-GLOBE, UN Women, and UNICEF, in addition to regional and thematic group meetings such as with Permanent Mission country representatives from the ASEAN region and the European Union. The activists will also engage in a conversation on the Free & Equal Campaign, the UN’s campaign to promote the rights of LGBTIQ people. By hosting this week of advocacy and bringing activists to New York, OutRight aims to elevate the voices and concerns of global activists, with diverse country level experience and perspectives, to the level of the UN, and directly with government missions and UN agencies, to catalyse tangible policy and legislative change and increase the protections of LGBTIQ people everywhere.

Commenting on the importance of this week, Rikki Nathanson, Board Member of Sexual Rights Centre, Zimbabwe, says,

My presence at Advocacy Week will give me a chance to speak out as a transgender woman from Southern Africa on the issues we face, thereby increasing awareness and opening the discourse to possible solutions.

The global week of advocacy culminates on December 10th, International Human Rights Day, with OutSummit, a one-day global conference themed “Pushing the Boundaries for Global LGBTIQ Activism” to bring together U.S.-based and international activists to meet and discuss critical issues affecting the global LGBTIQ movement. This year’s conference highlights some of the world’s foremost experts and activists discussing the most cutting edge issues impacting the global human rights movement.

Including such experts as:

  • Randy W. Berry, first ever U.S. Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons
  • Clifton Cortez, first ever Senior Advisor on SOGI at the World Bank
  • Steve Letsike, Co-chair of the South African National AIDS Council
  • Miriam Van Der Have, Co-chair of Organisation Intersex International Europe

And such issues as:

  • Human Rights in the Age of Terror: The Impact of National Security, Militias and Counter-terrorism on LGBTIQ Communities
  • Who Counts? The Queer Data Revolution and UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • UN-locked: Diplomats and Officials Address the Independent Expert on SOGI, the Equal Rights Coalition and Where We Go From Heres
  • A Manifesto for the Trump Years

OutSummit will be hosted at The City University of New York Law School and is organised in partnership with the Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice.

To attend OutSummit buy a ticket on the OutSummit website:  www.outsummit.org.