March 23, 2017, by Claire Henson

 LGBT+ rights in the 21st century: Free and equal?

University of Nottingham student Bryony Goodesmith talks about 18th Annual Student Human Rights Conference taking place on Saturday 25th March 2017.

Recent years have seen increasing support for LGBT+ rights, both domestically and internationally. Since the adoption of the Yogyakarta Principles in 2006, LGBT+ rights have clearly gained momentum. However, progress has been uneven. The status of LGBT+ rights remains controversial. Following the 10-year anniversary of the Principles, many states are yet to incorporate LGBT+ rights into their laws and give effect to them in practice.

The University of Nottingham’s Human Rights Law Centre is running its 18th Annual Student Human Rights Conference, ‘LGBT+ rights in the 21st century: Free and equal?’ on Saturday 25 March at Highfield House, University Park Campus. The Conference will discuss the successes of LGBT+ rights whilst recognising the barriers and discussing future reforms.

The Conference will explore the advancements made in the application of human rights law for LGBT+ people. It will critically examine the progress that must be made to ensure that all people, no matter who they are, are ‘free and equal’. Keynote speakers will present their insights into LGBT+ rights from a variety of perspectives. Contributions will also be made by student panellists, who will be offering regional perspectives on LGBT+ rights, as well as attempting to identify the remaining barriers to equality and find common ground in order to move forward.

Key note addresses will be given by:

  • Professor Michael O’Flaherty, Director, EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, on LGBT+ rights: A European Union perspective
  • Mr Arvind Narrain, Geneva Director, ARC International, on The First UN SOGI Expert: A step in the right direction?
  • Professor Javaid Rehman, Professor of Law, Brunel University, onUnravelling the Sharia: Islam, ‘Islamic Law’ and the issue of homosexuality in the Muslim world
  • Ms Joanna Whiteman, Co-Director, Equal Rights Trust, on LGBT+ rights and The Russian Courts
  • Professor Stephen Whittle, Professor of Law, Manchester Metropolitan University, on Transsexual, transgender, and gender-nonconforming people

It is clear that there is still work to be done in relation to the promotion and protection of LGBT+ rights. Devising advocacy and lobbying strategies at the regional and international levels is vital to achieving this goal. Additionally, learning to communicate and raise awareness of LGBT+ issues within the next generation is also essential. That’s why this year two workshops have been incorporated into the programme:

  • Workshop 1: LGBT+ rights: International and regional advocacy and lobbying strategies – led by Mr Paul Dillane, Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Trust
  • Workshop 2: LGBT+ communication and awareness-raising strategies – led by Out in Education

Further information about the conference can be found here.

Tickets can be purchased here.


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