Online Conference 2020

"Enlighten, sensitise, network - LGBTI rights are human rights!"

» German

Wednesday, December 02, 2020, 2.00-4.30 pm | Thursday, December 03, 2020, 4.00-7.00 pm

LGBTI people worldwide are exposed to violence and discrimination. In many countries, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) live in constant danger and fear. The Hirschfeld-Eddy-Foundation supports the worldwide fight against brutal criminal laws, state censorship and social exclusion, provides help for people who have to flee persecution and promotes LGBTI human rights projects in the Global South and Eastern Europe.

For a long time, human rights work on sexual orientation and gender identities was not an issue for German foreign policy and development cooperation. That has changed. Here we have been able to do a lot of persuasion work and obtain funding for LGBTI projects. We form alliances with other human rights organisations and development cooperation agencies. After all, LGBTI rights are human rights and strengthening them is a task that concerns everyone, not just the LGBTI community in Germany.

Languages: The plenary sessions as well as Forum 2 and 4 will be translated to and from English and German. Forum 1 is held in English, all other sessions will be held in German.

Programme: see below

Please register until November 30, 2020 » HERE

Registered participants will receive the access link to the Online Conference a few hours before opening.



► December 2, 2020 | 2.00-4.30 pm


  • Greetings, Axel Hochrein, Board Member, Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation
  • Message of Welcome, Christian Lange, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection


2.10-2.30 pm

Keynote 1: "LGBTI rights are human rights" - role, opportunities and challenges for German human rights policy,
Dr. Silke Voss-Kyeck, UN expert and rapporteur for the Human Rights Forum

2.30-2.50 pm

Keynote 2: German Donors Role in the Global LGBTI Funding Landscape,
Ise Bosch, Dreilinden

Daytime moderator: Alfonso Pantisano, LSVD

- Break - 

3.00-4.00 pm | Three parallel online forums

F 1 Violence and criminalisation of LGBTI: the example of Honduras, Russia and Uganda

Between legal criminalisation and LGBTI-hostile violence: The human rights situation of LGBTI, emergency aid and challenges for human rights organisations and German diplomacy.

  • Paola Flores, Asociación LGBT Arcoíris de Honduras
  • Julius Kaggwa, Support Initiative for People with congenital Disorders (Sipd)/Uganda
  • Björn van Roozendaal, ILGA-Europe (tbc)
  • Frank Schwabe, MP and Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
  • Moderation: Caroline Ausserer, Journalist

F 2 Religiously motivated hostility to LGBTI

Religiously based anti-homosexual attitudes reach far beyond the human right to freedom of belief when they serve as a driving force and justification for legislation that violates human rights or form the breeding ground for discriminatory acts or even violent attacks on people. LGBTI friendly churches and denominational agencies for development cooperation provide a headwind.

  • Martina Basso, Mennonite Peace Centre Berlin
  • Ecclesia de Lange, Inclusive Affirmative Ministries, South Africa
  • Carsta Neuenroth, Bread for the World
  • Moderation: Henny Engels, LSVD

F 3 Shrinking Spaces: International of Homo- and Transphobia

The common denominator of undemocratic, anti-minority and nationalist regimes is aversion to a critical and self-confident civil society. There is agitation against the "others", against LGBTI, feminism, People of Colour, Muslims or refugees. Laws are passed to put civil society in its place. How do civil society organisations react to developments in Russia, Brazil, Uganda or Indonesia, where the scope for action for partner organisations is systematically restricted?

  • Dr. Julia Ehrt, ILGA World
  • Kirsten Maas-Albert, Heinrich Boell Foundation
  • Katharina Stahlecker, Venro
  • Moderation: Klaus Jetz, Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation

4.00-4.20 pm | Flashlight I: 
Short reports from the forums: Main theses and issues


► December 3, 2020 | 4.00-6.30 pm

4.00-5.20 pm - Strategy panel

"Enlighten, sensitise, network. LGBTI Rights Human Rights!" How do we support LGBTI human rights defenders, how do we strengthen human rights? What strategies are there, what alliances do we use?

  • Iris Dill, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit
  • Gyde Jensen, MP and Chairwoman of the Parliamentarian Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid
  • Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office
  • Elke Schäfter, Elisabeth-Selbert-Initiative
  • Moderation: Axel Hochrein, Board Member, Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation

- Break - 

5.30-6.30 pm: Three parallel online forums

F 4: LGBTI inclusion concept for foreign policy and development cooperation

For the first time, Germany is to have a joint LGBTI inclusion concept for foreign policy and development cooperation. The Federal Government is thus taking up a long-standing demand of civil society and is joining forces with countries such as Sweden, Canada and the Netherlands. How did this come about, what does it mean for foreign relations and how can the objectives that the government has set itself be implemented?

  • Dr. Bernadette Kalz, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Dr. Anna Mrozek, Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
  • Dr. Hannah Rau, Federal Foreign Office
  • Sarah Kohrt, Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation
  • Moderation: Helmut Metzner, LSVD

F 5: Multilateralism under fire

Multilateralism has (once again) come under fire: The current US administration is leaving the WHO and the UN Human Rights Council, Britain is leaving the EU and weakening its presence at UN level, Brazil is following suit and is withdrawing from the UN migration pact. All around, nationalism and populism are causing isolation. Where would the LGBTI movement stand? What would international human rights policy be without the UN, EU or Council of Europe?

  • Dr. Julia Ehrt, ILGA World
  • Dr. Lisa Heemann, Deutsche Gesellschaft für die Vereinten Nationen e.V.
  • Clemens Recker, Ständige Vertretung Deutschlands bei den Vereinten Nationen, Genf
  • Dr. Silke Voß-Kyeck, Human Rights Forum
  • Moderation: Nina Eschke, German Institute for Human Rights

F 6: Best practice & media

Do good and talk about it: There is support for LSBTI human rights defenders* in the Global South and Eastern Europe, and LSBTI projects are supported. But this support is not enough, neither at the front nor the back. And how are positive examples reported? Does the topic appear in the media or does it fall under the table? What does adequate reporting look like?

  • Dr. Martina Backes, Redaktion südnordfunk/Iz3w
  • Klaus Jetz, Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation
  • Dr. Bärbel Röben, journalist and media scientist
  • Sonja Schelper, filia, die Frauenstiftung
  • Moderation: Markus Ulrich, LSVD

6.30-6.50 pm - Flashlight II:
Short reports from the forums, Main theses and topics