Programme of the Conference

About the International Human Rights Conference

During 13 – 16 September 2022, EuroPride 2022 and Civil Rights Defenders will host the International Human Rights Conference.

The International Human Rights Conference will be the highlight of a diverse programme of human rights-oriented events during EuroPride. The Conference has been bringing together local and international politicians, public figures, and human rights defenders from all over the world annually since 2010. The Conference provides an opportunity to explore topics such hate crimes and hate speech, discrimination, marriage equality, and many others, with stakeholders participating in numerous sessions and lectures. In 2022 the Conference will serve as an opportunity to take part in dialogue with local and international politicians and decision makers on how they can contribute to strengthening equality and justice for LGBTI+ community. 2022 is a very special year for the local and regional LGBTI+ community, as Belgrade plays host to EuroPride.


The International Human Rights Conference will take place from September 13 to September 16, 2022, at Pride House (Belgrade Youth Centre - Dom omladine Beograda), 22 Makedonska Street, Belgrade.

Pride House will be split into four auditoriums: Arkadija, Dejan, Marsha and Virginia, and each will be hosting sessions during the International Human Rights Conference. The auditoriums are named after prominent local and international LGBTI+ activists and organizations, who we remember as brave pioneers who paved the road for future generations to come and, without whom, Pride would not be what it is today.

Each auditorium will be wheelchair accessible.

For the guide and description for each auditorium, click here.

Tuesday, 13 September

16:00 -17:00, Arkadija

Opening Remarks


  • Video message of Michael O'Flaherty, Director, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
  • Tobias Flessenkemper, Head of the Belgrade Office, Council of Europe
  • Goran Miletić, Director for Europe and MENA, Civil Rights Defenders
  • Emanuele Giaufret, EU Ambassador to Serbia
  • Petra de Sutter, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium
  • Francoise Jacob, UN Resident Coordinator

17:00 - 18:00, Arkadija

Welcoming Words by Ambassadors

Wednesday, 14 September

9:30 - 11:00, Arkadija

Plenary Session: Belgrade Pride, Two Decades Later

Belgrade Pride's initial effort to organise first parade in 2001 was very violently put down by right-wing organisations. The second effort in 2010 was with more success, but riots broke out all throughout the city as hundreds of anti-Pride protestors clashed with police. Since then, Belgrade Pride, with the help of several human rights organizations, has succeeded in overcoming security challenges and have successfully organised consecutive, safe prides since 2014 and Pride Week events since 2010.
EuroPride, a pan-European international LGBTI+ event taking place across all of Europe, is being held in Belgrade more than 20 years after the first Belgrade Pride parade. Event will take place for the first time in Southeast Europe, a region with a unique and turbulent history of LGBTI+ activism, and for the first time ever outside the EEA. This is a unique opportunity to look back on the progress that the LGBTI+ community in Serbia has made over the past 20 years. This session will engage local and regional activists, allies and friends who have supported Belgrade pride over the years.


  • Göran Stanton, Former Member of the European LGBTI+ Police Association
  • Xheni Karaj, Co-founder and Current Executive, Aleanca LGBT
  • Kevin Beaulieu, Former Director, Toronto Pride
  • Agata Milan Đurić, Artists and Activist, Director, Geten
  • Goran Miletić, Director for Europe and MENA, Civil Rights Defenders (moderator)

11:30 - 13:00, Arkadija

Plenary Session: Case Study from the West: Does the EU Ensure Equality, Diversity and Inclusion?

While progress in the EU was made towards LGBTI+ equality over the past years, discrimination against LGBTI+ people persist with many feeling discriminated against. There are significant differences in Member States, but the main premise of European Union is that everybody should feel safe and free without fear of discrimination or violence on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics. Some countries made better progress than others, in specific we will talk about Belgium and how the country reflected the concerns of LGBTI+ community and enabled safe environment and equal opportunities to prosper and fully participate in society for LGBTI+ people. Belgium is currently considered as one of the most progressive in Europe and in the world, when it comes to protection of LGBTI+ people.


  • Stephanie D'Hose, President of the Belgian Senate
  • Alexandre Stutzmann, Special Adviser to the President of the General Assembly, United Nations
  • Remy Bony, Executive Director of Forbidden Colours NPO (moderator)

14:00 - 15:30, Arkadija

Same-Sex Parenting Across Europe: What Difference does the Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Unions Make?

See more

14:00 - 15:30, Dejan

Western Balkans vs the EU: Ways of Tackling Discrimination through Institutional Mechanisms

See more

14:00 - 15:30, Marsha

Legal Protection of Intersex Persons across Europe

See more

14:00 - 15:30, Virginia

Online Dating, Security and Cyber Bullying - Staying Safe on the Internet

See more

16:00 - 17:30, Arkadija

Debunking the Myths of Asexuality with Yasmin Benoit

See more

16:00 - 17:30, Dejan

Creating Safe Spaces for LGTBI+ Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers - Perspectives from the Ground

See more

16:00 – 17:30, Marsha

Queer Theatre: How to tell a Story and Build Dialogue

See more

16:00 - 17:30, Virginia

LGBTI+ Activism in Turkey: Overcoming Oppression in the Fight for Equality

See more

Thursday, 15 September

9:30 – 11:00, Arkadija

Plenary Session: Solidarity in Times of War: The Queer Community of Ukraine

This session will be devoted to the queer communities in Ukraine underlying the fact that in times of war and displacement LGBTI+ people are even more vulnerable than in peacetime and are least protected group. There is great need to show solidarity and personal contribution at a time when so many LGBTI+ people are encountering hardships as a result of the war in Ukraine and pressure in the region. We will talk about efforts from the activists to build solidarity across world and highlight the importance of solidarity as mutual effort in challenging state actors and institutions in their practises in different countries.


  • Lenny Emson, Executive Director, Kyiv Pride
  • Sofiia Lapina, President, Ukraine Pride
  • Falko Droßmann, Member of the Bundestag, Speaker for LGBTIQ+ Rights in the SPD Parliamentary Group
  • Dragana Todorović, Executive Director, EL*C - EuroCentralAsian Lesbian* Community
  • Kateryna Makogon, Civil Rights Defenders (moderator)

11:30 – 13:00, Arkadija

Plenary Session: LGBTI+ Corporate Social Responsibility: Encouraging more Companies to Step Forward

When it comes to advocating for LGBTI+ rights and supporting LGBTI+ organizations, causes and Prides, private companies in Eastern Europe are still reluctant to take a risk and show these kinds of support. Examples of how Coca-Cola had to issue a public apology after a campaign in 2019 which included same sex couples sparked public outrage. In Western Europe, the situation is completely different – companies eagerly wait for June, when they can use Pride month to fully support LGBTI+ causes. That being said, this panel will include and give opportunities to representatives of Eastern European branches of big companies to discuss their future actions and ideas alongside activists from these countries.


  • Alex Black, Director of Marketing, Grindr
  • Ekaterina Egorova, CEO, IKEA South East Europe
  • Marijn Pijnenburg, Business Development Executive and Marketplace Diversity Leader, IBM
  • George Kopilashvili, Marketing Lead at Microsoft Central and Eastern Europe, and Worldwide Policy Director at GLEAM (LGBTQI+ ERG)
  • Anna Kasprzak – Vice President, Central and East Europe, Medtronic
  • Anna Magnard, Development Director, Civil Rights Defenders

14:00 – 15:30, Arkadija

The Signficance of Pride for Equality in the Balkans

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14:00 – 15:30, Dejan

Protecting Trans Youth throughout Europe: How far are we from Decent Healthcare and Legislature?

See more

14:00 – 15:30, Marsha

United in Solidarity: The Fight against the Oppression of Queer Persons and Women in Eastern Europe

See more

14:00 – 15:30, Virginia

Out and About (LGBTI+) SPORTS

See more

16:00 – 17:30, Arkadija

Religion, Sexuality and Activism: How Can they Coexist?

See more

16:00 – 17:30, Dejan

Tackling Multiple Discrimination within the Roma LGBTI+ Community

See more

16:00 – 17:30, Marsha

More than a Quota: Striving Towards LGBTI+ Workplace Equality

See more

16:00 - 17:30, Virginia

European LGBTI+ Police Association: Sensitizing Law Enforcement for LGBTI+ Equality

See more

Friday, 16 September

9:30 – 10:30, Arkadija

Combatting hate crime and speech in Europe: Tools to move forward

Hosted by the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights

On 12 November 2020, the European Commission unveiled its long-awaited ‘LGBTIQ Equality Strategy’. Following up on its commitment, the Commission published on 9 December 2021 a proposal for a Council decision to extend the list of Eurocrimes to ‘hate speech and hate crime’ in the European Union. The measure is pending unanimous approval in the Council of the EU, upon which it will require consent by the European Parliament. On 20 May 2022, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopted its Recommendation to Member States on combatting hate speech. The Recommendation calls on governments to develop comprehensive strategies to prevent and fight hate speech, including the adoption of an effective legal framework and implementing adequately calibrated and proportionate measures. The recommendation was prepared by the Committee on Anti-Discrimination, Diversity and Inclusion (CDADI), which currently also has a Committee of Experts on Hate Crime, tasked with producing a similar comprehensive Recommendation on that topic for publication in 2023. The momentum to address both hate crime and hate speech in international organisations is growing, but the cases of most success still come from Member States who adopted far-reaching measures to protect LGBTIQ persons from hatred, both online and offline. How can international organisations level the playing field? With this short roundtable within the framework of the Belgrade Pride, Members of the European Parliament will explore the current existent tools (or lack thereof) at supranational/intergovernmental and their capacity to fight hate speech and hate crime in Europe. The roundtable will bring together:

  • Members of the European Parliament’s LGBTI Intergroup
  • A representative from civil society (Civil Rights Defenders)
  • The current presidency of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, represented by the Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • The General Rapporteur on the rights of LGBTI persons at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Welcome Remarks by: Mark Angel MEP (S&D), LGBTI Intergroup co-chair
Panel Introduction by: Maria Walsh MEP (EPP), LGBTI Intergroup Vice-President.


  • Goran Miletic, Director for Europe and MENA, Civil Rights Defenders
  • Malin Björk MEP (Left) , LGBTI Intergroup Vice President
  • Christophe Lacroix, PACE General Rapporteur on the rights of LGBTI persons [online]
  • Maria Walsh MEP (EPP), LGBTI Intergroup Vice President (moderator)

10:35 – 11:35, Arkadija

The Role of Legislators, working on equality in Central and Eastern Europe

Hosted by Global Equality Caucus

The panel will highlight the work of legislators and politicians working for inclusion of the LGBTI+ Community in Eastern Europe with a strong presence of Western Balkan panelists.
Legislators and decision makers in government have the influence to change legislation and policy benefiting the LGBTI+ Community, under often difficult circumstances. It is important to highlight the importance of these mandates and the role of legislators in this process, but also the importance for activists to run for public office and take up mandates with decision making power. What moved our panelists to work in this field and what are the pitfalls and difficulties but also what are the successes? How can we nurture and train a future generation of LGBTI+ Community members and strong allies to pave a way forward, including our community and how do our panelists look at the future of the role of legislators and decision makers in this field?


  • Jovana Marovic, Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Montenegro and Minister for European Union Integration
  • Maja Morachanin, Member of the Parliament of North Macedonia and steering committee member of the Global Equality Caucus.
  • Mr. Eduard Odinets, Member of the Parliament of Estonia.
  • The Lord Herbert of South Downs, United Kingdom

12:00 – 13:00, Arkadija

Closing Remarks

Hosted by Civil Rights Defenders


  • Helena Dalli, EU Commissioner for Equality
  • Dunja Mijatovic, Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe
  • Gordana Comic, Minister for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, Serbia
  • Victor Madrigal-Borloz, United Nations Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (video message)
  • Jessica Stern. U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Persons (video message)

Members of the European Parliament:

  • Kim van Sparrentak, Member of the European Parliament (Netherlands)
  • Robert Biedron, Member of the European Parliament (Poland)
  • Cyrus Engerer, Member of the European Parliament (Malta)

Special Envoys:

  • Sven Lehmann, German Commissioner for the Acceptance of Sexual and Gender Diversity
  • Frabrizio Petri, Italian special envoy on sexual orientation and gender identity

National authorities:

  • Pascal Smet, Secretary of State of the Brussels-Capital Region, responsible for Urbanism and Heritage, European and International Relations, Foreign Trade and Fire fighting and Emergency medical Assistance
  • Senator Rene Cornier, Canadian Senate
  • Hanna Katrín Friðriksson, Member of Icelandic Parliament

Civil Society:

  • Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director, International Gay and Lesbian Association Europe
  • Anders Pettersson, Executive Director, Civil Rights Defenders

13:00 - 14:00

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