Equal Rights Coalition
Canada and Chile are co-chairs of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC)—the first-ever intergovernmental coalition dedicated to the protection of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people around the world. The ERC offers key opportunities both to advance this important human rights agenda internationally and to build a new kind of multilateral organization, one that is nimble, closely integrated with civil society and able to respond to rapidly evolving situations.
The ERC Global Conference is the only global conference of its kind in which states, development cooperation agencies, civil society, multilateral agencies and organizations, private donors and other relevant stakeholders come together with a shared commitment to advance LGBTI human rights and inclusive development. Building on the first ERC conference in Montevideo (2016) as well as past LGBTI conferences in Washington (2014), Berlin (2013) and Stockholm (2011), the Vancouver conference will continue to provide opportunities for high-level diplomatic engagement and working-level collaboration among ERC stakeholders.
This year’s conference will focus on the following objectives:
- Building knowledge (on global trends, gaps and best practices in advancing LGBTI human rights and inclusive development).
- Building networks (across states, development cooperation agencies, non-government organizations (NGOs), international organizations and other stakeholders).
- Building norms (to help further advance LGBTI human rights and inclusive development through diplomacy and development coordination).
August 7, 2018 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Global Affairs Canada
Canada will continue to fight for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit (LGBTQ2) and intersex persons.
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, concluded her participation at the Equal Rights Coalition Conference, which brought together participants from 80 countries to promote the rights of LGBTQ2 and intersex persons around the world.
During the conference, member countries adopted a series of concrete commitments, to ensure that LGBTQ2 and intersex human rights and inclusive development are advanced at the international level. During a signing ceremony at the end of the conference, Cyprus joined the ERC as its 40th member.
Canada will undertake various commitments to further promote the rights of LGBTQ2 and intersex persons at home and abroad. Those include targeted, proactive outreach and meaningful engagement with LGBTQ2 and intersex persons and their representative organizations to support the expansion of inclusive initiatives to advance their human rights and improve their socio-economic outcomes, especially in developing countries.
To further the aims of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, we are committed to identify strategies to better address the challenges that LGBTQ2 and intersex communities face.
Furthermore, through the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program, Canada will launch a call for project concepts with funding of up to a million dollars to address LGBTQ2 and intersex rights during violent conflict. This announcement’s aims are to protect LGBTQ2 and intersex people during conflict; to involve them in responses to conflict and stabilization; and, to stabilize post-conflict societies while advancing the rights of these communities.
“We know that there is more work to be done in supporting and advancing LGBTQ2 and intersex human rights. We will continue to work to defend and promote the rights of sexual minorities, all over the world.”
- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs
“Diversity and inclusion have been at the heart of this conference. Representatives of government and civil society from around the world will leave Vancouver and bring home new ideas, new perspectives and new approaches to advancing the human rights of LGBTQ2 and intersex persons everywhere.”
- Randy Boissonnault, M.P., Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 issues
The Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) is the first-ever intergovernmental forum dedicated to the protection of the rights of LGBTQ2 and intersex persons. It was launched in July 2016 under the leadership of Uruguay and the Netherlands at the Global LGBTI Human Rights Conference in Montevideo, Uruguay. The ERC advances the human rights of LGBTQ2 and intersex persons and promotes inclusive development in both member and non-member countries. With 40 member states, the ERC advances its agenda by engaging with civil society organizations, multilateral agencies, and activists from all over the world.
In June 2017, Canadian and Chilean foreign affairs ministers announced that Canada and Chile would co-chair the ERC for a two-year term.
The ERC Conference brought together participants from over 80 countries, representing member governments and a number of observer countries. During a signing ceremony at the conclusion of the conference, Cyprus joined the ERC as its 40th member.
Participants also represented international organizations and civil society groups from around the world with a focus on advancing LGBTQ2 and intersex human rights in all countries, including those with discriminatory laws and restrictive political environments.