LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey


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ERA Annual Conference 2018 - Against all odds We Claim the Future

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ERA Annual Conference 2018 - Against all odds We Claim the Future
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ERA’s Annual General Assembly is the biggest LGBTI event organized in the region since 2015. The conference is a lobby, advocacy, capacity building and visibility event which brings together more than 160 participants from across the region, Europe and beyond. LGBTI activists, state officials (governments, Parliaments, equality bodies etc.), donors, researchers, journalists, diplomatic community, representatives of international organizations and members of the local community attend the event.  

The ERA Annual Conference 2018 was held in Skopje on 3-6 October. The event was planned and implemented in close partnership with ERA’s member organisations in Macedonia: LGBTI Support Centre, Macedonian Helsinki Committee, Subversive Front, Coalition Margins and HERA. The conference was held in close cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of Macedonia and the Inter-Party Working Group of the Parliament of Macedonia for LGBTI Rights. 

ERA’s conference was financially supported by the European Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Macedonia and the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of the Republic of Macedonia.  


Main objectives of this Annual Conference were to: 

  1. Increase political will and engagement of governments of Macedonia and the region on LGBTI rights; 
  2. Increase dialogue and cooperation between state institutions and other stakeholders of the region with LGBTI organizations and activists; 
  3. Increase dialogue among LGBTI organizations in the Western Balkans and Turkey region; 
  4. Strengthen capacities of LGBTI activists on important topics;
  5. Contribute to an increased and improved visibility and position of LGBTI people in Macedonia; 

In addition, the Conference Organizing Committee (with strong emphasis on the needs and priorities of the Macedonian LGBTI movement, decided on the following specific objectives as thematic and strategic focus of the conference: 

  1. Secure and improve engagement of state institutions – both in Macedonia and other countries of the region on:
    1. Access to education;by increasing engagement of Ministry of Education and Science of Macedonia on the LGBTI topic with regards to equality and safety in the school environment, revision of homophobic and transphobic school books and curricula, addressing violence and bullying etc.; 
    2. Legal Gender Recognition, in order to ensure safe and accessible legal recognition of gender.
    3. Regional cooperationby pushing for an Increased engagement and role of the Republic of Macedonia (cooperation with Regional Intergovernmental Platform, Council of Europe, Membership in the European LGBTI Focal Points Network etc.) which are also optimal platforms for policy reform and government initiatives; 
  2. Improve dialogue and cooperation of state institutions with LGBTI organizations; 
  3. Address issues faced by the LGBTI communities across the region particularly: 
    1. Access to Justice (protection from violence and discrimination) improved legal services; 
    2. Access to crucial services (education, health, economic empowerment);
    3. Improved public perceptions towards LGBTI people; 




This report has been produced with the financial assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The content of this report is the sole responsibility of the authors and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of either the USAID, the United States Government, or other agencies mentioned in this report.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the United Nations, including UNDP, or the UN Member States.



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The content of the website is the sole responsibility of ERA and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union."