Canada to host Equal Rights Coalition Conference, focusing on advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights, in Vancouver, British Columbia

News release

August 3, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Canada will host the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) Global Conference on LGBTI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex] Human Rights and Inclusive Development in Vancouver from August 5 to 7, 2018. The conference will bring together ministers, government officials, civil society actors and activists from around the world seeking to build knowledge and networks and advance LGBTI human rights worldwide.

The conference will provide opportunities for collaboration among ERC member countries and other stakeholders. It will consist of panels, plenaries and a number of breakout sessions that will facilitate open conversations on how to advance LGBTI human rights.

The conference will conclude with a public panel at Simon Fraser University hosted by Randy Boissonnault, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2  [LGBT, queer and two-spirit] Issues, on the topic of Canada’s role in advancing LGBTQ2 human rights globally.


“Everyone deserves to live free of persecution and discrimination – no matter who they are or whom they love. Together with other ERC countries we will work to make that a reality by defending, supporting, and promoting LGBTQ2 rights worldwide.”

- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

“The Equal Rights Coalition is about full and equal enjoyment of human rights by LGBTI persons everywhere. It is about shared experiences of solidarity, resilience, and audacity. This conference brings together governments and civil society from over 80 countries to express shared values and reinforces our collective determination to move forward. Together, we can make LGBTI human rights for everyone a global reality.”

- Randy Boissonnault, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues

Quick facts

  • The ERC is the first-ever intergovernmental forum dedicated to the protection of the rights of LGBTI people. It consists of 39 member states, who work with a number of civil society organizations and international organizations. 

  • As of August 3, 2018, the ERC counts the following 39 members: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay. 

  • The ERC enables partners to work together to advance the LGBTI human rights agenda internationally, and to shape the development of a new kind of multilateral organization, one that is nimble and closely integrated with civil society.

  • In June 2017, Canada and Chile began two-year terms as co-chairs of the ERC. Since then, the two countries have strengthened the institution by expanding its membership and advancing issue-based work to promote LGBTI human rights and inclusive development in cooperation with civil society.

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Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

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