Vancouver to host international conference on protecting and advancing LGBT rights and inclusion

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      Organizations from around the world are set to gather in Vancouver for a global conference on LGBT rights and inclusion.

      In a statement on Human Rights Day on December 10, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had announced that Canada would host this forthcoming conference.

      Leaving No One Behind: the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) Global Conference on LGBTI Human Rights and Inclusive Development will be held in Vancouver from August 5 to 7.

      The conference commences on the day that Vancouver Pride Week culminates with the 40th annual Vancouver Pride parade (August 5).

      The ERC is cochaired by Canada and Chile, which is the first intergovernmental coalition devoted to the international protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people, and consists of a network that includes 35 governments.

      The conference will be attended by non-government organizations (NGOs) from around the world, and attendance applications (which was overseen by LGBT Canadian human-rights organzation Egale Canada) closed in May.

      The Vancouver conference will build upon previous conferences, such as the first ERC conference in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 2016, and additional conferences in Stockholm, Sweden; Berlin, Germany; and Washington, D.C.

      This year's conference will cover areas such as global trends and how to increase progress in LGBT human rights; building networks that will include organizationss, development cooperation agencies, NGOs, states, and more; and developing norms that will increase LGBT human rights and inclusiveness.

      In Trudeau's statement on Human Rights Day, he referred to the historic federal apology for the systemic oppression, discrimination, and unjust convictions of queer Canadians and what was called the "Gay Purge", in which the Canadian government targeted civil servants who were thought to be LGBT.

      He also made reference to legislation passed Bill C-16 in June 2017 to protect Canadians from discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

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