Global LGBT Rights: Opportunities and Challenges in Sri Lanka

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Event Date
04-05-2016 6:00 pm
Event End Date
04-05-2016 9:00 pm

Event Description:

The UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group and the Bar Human Rights Committee invite you to a special event to explore the situation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) around the world with a special focus on Sri Lanka and the role the UK Government can play in promoting LGBT rights. At least 75 countries continue to criminalise homosexuality with 40 of the 53 member states of the Commonwealth using legislation inherited from the British Empire. In Sri Lanka, homosexual acts are punishable by up to ten years imprisonment. In 2015, and after three decades of civil war, a new administration was elected and raised the possibility of a radical change in leadership including progress in equality for LGBT people. Join us to meet leading Sri Lankan activists Rosanna Flamer-Caldera and Aritha Wickramasinghe. We will also explore how the UK can best work to promote LGBT rights globally with Lord Cashman and Paul Dillane. Rosanna Flamer-Caldera is an internationally respected activist based in Sri Lanka. Active in LGBT rights since her time living in San Francisco in the 1970s, she is the executive director of EQUAL GROUND, a non-profit organisation to advocate for human rights and equality for LGBT Sri Lankans. Rosanna has served as the co-secretary general of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) and is chair of the Commonwealth Equality Network. Aritha Wickramasinghe is a Sri Lankan activist and an associate lawyer at K&L Gates. Prior to becoming a finance lawyer, Aritha worked at the Chambers of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Tanzania. Aritha has spearheaded a number of initiatives and pro bono projects promoting equality, human rights and specifically LGBT rights. Aritha was ranked #1 in the Financial Times 2015 Top 30 Global LGBT Future Leaders list. Lord Michael Cashman is one of the UK’s leading LGBT and equality activists. A former actor, he was a founder of Stonewall and a Member of the European Parliament between 1999 and 2014. In 2014, Michael was appointed to the House of Lords and is the Labour Party's special envoy on LGBT issues worldwide. He is vice-president of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global LGBT Rights. Paul Dillane is the executive director of the UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG), a human rights charity dedicated to supporting LGBT asylum seekers and refugees. Formerly of Amnesty International UK, Paul is a specialist in the protection of people fleeing persecution on account of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Chair: Kirsty Brimelow QC is chairwoman of the Bar Human Rights Committee and a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. The event will be followed by a reception with wine and canapes generously sponsored by Mayer Brown LLP. Organisers: UKLGIG is a human rights charity dedicated to supporting, and promoting the rights of, LGBT asylum seekers and refugees. UKLGIG provides specialist services to people fleeing persecution on account of their sexual orientation and gender identity and campaigns to promote the human rights of LGBT people globally. The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) is the international human rights arm of the Bar of England and Wales. It is dedicated to promoting justice and respect for human rights through the rule of law.

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