LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Sofia 2022

This year’s conference will take place in the city where the original 2020 conference had been planned, the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, from 19-22 October 2022. Add the dates to your diaries!

We look forward to being welcomed by our host organisations in Sofia, Bilitis Resource Center Foundation, GLAS Bulgaria Foundation, and Youth LGBT Organisation Devstvie. They have waited since 2019, when our conference was first planned in Sofia, so we are very happy and excited to work with them at last.

Although many of the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted in many countries, at this point in time there is no telling how the virus and government responses will progress in the coming months. Despite such unpredictability, we are committed to offering a much needed in-person space this year for our movement. In this light, ILGA-Europe’s utmost responsibility will be to ensure the health and safety of participants, while making the event as accessible and interactive as possible.

In light of uncertainties, to comply with potential restrictions that might be in place at the time of the event and avoid a full or partial cancellation, we will have to limit the number of people physically present to 300.

What does that imply? The conference this year will be exclusively open to:

  • Representatives of ILGA-Europe member organisations
  • Representatives of LGBTI organisations working in Europe and Central Asia
  • Allies of the LGBTI movement in Europe and Central Asia (institutions, funders)  

ILGA-Europe is comprised of over 600 members from 54 countries. To ensure that as many groups and organisations as possible with different profiles, approaches and focuses are represented, we will put in place further limitations and adjustments to our registration and scholarship processes.

  • A strict maximum of two participants per organisation will be able to attend the conference, regardless if they are paying participants or scholars. Furthermore, we ask organisations who have been represented by large delegations in the past to delegate only one person, if possible.
  • The total number of participants will be around 300, out of which over 140 will be covered by ILGA-Europe, through the scholarship programme and other means.
  • SAVE THE DATE: Registration will open on June 1, 2022. The earlier you register, the more likely it is that you will be able to attend.
  • The period of applications for scholarships will also open on June 1, 2022. Further information on how to apply will follow in due course.
  • To ensure a smooth organising process and a more flexible cancellation policy registration will strictly close on August 1, 2022. Should the participation cap be reached earlier, you will still be able to register on a waiting list.
  • We will also assess which groups and organisations are not or under-represented. To ensure a diverse and balanced participation, we may award additional scholarships or approve registrations from the waiting lists.

Not every organisation’s delegates will be able to attend the Annual Conference this year. We will strive to be as fair and transparent as possible in the decision-making. We will prioritise those who do not usually get opportunity to attend and those, whose attendance will contribute the most to benefit the LGBTI movement in Europe and Central Asia.

We recommend putting the registration date in your diary, and registering as early as possible! There will be no possibility for last minute registration. Cancellation of paying participants will be possible and fully refundable until mid-September (date to be confirmed).

While we do not have the resources and expertise to organised a fully-fledged hybrid conference, we will offer parts of the programme online to those who may not be able to join in-person. Our AGM portion will however be hybrid, so that representatives of the membership who can’t attend in person, are still able to participate in the governance of ILGA-Europe.

We look forward to meeting with as many of you as is possible this coming October in Sofia, and making our first in-person conference in three years an event that will bolster, enhance and benefit the work of our passionate and dedicated movement at a time when the work for democracy and equality in our region is of paramount importance. And just as much, we look forward to facilitating the need for all of us to reconnect, to inspire each other and get that renewed sense of solidarity, energy and togetherness that is so needed for our work.

Watch this space!