Human Rights Forum

The Copenhagen 2021 Human Rights Forum is an international LGBTI+ experience consisting of multiple high-level events and a broader program open to the public

Human Rights Forum

Human rights should be at the core of all LGBTI+ events. That’s why Copenhagen 2021 will feature several human rights-focused events to push our agenda of equality and diversity forward.

The diversity and aim of our different events create opportunities to target different groups within and outside our community, including politicians, activists, media, government officials and the general public, and bring them together to create awareness, understanding and give everybody the possibility to broaden their horizons and take action.

Watch our Director of Human Rights introduce the Human Rights Forum (also available in French and Spanish). You can also download the full Concept Note for the Human Rights Forum.

Official Opening in the UN City

The Official Opening of the Human Rights Forum will take place in UN City on Monday 16 August. The opening event is organized in collaboration with UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency and coordinated with other UN entities. Around 250 participants will be welcomed in the lobby areas of UN City Copenhagen for an inspirational fair before the official ‘kick-off’ of the Human Rights Forum in the UN City auditorium. The event will have speeches from dignitaries and discussion of dilemmas faced by the LGBTI+ community in obtaining basic human rights; real-life challenges to the goal of ‘leaving no one behind’ of the Sustainable Development Goals. Activists, experts, the UN and civil society will be represented in the debates.

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Human Rights Conference

The three-day Human Rights Conference, from Tuesday 17 until Thursday 19 August in Copenhagen, Denmark. The conference focuses on the global LGBTI+ situation and is organized for, by, and with the diverse global LGBTI+ community.

This conference will explore and discuss the challenges and lives of the diverse community. The conference will start with a plenary day, inviting 2000 participants to witness high-level speeches, panels and discussions followed by two full days of break-out sessions for 1200 participants that will have discussions based on the 10 topics. The conference will end with a closing and feedback ceremony.

We believe that partnering with experts from our international community is essential to giving this conference legitimacy and in making sure that the contents of the program is of high quality.

We find representation from regions where LGBTI+ rights remain under increasing pressure to be pivotal, and we encourage every activist and scholar around the globe to join us in Copenhagen 2021.

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1:1 Democracy Festival

The 1:1 Democracy Festival, inspired by the Scandinavian ‘Peoples Meeting’ (Folkemødet) will run during all five days of the Human Rights Forum from Monday 16to Friday 20 August. This event will take place in front of the Øksnehallen conference center, the venue for the Human Rights Conference. During this event we will invite the general public to come and go into discussions with community members, politicians and activists and talk about human rights. Two large tents will provide space for debates, panels and workshops and there will be an important presence of civil society organizations hosted in various smaller tents. Although a strong focus on the LGBTI+ cause, we cannot talk about inclusion, acceptation and discrimination without involving and inviting other minority groups to the square to actively participate. Furthermore, culture, as an important form of expression, will be programmed on a stage, located on the square.

The festival will be an example of the approachable political culture that we enjoy in Denmark. The aim is to bring participants at eye level with our community’s prominent activists and policy and decisions makers from all over the world, as well as opening the doors for the public to learn more.

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Interparliamentary Plenary Session

Global Interparliamentary Plenary Assembly, On Friday 20 August will invite up to 220 elected officials from all over the world to gather for an LGBTI+ Global Interparliamentary Plenary Assembly at Christiansborg Palace, the seat of the Danish Parliament. The attending elected officials, coming from diverse ideologies, regions, backgrounds and beliefs, will make this event an impactful learning and networking experience. In collaboration with our executive partners, we aim for inclusion of elected officials from every continent.

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Refugees, Borders and Immigration Summit

The Refugees, Borders and Immigration Summit will take place in Malmö, Sweden on Friday 20 August. Malmö is located just a short train ride over one of the most famous bridges in Europe that connects centuries-old Scandinavian partners, Denmark and Sweden. Around 400 activists, politicians and other interested people will discuss the challenges and situation of LGBTI+ Immigration, Borders and Refugees in the region, on the continent, and in the world. This event is the official closing event of the Human Rights Forum.

The Human Rights Forum will end with a closing session in Malmö where the participants will go even deeper into a topic or two discussed at the conference. The Malmö session provides an extra opportunity to highlight the important agenda of Copenhagen 2021.

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Executive partner organisations

The five events taking place during the Human Rights Forum will be delivered in close collaboration with our 12 official executive partners with whom we signed Memoranda of Understanding to outline and shape the collaboration.

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If you have questions about the Human Rights Forum or any of our human rights programming, please email us.

Reach out!

Need more details? Contact us by phone, email or social media. We’d love to hear from you!


Through debates, workshops, panels, and conversations we will change the hearts and minds of people to create a more inclusive world. That's why we say: #YouAreIncluded