Refugees, Borders & Immigration Summit

Activists and politicians will discuss challenges regarding refugees, borders and immigration, both physically and digitally.

Refugees, Borders & Immigration Summit

The Refugees, Borders and Immigration Summit will take place in the city of Malmö, Sweden. The theme of the Summit falls within the topic Borders, Decolonialization and Racism, one of the 10 topics of the Human Rights Forum.

The event will have an international focus and target transnational situations. It will discuss the intersectional needs and vulnerabilities of LGBTQIA+ refugees and forcibly displaced people with a focus on the search for sustainable solutions to issues that arise in this field. 

It has gathered a broad participatory audience both digitally and physically. We have confirmed participants ranging from experts in this field, politicians, high level actors, people with lived experience as LGBTQIA+ refugees and forcibly displaced people and activists in this field. The event will be held in English and interpreted into 21 other languages using worldly text translation services, this includes Spanish, French and Swedish.   

The program is planned in close collaboration with executive partners Rainbow Railroad, ORAM Refugee, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International with strong support from regional organizations working with the LGBTQIA+ refugee community and the UNHCR. We are aiming for an inclusive event, covering contemporary situations and discussions, putting people with lived experiences at the center. 

The summit will cover topics such as displacement drivers, pathways, arrival at the destination country, the asylum seeking process and resettlement, also including networking opportunities.  

Co-hosts of the summit are the Swedish LGBTQIA+ policy expert Ulrika Westerlundx and Alice Bah Kuhnke, Swedish member of the European Parliament and former Swedish Minister of Culture and Democracy.  

We recognize that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will have an influence on Copenhagen 2021. Therefore, we have ensured a digital solution to make sure that participants that cannot travel, can participate virtually. The digital platform is InvitePeople and we have worked to maintain the interactive summit aspects online as well as in person. There will be networking cafes and chat features for those joining us from different locations around the world. 

As the summit is a full day program, we expect participants to be arriving one or multiple days earlier. For that reason, there will be an official pre-summit program taking place on Thursday 19 August 2021, with opportunities to deepen one’s knowledge and awareness about and also meet with others dedicated to these topics.  This will also be live streamed. The pre-summit programme can be found here and you can search with the event names on InvitePeople where they will be streamed. 

Immigration is a subject which generates significant public debate all over the world, including in Denmark and Sweden. These discussions are often seen as separate from discussions about LGBTI+ inclusion. LGBTI+ immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees are often marginalized in discussions about the challenges facing the LGBTI+ community. This summit will take a triple tiered approach to the topic with three different knowledge tracks running simultaneously throughout the day ensuring inclusivity as we welcome people with different knowledge levels to dedicate themselves to this topic for a day of immersive learning and discussion.


Malmö is home to 184 nationalities that create the diverse and international DNA of the city. Copenhagen 2021 and Malmö Pride decided to organize the Summit in Malmö because of its long history of immigration and resettlement, which bring with it both challenges and opportunities.

When World War II ended, the Swedish Red Cross and the Danish government drove survivors from concentration camps through Denmark to Malmö in the well-known white buses. Survivors of the holocaust found refuge in the 15th century castle Malmöhus.

Furthermore, numerous people fled the former Yugoslavia during the last Balkan Wars and found their new home in Sweden. In the last decade, thousands of Syrian people had to flee their home country because of war, and many relocated to Sweden. Most people arrived in Malmö where, with great effort, civil society worked together with authorities and other organizations helping refugees to resettle.

Tickets and registration

Participation in the physical and digital summit costs 500 SEK and 300 SEK, respectively.

Please do inquire if your organisation does not have the funds but would like to ensure your staff are able to get the unique training that this summit will provide. 

Digital participation: Register here
Digital ticket registration will close 48 hours before the event starts. Email if you need help after this time.

Physical participation: Register here

If you have any other questions, always feel free to reach out to our Interim Executive Producer Zoë Smith at

Summit Partners

Sign Language Interpretation


Discussion Paper on LGBTIQ+ Persons in Forced Displacement and Statelessness

Summary Conclusions of the 2021 Global Roundtable on Protection and Solutions for LGBTIQ+ People in Forced Displacement

Speakers include
  • Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Victor Madrigal-Borloz, UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Eliza Reid, the First Lady of Iceland
  • Carina Nilsson, Mayor of Malmö
  • Ryan Joseph Figueiredo, Founder and Executive Director for Equal Asia Foundation
  • Eirene Chen, independent Specialist, SOGIESC Forced Displacement
  • Kimahli Powell, Executive Director of Rainbow Railroad
  • Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency
  • Danilo Manzano, Director of the Diverse Dialogue Organization
  • Justin Hilton, Founder Safe Place International and Safe Place Greece
  • Steve Roth, Executive Director of ORAM – Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration
  • Dr. S. Chelvan, Head of Immigration and Public Law, 33 Bedford Row Chambers
  • Vanilla Hussien, Refugee Trans Initiative
  • Devon Matthews, Director of Programs at Rainbow Railroad
  • Mariano Ruiz, Project Coordinator at Fundación AMAL Argentina
  • Aino Gröndahl, Lawyer, specialized in SOGIESC asylum law
  • Wilson Tasurarira, PASSOP Programmes Manager
  • Miriam Gleckman-Krut, Sociology PhD candidate at the University of Michigan

Partners and Sponsors

See the full list of Partners and Sponsors