The Summit on Refugees, Borders and Immigration will take place in the city of Malmö, Sweden. Malmö can be reached taking a short 25-minute train over one of Europe’s most famous bridges, the Øresund Bridge which is connecting Denmark and Sweden. The theme of the Summit falls within the topic Borders, Decolonialization and Racism, one of the 10 topics of the
Human Rights Forum, described in the executive summary to this concept note.
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.
Although the Summit is taking place in Malmö, the focus of the event itself is international and will target transnational situations. In close cooperation with executive partners Rainbow Railroad, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch with the strong support of regional organizations working with the LGBTI+ refugee community, we are aiming for an inclusive event, covering contemporary situations and discussions. We aim for a diverse range of speakers and participants existing out of individuals with lived experiences (mainly refugees), activists, elected officials from different parts of the world, government ministers from the Nordic region and officials from international organizations.
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. Dedicating a full day to the topic will create space for in-depth exchanges and discussions.
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Image: LGBT Asylum at Copenhagen Pride. Copyright LGBT Asylum, Denmark.