Conference Speakers 2014

Dragana Todorović



Dragana Todorović is a lobbying and advocacy consultant working for Labris – organization for lesbian human rights, Serbia. Within the Labris’ Department for Lobbying and Advocacy, Dragana is focused on influencing processes that lead towards better implementation of existing laws and by-laws, as well as on advocating for the adoption of new legislation.

Dragana holds a BA in Politics and International Relations and an MA in Gender Studies. Prior to Labris, Dragana Todorovic has worked for the Gender Equality Institute of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and for the Guarantee Fund of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina.

Timm Köhler


Graduated in Russian and Eastern European Studies from Universities in Berlin and Birmingham/UK and has since been working in civil society contexts such as in Germany, Russia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. 2010-2014, Timm is managing the “Stop Hate Crime!” funding program by the German Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (Foundation EVZ). The “Stop Hate Crime!” program is supporting monitoring racist, homophobic and other hate crimes as well as the legal and psycho-social support for their survivors in Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Poland.

Welcome speech summary

Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (Foundation EVZ) is proud to co-fund the conference. In remembrance of the victims of National Socialist injustice, the Foundation upholds its commitment to the survivors and works to promote human rights and understanding between peoples. The Foundation EVZ is an expression of the continuing political and moral responsibility of the German state, the private sector and society as a whole for National Socialist injustice and towards the victims.

In its section “working for human rights,” Foundation EVZ internationally advocates for people, who in the past and today fall victim to so-called hate crimes on grounds of ethnicity, skin color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and commitment for human rights.

Meho Omerović



He is a Member of Parliament, Chairperson of the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Member of the Committee on Security Services Control, Member of the Serbian Delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Chairperson of the Commission for Control of Execution of Criminal Sanctions.

He has graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Political Science – International Relations Department in 1983. He has been a Member of Parliament of the Republic of Serbia since 2001. Mr. Omerovic is a member of the Social-Democratic Party of Serbia.

Key note speech summary (September 12, 9:15 – 9:45)

The National Assembly and its parliamentary committees will play a noteworthy role during the EU membership negotiations of the Republic of Serbia. The Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality will dedicate special attention to the issues of human rights and freedoms and the rights of LGBT persons. The LGBT persons in Serbia are still facing considerable challenges regarding their safety, discrimination, and violation of dignity, and therefore, these are the issues that will be in the focus of the Committee’s work. In performing its duties, the Committee will closely cooperate with the Ombudsperson’s Office and other independent institutions, as well as civil society organisations working on the protection of the rights of LGBT persons.

Terry Reintke



She is a Member of the European Parliament, elected 2014 at the age of 27. She belongs to the Greens/EFA Group and is a member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, as well as the Committee on Regional Development.

She stands for a Europe that offers prospects for young people in all fields of life that should allow for a free life, equal participation, and social security. In the European Parliament she particularly puts herself out for better prospects for young people on the employment market and the combat against youth unemployment, especially in Southern Europe. Furthermore, she pushes for gender equality, more progressive antidiscrimination policies, the recognition of new family models, and the support of queer movements all over Europe.

Terry was born and raised in Gelsenkirchen and studied political science in Berlin and Edinburgh. She started getting interested in politics at the age of 14 and became an activist of the Young Greens in Germany and the Federation of Young European Green whose spokesperson she was from 2011 to 2013.

Key note speech (September 12, 9:15 – 9:45)

Panel 5: Political Participation of LGBT Persons (September 13, 14:30 – 16:00)

Christoph Strässer


Photo: (Susie Knoll / Florian Jänicke)


Born in 1949 in Velbert, studied law in Münster. Starting in 1982 he worked as a self-employed lawyer and was politically active in the Free Democratic Party (FDP), before joining the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in 1984. Between 1993 and 2007 he was Chairman of the Social PD in Münster.

Since 2002 he has served as a Member of the German Bundestag for the Münster constituency. From 2010 to 2014 he was deputy head of the German delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and since 2010 he has headed the SPD Parliamentary Group’s discussion group on Africa. He became a Member of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid of the German Bundestag and until 2014 acted as spokesman for the SPD Parliamentary Group’s working group on human rights and humanitarian aid. In 2014 he became Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid.

Key note speech summary (September 12, 9:15 – 9:45)

Mr. Straesser will talk about „Human Rights and LGBTI in German Foreign Affaires“

Zorica Mršević



Zorica Mršević, (PhD in law) currently is the senior research fellow in Belgrade based Institute of social sciences. She was Serbia’s Deputy Ombudsman for gender equality from 2008. till 2011.

She was visiting professor at the Law School of the University of Iowa and at the CEU’s Department for Gender Studies. Within domain of her research work are topics related to gender equality, gender based violence, anti discrimination measures, rights of the LGBT people, etc.

Dr Mrsevic is the author of twenty three books and more than 300 scientific articles published in Serbia and abroad.

History of Homosexuality in the Balkans – Key note lecture summary (September 12, 9:45 – 10:15)

Axel M. Hochrein



Born in 1963 in Würzburg / Bavaria, was the deputy national chairmen of the Lesbian and Gay Union (LSU) from 2001 until 2009, has been a member of the national board of the LSVD (Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany) since 2003, where he has been responsible for diverse national-wide campaigns by the federation. In 2007, he was one of the original donors to the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation – a Foundation for the Human Rights of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender People – and has been a member of the foundation’s board since then. Since 2012, he has represented the LSVD in the board of trustees of the National Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation (established in 2011 by the Federal Republic of Germany). A holder of a degree in business administration and entrepreneur, he lives now with his husband Andreas in Gerbrunn.

Lessons from History: Prosecution of LGBT people in Germany – Key note lecture summary (September 12, 10:15 – 10:45)

It is only 20 years away, that prosecution of LGBT-people in Germany ended. Article 175 of the penal code has prevented for over 120 years a free and self-determined live for gays and lesbians in Germany. After that horrifying period the LGBT-Community in Germany succeeded great steps in its fight toward equal rights in the last twenty years. But we are still facing discriminatory treatment in our country.

Antje Rothemund



Antje Christa Rothemund was born in 1963. She started her tenure as Head of Council of Europe Office Belgrade, Serbia in 2011. Since 1991, Ms. Rothemund has served within the Council of Europe in various capacities. This includes serving previously as Executive Director for the European Youth Centre Budapest; first permanent service of the Council of Europe in CEE and Directorate General for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

Before her engagement with the Council of Europe, she was Programme Executive for the European Region of World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in London. Ms. Rothemund also served as Executive Officer for Cultural Programmes City of Munich for the Municipal Youth Service in Germany.

Throughout her career she was involved and initiated programmes and projects in the field of anti-discrimination.

LGBT people in Europe: Opportunities and Challenges for the Balkans – Plenary Sessions (September 12, 11:15 – 12:15)

Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg


Photo: Anđela Stevanović/NOVOSTI


Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, was born on 20 August 1954. He currently serves as the Ambassador of Norway to Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. Before these appointments, Ambassador Kamsvåg held the position of Deputy Director General for the section on West Balkan Affairs in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Originally joining the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1981, Ambassador Kamsvåg has served the MFA in various capacities. From 2005 to 2006, Ambassador Kamsvag was a Project Manager within Crisis Management division of Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Between 2003 and 2005 he served as a Norwegian Representative to the Palestinian Authority, Al Ram. For two years Mr. Kamsvag served as Ambassador for Middle East and North African Affairs. Ambassador Kamsvåg also previously held the position of Minister Counsellor for the Norwegian Embassy in Beijing. For three years, Kamsvåg worked as a Counsellor in the Norwegian Delegation to the European Union, Bruxelles. Ambassador Kamsvåg was appointed Head of the Information Division within the the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, serving in this position from 1993 to 1994.

In other service within the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Kamsvåg worked as the Secretary of the Norwegian Embassy in Beirut and Secretary of the Norwegian Embassy in Rome, before becoming the Senior Executive Officer in the Political Department of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Outside of his work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Kamsvåg worked as director of public affairs for Norsk Hydro between 1990-1993.

Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg holds an MA in ​H​istory from the University of Oslo. Ambassador Kamsvåg is married and has 4 children.

LGBT people in Europe: Opportunities and Challenges for the Balkans – Plenary Sessions (September 12, 11:15 – 12:15)

Laurent Lois Stokvis



Mr. Laurent Louis Stokvis MA was born on 14 April 1950 in Jakarta. He works for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as of 1975. In the period between 2002 and 2006 he was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Slovak Republic. Between 2006 and 2010, he worked as Director in the Directorate for the Western Hemisphere.

He has been appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Serbia in September 2010. He is married and has one child.

LGBT people in Europe: Opportunities and Challenges for the Balkans – Plenary Sessions (September 12, 11:15 – 12:15)

Michael D. Kirby



Michael D. Kirby assumed the position of U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia on September 19, 2012, after serving as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs in Washington, D.C. Prior to holding this position in Washington, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova. He is a career Foreign Service Consular Officer with more than 30 years of service in the State Department. Ambassador Kirby has served in South Korea, Poland, Germany, the former Soviet Union, Denmark, Tanzania, and Guyana.

LGBT people in Europe: Opportunities and Challenges for the Balkans – Plenary Sessions (September 12, 11:15 – 12:15)

Luca Bianconi



Italian diplomat seconded to the EEAS as Head of the political section at the EU Delegation in Belgrade since September 2012.
Previously worked as Deputy Head of Mission at the Italian Embassies in Helsinki, Finland and Sana’a, Yemen, Head of Political Section at the Italian Embassy in the Hague, the Netherlands and Consul at the Italian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.

LGBT people in Europe: Opportunities and Challenges for the Balkans – Plenary Sessions (September 12, 11:15 – 12:15)

Zsuzsanna Iricsek

zsuzsanna_ iricsek


She (born 24 January 1987) made her academical studies on the fields of economy and liberal arts. Being inspired by the economical and theoretical aspects of contemporary art, organisational development and social procecces led her to work as an art critic and cultural manager on an international level.

Due to the daily and systematic discrimination and oppression she experienced as a lesbian woman she became a human rights activist at the beginning of 2013, when she joined Budapest Pride. The Budapest based LGBTQ organisation is working from a feminist and anti-racist perspective, making essential steps forward in community building, social sensitization and political lobbying through the various cultural events, talks, political meetings and demonstrations organised during the year (just as the annual Budapest Pride Festival, the Budapest Pride LGBTQ Film Festival and the Pride March). The Pride March is not only the most visible LGBTQ event at Hungary, but it also became an important demonstrational platform for a wider, wounded civil sphere in the recent years.

Do Anti-discrimination Policies Really Work? Plenary Sessions (September 12, 11:15 – 12:15)

Jovana Stopić



Jovana Stopić is working as a legal researcher for NGO Belgrade Centre for Human Rights. Two main topics of her interest are human rights and business and issues related of discrimination and rights of vulnerable groups including LGBT persons. She was an author and co-author of numerous reports on anti-discrimination legislation and policy in Serbia and was a member of the BCHR’s legal team in cases before the European Court of Human Rights and the Constitutional Court of Serbia, concerning equality and non-discrimination of LGBT persons.

Do Anti-discrimination Policies Really Work? Plenary Sessions (September 12, 11:15 – 12:15)

Her brief presentation will be focused on anti-discrimination guarantees in Serbian legislation and their application by Constitutional Court of Serbia, and the impact of its judgements on shaping antidiscrimination policies.

Goran Miletić



Goran Miletić has a Master of Laws from Belgrade University (Serbia) and a European Regional MA in Democracy and Human Rights (joint programme of the University of Sarajevo and the University of Bologna). He has previously worked for the Humanitarian Law Centre (HLC) in Belgrade (Serbia). During his work in HLC, Mr. Miletić dealt mainly with minority rights, including Roma, Albanians and Bosniaks.

Goran Miletić started working for the Civil Rights Defenders (former Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights) in 2004 as Programme Officer and later Human Rights Lawyer for the Western Balkans. His work includes co-operation and support of different human rights and minority NGOs from Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Macedonia. During his work he was particularly engaged in drafting and lobbying for adoption of inclusive anti-discrimination legislation in Western Balkan countries. He prepared and conducted numerous training sessions related to human rights, prohibition of torture, prison monitoring, advocacy, lobbying and monitoring of human and minority rights. Since 2011, he is Programme Director for the Western Balkans within Civil Rights Defenders.

During his work he prepared numerous reports, articles and lectures, and published in the region. His public appearance included thousand human rights related lectures and promotion and advocacy for human and minority rights as well as publishing of different analyses, articles and columns in major media in Serbia and the region. In 2010, Mr. Miletić becomes a candidate for the Equality Commissioner in Serbia, proposed by more than 250 organizations. He is member of European Commission of Sexual Orientation Law (ECSOL) and member of the Board of Heartefact Fund.

At the moment, finalizing PhD thesis at Law school University Union, Belgrade, with subject of discrimination in civil proceedings.

Do Anti-discrimination Policies Really Work? Plenary Sessions (September 12, 11:15 – 12:15)

Saša Gavrić



Saša graduated from the Faculty of Political Science in Konstanz, Germany in 2007, and gained his masters degree in international relations and diplomacy at the University of Sarajevo. From 2005 to 2011 he worked in the Goethe Institute. Together with his colleagues he founded Sarajevo Open Centre, an organization he still runs. He has published a great number of journalistic works and professional and scientific articles and has edited numerous books. He is researching the political systems of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is very interested in human rights and cultural policies.

Do Anti-discrimination Policies Really Work? Plenary Sessions (September 12, 11:15 – 12:15)

Anti-discrimination laws in the Western Balkans region have not brought any significant change related to the LGBT rights. Institutions still don´t implement any actions proactively. In order to move from de-jure prohibition of discrimination to de-facto equality we need to have anti-discrimination policies that will force the state to act proactively and not to wait that discrimination cases happen.

Marko Juričić



He is co-founder and coordinator of Zagreb Pride where he has been working on projects related to combating discrimination and public advocacy.

Do Anti-discrimination Policies Really Work? Plenary Sessions (September 12, 11:15 – 12:15)

Marko has been involved in LGBTIQ activism in Croatia since 2002, when he was 18 years old and has had since experienceing lobbing for hate-crime legislation, Immigrant Law, Life-Partnership Act and the implementation of the anti-discrimination provision of Croatian legal system. He has also taken part in drafting LGBT policy of the National policy for Gender Equality (2011 – 2015) and Life-Partnership Act (2013).

Danijel Kalezić



He is one of the first publicly visible gay man in Montenegro and one of the leading LGBTIQ Human Rights activists. He is working on promotion and protection of human rights of LGBTIQ people since 2009. He was coordinator on the program for promotion and protection of Human Rights in NGO Juventas from 2009 until 2013. In November 2010 together with other LGBTIQ people from Montenegro he founded an LGBTIQ atavistic group “Queer Birgade”. Since 2013 he is the president of the newly established Montenegrin LGBTIQ Association “Queer Montenegro” who organized the first Pride Rally in Capital city of Podgorica “Montenegro Pride” in October 2014 and who are preparing the second „Montenegro Pride Rally 2014″ that will be organized this year.

Do Anti-discrimination Policies Really Work? Plenary Sessions (September 12, 11:15 – 12:15)

Lazar Pavlović



Lazar Pavlović was born in 1980 in Zajecar and he is a member of Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) since 2006. He was a member of GSA Executive Committee until 2010, when he becomes an Acting President. He was a member of GSA team for dialogue with parliamentary political parties and government institutions. Also, he was a member of Organizing Committee of Pride Parade 2010, being in charge for public relations.

He participated in most of the GSA projects as Programme Officer, as well as in production of all GSA Annual Reports. Through many contacts with LGBT community, he contributed greatly to membership expansion. He tirelessly advocates GSA activities and results via social networks and internet campaigns.

During 1998, he was a coordinator of New Democracy political party youth in the Zajecar region. During 2000, he was actively involved in Belgrade ‘OTPOR (RESISTANCE)’, and he’s been arrested twice during street actions against Milosevic’s regime.

LGBT Path to the Institutions: Sectoral LGBT Anti-discrimination Policies Panel 4 (September 13, 14:00 – 16:00)

Imke Duplitzer



Born in 1975 in Karlsruhe Germany. Started fencing 1986 and participated in five Olympic Games. She won several medals at World and European championships and Olympic Games. Diplome coaching of the German Olympic Sport federation and board member of the Gay and Lesbian Federation of Germany (LSVD).

Sports vs. Homophobia: Building the Community and Raising Awareness – Panel 2 presentation summary (September 12, 14:30 – 16:00)

The professional world of sport is still a place where homosexual people cannot be sure to be accepted or tolerated. Federations are often not willing to include homosexual athletes in their ideas of sport. Discrimination can happen everywhere : in the field of sponsoring, in distribution of official positions or jobs as coaches – homosexuality is often still a knock-out criteria. This is a fact we have to change.

Boris Vrdoljak



He is one of the coordinators of sport activities in qSPORT Zagreb – sport society for LGBTQ athletes and recreation enthusiasts, where he directs regular swimming and ballroom dancing activities*(parallel to badminton and biking group activities), competition travel and special like annual QueerSportWeekend. He is a delegate and
representative in national LGBT campaigns as well as international organizations like European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation.

Sports vs. Homophobia: Building the Community and Raising Awareness (September 12, 14:30 – 16:00)

Srećko Šekeljić



Srećko Šekeljić led and advised a number of advocacy campaigns on human rights issues, government transparency, and citizen participation. Besides working with NGOs and activist groups, he served in the Office of the President of Serbia, and in international aid organizations providing support to civil society development in the Balkans. Srećko also blogs about politics and social activism for B92, a Serbian national broadcaster.

Building Alliances for LGBT Rights (September 13, 10:00 – 11:30)

Hasan Metehan Özkan



Hasan Metehan Özkan, graduated from Marmara University’s Department of Political Sciences and International Relations in 1998. He received his MBA from Yeditepe University and is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology there. Between 1996-2000 he worked for the Istanbul Office of International Immigration Organization of the United Nations. Later he was involved in Civil Involvement Projects of Sabancı University. He is writing his dissertation on the families of LGBT individuals, which is at the core of the organization LİSTAG (Families and friends of LGBTs in Turkey), where he works as a volunteer.

Building Alliances for LGBT Rights (September 13, 10:00 – 11:30)

H.Metehan Ozkan who is the co-producer/adviser of ‘My Child’ and also one of the initiators of LISTAG will present how a parents organization can be an alliance for LGBT rights movement and a movie can be a medium to fight against homophobia and transphobia in a conservative country, like Turkey. LİSTAG is a voluntary support and solidarity group for families and friends of LGBTI people in Turkey. Only a few number of parents who came together in 2008 set up LISTAG and in a short period of time, the organization grow like a snow ball. The coming out process of parents is not very different than their children’s; in time, some of them had courage and self-esteem to share their stories intimately with public in a feature documentary called ‘My Child’.

Marina Grnja



Marina Grnja is an activist and graduate journalist on the position of project coordinator and advocacy consultant at the Novi Sad School of Journalism. She is mainly engaged in the analysis of media discourses within media monitoring, advocacy campaigns, and projects related to investigative journalism. She graduated at the University of Novi Sad, Faculty of the Philosophy, and finished her master studies at the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Political Science.

Building Alliances for LGBT Rights (September 13, 10:00 – 11:30)

Inge Breuling



When my son was 18 he told me he was gay. As I had always been interested in unusual social circumstances I had thought it necessary for me as a teacher to know about homosexuality. So my son’s news did not come as a shock (it took my husband several months until he could totally accept our son’s inclination). However, I wanted to know more and joined the Nürnberg parents’ self-help group. I got more and more engaged there and eventually became a member of the board of BEFAH (Parents and friends of Lesbians and Gays) for some years, where I was mainly responsible for foreign ties.

I am a retired teacher (73 years old) and due to lack of English speaking members of the BEFAH board, I’m mainly responsible for helping with foreign ties.

Building Alliances for LGBT Rights (September 13, 10:00 – 11:30)

I am going to speak about my personal experiences, i.e. about the manifold problems that arise with parents who get into contact with the group, their own fears (mainly „What will the neighbours say?) and their concerns about their child’s future life. I will then explain how we try to take their fears. I will also speak about how the local groups work and what BEFAH’s main activities are like.

Mirjana Bogdanović



Mirjana was born in 1974 in Krusevac. Previously, as a member of the GSA Executive Committee she was mostly dedicated in creating of development strategy. She coordinated most of the GSA projects relating to the implementation of Anti-Discrimination Law and reduction of violence over LGBT persons. She is a lobbyist and creator of political strategy of GSA, also being in charge for negotiations with government institutions and safety strategy of Pride Parade 2010 as Organizing Committee member.

Mirjana was a regional Development Director of NGO Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR).
She was also on the position of General Secretary of Civic Alliance of Serbia (CAS, GSS), and a member of Presidency of that political party. Before that, she was a Secretary and than the President of Belgrade Executive Board of CAS, GSS.

Since mid 90s, she was a manager and participant of many campaigns for democratization of Serbian society, within both political and non-governmental sector. She was also a Chief of Belgrade Electoral Headquarter of CAS, GSS for local elections in 2004, as well as a member of Central Electoral Headquarter of GSS-LDP-LSV coalition for parliamentary elections in 2007.

Building Alliances for LGBT Rights (September 13, 10:00 – 11:30)

Marijn Pijnenburg



He is IBM’s Business Development Executive for Diversity and LGBT for Europe, Middle East and Africa. In this role he provides strategic advisement to IBM customers in traditional and growth markets on how to leverage human capital, diversity, inclusion, LGBT and collaboration as critical business drivers to foster innovation and generate business opportunities in the global market place.

Marijn joined IBM in 1996 and has worked in various roles in Strategy & Change and Business Transformation. He is initiator of a several LGBT Business Forums throughout EMEA and board member of WorkPlace Pride, an NGO focussing on ensuring safe and inclusive workplaces for the LGBT employees. And steering committee member of OUTstanding, a not-for-profit professional network for LGBT and ally executives focused on driving LGBT inclusion at a senior level in business.

Economic Costs of Homophobia and Transphobia (September 13, 12.00 – 13.30)

Tatjana Greif



Tatjana Greif (1966) holds PhD in Archaeology. She‘s involved in theory and activism in the area of sexual orientation and gender identity, culture, arts and politics of LGBTI. She is coordinator of lesbian Section of ŠKUC-LL, editor of book edition “Vizibilija” and the “Journal for the Critics of Science and New Anthropology”, and leader of several educative, cultural and human rights programs. She published over five hundred journalistic and scientific works, and received many scholarships, including recently the Fulbright scholarship. She served as member of the executive board of “ILGA-Europe (1998-2005), was delegate to “European Economic and Social Committee” (2005-2006), member of the “Governmental Council for Equal Opportunities of Republic of Slovenia” (2005-2009), etc.

Discrimination, harassment, mobbing and various forms of inequalities in employment and labor market bring along considerable consequences affecting not only the victims of discrimination but much wider socio-economic ground. Discrimination in employment is a high risk practice, bringing along negative impact for both employees and employers, it’s destructive and harmful for human life, it brings permanent damage for economic development and social welfare. Homophobic and transphobic discrimination bear the same high prize as other forms of negative behavior. Since 2004 Lesbian section ŠKUC-LL is developing and implementing educative and awareness raising programs for equal opportunities, non-discrimination and diversity management in employment, focused on protection of vulnerable groups of workers, including LGBT. In its efforts to bring along positive change ŠKUC-LL successfully works together with trade unions, employers associations and NGOs in Slovenia and Europe.

Economic Costs of Homophobia and Transphobia (September 13, 12.00 – 13.30)

Nathan Koeshall



Nathan Koeshall is Director of Catalyst, a new initiative committed to measuring and promoting philanthropic culture in the Western Balkans. Catalyst is using publicly available data and press clippings as primary data sources in building a region-wide database on domestic corporate and individual philanthropy.

Previously, Nathan served as Senior Program Officer for the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD), a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Nathan has more than 15 years of development experience in the Western Balkans and has skill sets in civil society development and promotion with special interests in engaged citizenship, social change, catalyzing and advising local-sourced philanthropy, community-based participatory development, and post-conflict development and reconciliation.

Economic Costs of Homophobia and Transphobia (September 13, 12.00 – 13.30)

Boban Stojanović



Boban Stojanović is one of the most prominent LGBT activists in Serbia, as well as one of the most active gay activists in the Balkans. Boban has been involved in the human rights issues for almost 20 years: he started his work as a volunteer in refugee centers throughout the war period in the nineties, while today he is the organizer of the most important human rights event, the Belgrade Pride Parade.

Boban got involved in the human rights advocating by volunteering in refugee centers, where he mostly worked on the rehabilitation of children, He later joined initiatives against family violence and he worked in the feminist and peace organization Women in Black as a Coordinator of the Network for Conscientious Objection. In 2006 with a group of friends he founded Queeria Center that has significantly contributed to the visibility of the LGBT community in Serbia. Since 2010, Boban has been one of the key organizers of the Belgrade Pride Parade.

Being one of the few outed activists; he was frequently exposed to attacks and provocations. Beside the regular threats, he was brutally beaten after a protest, while last year his apartment was vandalized by a neo-Nazi group.
Boban is a columnist on a few engaged web portals and is often present in the Serbian media. He published his autobiography last year, As if Everything was OK, and he was nominated twice for the Global Exchange People’s Choice Awards.

Economic Costs of Homophobia and Transphobia (September 13, 12.00 – 13.30)

Björn van Roozendaal



Björn is responsible for overall management ILGA-Europe’s Programmes Service Area and its team. He oversees the implementation of ILGA-Europe’s strategy on building capacities of the LGBTI movements throughout Europe. Björn’s tasks include overseeing the implementation of the capacity building projects, the management of the Human Rights Violations Documentation Fund, coordination of the organisation of ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference, advocacy on EU’s foreign and development policies, programmes development and fundraising.

Before joining ILGA-Europe, Björn worked with COC Netherlands, first as Project Consultant and later as International Advocacy Officer. He has taken the lead in developing the international advocacy work of COC Netherlands, and as such has worked with various international organisations, including the United Nations, the OSCE, the European Union and the Council of Europe. In this role he worked with activists from all over the world and in particular with groups in the Balkans, Turkey and Central-Asia.

Activist work for Björn started with the Dutch LGBT youth magazine ‘Expreszo’ and later was a board member with IGLYO, and advised the preceding board afterwards. Currently he is a member of the board of trustees of the Planet Romeo Foundation and also serves on the LGBT rights working group of Liberal International.

Björn holds a degree in Communications from the Inholland University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. His thesis covered the subject of philanthrophy fundraising in the Netherlands.
When leaving COC Netherlands in 2012 Björn’s work was recognised with an organisational award. His work previously has been recognised by his election of ‘Dutch European young person of the year’, in 2007.

Leveraging inter (regional) cooperation to secure LGBT rights nationally (September 12, 14.30 – 16.00)

Krisztina Kolos Orban



Krisztina Kolos Orban, born in 1976 and based in Hungary, joined Transgender Europe’s Executive Board in 2014. As an activist Krisztina Kolos has been active in the LGBT movement on the national level since 2005 before the foundation of Transvanilla Transgender Association in 2011. Krisztina Kolos is serving as one of the vice presidents of Transvanilla today. In their international activity they are part of the CEE working group of TGEU focusing on Central Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

Leveraging inter (regional) cooperation to secure LGBT rights nationally (September 12, 14.30 – 16.00)

The Position of Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Women: from Community Building to Mainstreaming Efforts (September 13, 14.30 – 16.00)

Emila Spasojević



Emila Spasojevic is Head of Department for Research, Analytics and Reporting in the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality (CPE), in charge for analyzing domestic and international antidiscrimination legislation, relevant documents and legal practice in order to improve, innovate and implement the activities of the CPE. She is co-author of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination of the Republic of Serbia. She is a Trainer in the Governmental Human Resource Management Service providing lectures in the area of Human Rights and combat against Discrimination, Member of the Equinet Working Group Policy Formation, Speaker at various antidiscrimination trainings and workshops and author of various projects regarding antidiscrimination and equality issues.

Outlook: LGBT rights in Serbia in the next years (September 13, 17:15 – 18:30)

Volker Beck



Born 12 December 1960 in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt; widowed/gay life partnership) is a German politician, human rights activist and Member of Parliament for the Green Party in the Bundestag since 1994. He is member of Committee on Internal Affairs.

Beck served as the Green Party Speaker for Legal Affairs from 1994–2002, and as the Green Party
Chief Whip in the Bundestag from 2002-2013 and human rights spokesman from 2005-2013.

Beck served as spokesman of the Association of Lesbians and Gays in Germany (Lesben- und Schwulenverband in Deutschland) LSVD for over ten years. He is a supporter of same-sex marriage and has been referred to as the „Father of the German Registered Partnership Act“.

In 2003, the German Bundestag decided on his initiative that the Federal Republic of Germany will erect a national memorial in the centre of Berlin for homosexuals persecuted by the Nazi Party. In 2006, he sponsored an anti-discrimination act in civil law and at the workplace, outlawing discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, sex, sexual identity, religion, age, and disability. He is also an important figure in recompense for victims of Nazism. He negotiated the foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future (slave labor recompensation).

More information:

Political Participation of LGBT Persons – Panel 5 presentation summary (September 13, 14:30 – 16:00)

Equal rights for everybody are the basics of democratic society. But to achieve our rights we must organize the LGBTTI-Community and elect leaders who lead our struggle in public and in parliaments. We need allies but to go forward we must make our voice heard.

Robert Biedroń



He was elected member of the Polish Parliament in 2011 asthe first openly gay candidate in Poland. He is an active member of the Committee on Equalityand Non-Discrimination at the ParliamentaryAssembly of the Council of Europe and PACE General Rapporteur on the rights of LGBT people.

He is also the Vice-Chairperson of the Committee of Justice and Human Rightsand a member of the Committee of Foreign Affairs at the Polish Parliament.

Mr Biedron holds a Master’s degree in political science, graduated from the School of Political and Social Leaders and fromthe School of Human Rights run bythe Helsinki Committee for Human Rights. Mr Biedroń was an originator, co-founderand a long-term president of the Campaign Against Homophobia, a member of boards of several foundations and associations.

Political Participation of LGBT persons – Panel 5 presentation summary (September 13, 14:30 – 16:00)

Miha Lobnik



Miha has led in 1998 a group of students that started the first LGBT youth group in Slovenia. 300 people attended their activities in the next two years. In 2001, an NGO has been registered, that is today one of the most efficient LGBT rights NGO’s in Slovenia (LEGEBITRA). In 1999, he joined the board of IGLYO and focused his work on encouragement of LGBT youth work in the Balkan region and three years later, he organized an international hearing on LGBT youth from Balkan region. Since 2004 Miha started his assignment at the ILGA Europe office in Brussels as a program assistant, working also with members in the region and lobbying at The Council of Europe. Later in 2005, he was elected as a board member of ILGA Europe. In his later roles, Miha has been a spokesperson for Slovenian LGBT movement and he coordinated a national referendum on a new family law. Currently, he works as a program director of Community based testing and prevention counseling program in DIC LEGEBITRA. In 2012 Miha Lobnik led the national referendum campaign on the family law.

Political Participation of LGBT persons – Panel 5 (September 13, 14:30 – 16:00)

Milan Pantelić



He was born in 1983 in Belgrade. He graduated from law school and gained a master’s degree in democracy and human rights within European integrations. He was one of the first people in Serbia to deal with the status of LGBT people in the legal system through his master’s thesis “Sexual minorities in the process of European integrations – legal perspective“.

He became a member and an activist in the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) in 2012, and as the first out-LGBT person in Serbia who has entered the state institutions, he has recently been made a member of the Council for Gender Equality of the Serbian Government, representing GSA. He belongs to the new generation of GSA leaders.

Milan’s working in Ministry of Economy, in Sector for Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness. He is member of Working Group for Amendments to the Law on Gender Equality and he was member of Working Group for Drafting the National Strategy Combating Discrimination and Violence.

Political Participation of LGBT persons – Panel 5 (September 13, 14:30 – 16:00)

Olga Lenkova



Born in Leningrad, Soviet Union. Was growing up witnessing the changes that the country was going through in 80’ies and 90’ies. Studied linguistics at St. Petersburg state university, while developing an interest in history and social justice movements. In 2009 first became an activist joining LGBT organisation „Coming Out’ based in St. Petersburg, Russia. Over time became one of the key members of the team and served as the organisation’s spokesperson for 2 years. Resigned from the position about a year ago, after being intensely involved in fighting against homophobic legislation on the regional and national level, and against the persecution of the organisation under the ‘foreign agents’ law.

Olga’s interest now is in development and encouragement of sustainable activism and burn-out prevention.

The Position of Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Women: from Community Building to Mainstreaming Efforts (September 13, 14:30 – 16:00)

Olga will talk about the current situation for LBT-women in Russia, covering the challenges posed by the governmental policies and consequences of the double discrimination, with no effective state-run programs aimed at these groups of women. She will also talk about the common difficulties experienced by the civil society in Russia, including LGBT and feminist organisations and initiative groups.

Anastasia Danilova



Anastasia Danilova (31 years old) is the Executive Director of GENDERDOC-M Information Center, a Moldovan non-governmental, community-oriented organization that protects the rights of LGBT people. She received support and legal assistance from the organisation in 2004, as a victim of discrimination, and then became involved as a volunteer, working on GENDERDOC-M’s print publication for lesbians entitled Tema (Theme).

Before becoming Executive Director in 2010, she worked as the Women’s Program Coordinator within the organization for three years.

The Position of Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Women: from Community Building to Mainstreaming Efforts (September 13, 14:30 – 16:00)

Klaus Jetz



Klaus Jetz has been working with the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany LSVD since 1995, firstly as LSVD’s press spokesperson in Cologne and in Berlin. Since 2004 he is LSVD’s director and since 2007 he is responsible as well for LSVD’s human rights foundation, the Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation.

Before joining LSVD he worked as a journalist for Latin American issues, as a translator for Spanish and Latin American Literature, with a Central American Tourism Office and in a Media watch project with the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Outlook: LGBT rights in Serbia in the next years – Plenary session presentation summary (September 13, 17:15 – 18:30)

How will LGBT people live in Serbia and the Western Balkans in 2020? What will their legal and social situation look like? Does the fact that Serbia is an accessing country to the EU really play such an important role? How can societies in Serbia and the region overcome radical homophobic and transphobic attitudes and increase the acceptance of LGBT people?

Jedno mišljenje na „Conference Speakers 2014

  1. Povratni ping: Political participation of LGBT people: Terry Reintke | Labris

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