BACKGROUND

In June 2014, over 500 activists, academics, lawyers and policymakers from across Canada and around the world came together in Toronto, Ontario for the WorldPride Human Rights Conference. The conference hosted three days of discussions on a range of international human rights and LGBTI issues. A consistent theme in many sessions revolved around how should Canada and Canadians support human rights for LGBTI people around the world. The conference raised the level of awareness of global LGBTI issues in Toronto and Canada and provided a launch pad for The Dignity Initiative. Hundreds of delegates from across Canada and around the world returned to their homes with new connections, energy and interest in doing more work to support the global LGBTI human rights movement.

There is currently no framework or best practice guidelines for LGBTI and allied groups across Canada for working on global LGBTI issues. There is no national shared advocacy platform on how future Canadian governments can support the global LGBTI movement. The Dignity Initiative aims to kick-start that discussion across Canada and provide useful and credible recommendations to the federal government and civil society organizations across Canada.

This is a collaborative effort of a number of Canadian organizations & individuals with interest & experience in global LGBTI issues. Our goal is to convene around the development of a set of policy pieces that would be practical tools for the Canadian government and Canadian civil society organizations to use in the coming years.  This project builds upon the 10-point plan of action on human rights for LGBTI people presented to the federal government in May 2014 by over 80 civil society organizations.