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Enhancing Nordic LGBT+ organisations capacities amidst an international backlash against LGBT+ rights 

The background to the project was the need for closer Nordic co-operation between organisations working for LGBT+ rights. Although the organisation and situation in the countries are somewhat different, we all experience that the LGBT+ population has poorer living conditions and greater challenges than the majority population, and that trends in the world and Europe mean that we must continue to work for equal rights and opportunities regardless of gender and sexuality. ILGA Europe’s rainbow map shows stagnation and decline. The largest LGBT+ organisations in the Nordic region therefore joined forces to organise a conference that brought together staff and activists from across the Nordic region in Oslo on the weekend of 20-22 May 2022.

A total of 100 queer activists and staff from queer organisations gathered in Oslo to discuss and learn about a range of topics that affect queer lives. Participants represented Finland, Åland, Sweden, Sápmi, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

The conference was followed up with a two-hour webinar on 12 December on the topic of the living conditions of queer seniors in a life course perspective in the Nordic countries, hosted by the Norwegian-Swedish research duo Janne Bromseth and Anna Siverskog. There were 30 participants from Finland, Åland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Greenland.

The conference also saw the establishment of a Nordic LGBT+ council consisting of small and large LGBT+ organisations in the Nordic Region. SETA, Samtökin ’78, RFSL, LGBT+ Denmark and FRI had the main responsibility for the conference and invited organisations from their respective countries and autonomous regions.

The formalisation of a Nordic LGBT+ council and network will enable the exchange of experience and knowledge on how best to strengthen efforts on a more permanent basis.

Updated 29 May 2023