Watch LGBTI Human Rights in the Commonwealth conference on video

Issued: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:50:00 GMT

Videos of the LGBTI Human Rights in the Commonwealth conference, held on International Nelson Mandela Day 18 July 2014, have been published by the University on Youtube - and can be accessed on the Glasgow Human Rights Network website.

The conference was a partnership between Equality Network (Scotland's leading LGBTI equality and human rights organization), Glasgow Human Rights Network, Kaleidoscope Trust and Pride Glasgow. It was conceived to precede the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and thus highlight LGBTI human rights worldwide.  Dr. Matthew Waites (, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, led the participation of Glasgow Human Rights Network as a member of the Steering Group, on which international activists from Nigeria and Uganda were also represented. A conference Statement that Dr. Waites was centrally involved in drafting has already been published, together with the programme and photos, on the Glasgow Human Rights Network website.

The event was held in Sir Charles Wilson Building, and six videos are now available covering all the sessions held in the main lecture theatre. The conference films have been made with  internationalisation funds via the College of Social Sciences, to assist international knowledge exchange and impact. While Equality Network was the primary funder, the University shared costs for the venue, and Glasgow Human Rights Network and the School of Social and Political Sciences also contributed financially to supporting the event.   This support from all levels of the University is gratefully acknowledged. The films have already been shared to numerous human rights and LGBTI NGOs across the Commonwealth via social media such as Facebook and Twitter; please consider if you can assist in sharing these films as resources for education and activism.

The opening film - Part 1 - features a Welcome from Scott Cuthbertson of Equality Network followed by a panel of Keynote Addresses chaired by Dr. Matthew Waites ( The opening speaker is by Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs in the Scottish Government. The second speaker is Dr. Frank Mugisha, Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, who was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work opposing the Anti-Homosexuality Act in Uganda. The third speaker is Dr. Purna Sen, Chair of Kaleidoscope Trust and former Head of Human Rights in the Commonwealth Secretariat, who argues for the need for the  Commonwealth to take further action on LGBTI human rights.       

The following films cover a range of themes.  Part 2  is 'Voices from Around the Commonwealth', with a speaker from each of the main regions of the Commonwealth, outlining the political situation in various states ( Part 3 'Religion and Cultural Politics: Understanding Contexts' features both academic and activist speakers on the diverse states of Uganda, Malaysia and India, to explore how social factors underpin political developments (  Part 4 'Scotland, the Commonwealth and LGBTI Rights' is chaired by Tim Hopkins of Equality network and features speakers including Patrick Harvie MSP and Pauline Kelly representing Amnesty International (  Part 5 'Transnational Activism' intriguingly places African activists Monica Tabengwa (Human Rights Watch) and Dr. Frank Mugisha (Sexual Minorities Uganda) in dialogue with UK-based activist Peter Tatchell, in a conversation about strategies for international activism in the context of global power relations (

The final film 'Part 6: Debate and Vote on Conference Statement' shows the discussion over a Statement initially drafted by members of the conference steering committee; this is presented by Alistair Stewart of Kaleidoscope Trust and Dr. Matthew Waites (  Viewers can watch the Statement being negotiated, as they respond to audience comments by arguing for leaving out the Queen, and for an emphasis on recognizing the historical responsibility of the British Empire for criminalisation of same-sex relationships.        

For further information contact Dr. Matthew Waites in Sociology (  

<< 2014