Equal Rights Coalition launches its Secretariat, hosted by ILGA World

08 May 2024

(Geneva, 8 May 2024) – The Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) has opened its Secretariat to facilitate its work as an intergovernmental body of 43 member States and civil society worldwide dedicated to the protection of the human rights of LGBTI persons and the promotion of inclusive development. 

Hosted by ILGA World — the international NGO representing more than 2,000 organisations in 170 countries and territories working to advance the human rights of LGBTI people — the Secretariat will be an independent body accountable to the Equal Rights Coalition. It will be tasked with connecting all parties coming together in the ERC, and ensuring good governance, communications, and continuity of the coalition. 

“For Mexico and Germany, establishing the Secretariat has been a key objective of our joint ERC co-presidency, as this administrative unit will make the coalition stronger and more effective. Being the hosts of the Secretariat, ILGA World brings a unique representation of civil society to the work of the Equal Rights Coalition,” said Germany’s Special Envoy for Feminist Foreign Policy, Ambassador Gesa Bräutigam. “Its work will be fundamental to connect States, international and regional bodies, and grassroots communities as we collectively strive to advance inclusive development and equality for all”.

“With its diversity of voices, the Equal Rights Coalition is well placed to take action against human rights violations and encourage inclusive development,” said ILGA World Executive Director Julia Ehrt. “This is a space for progress and multilateral dialogue, and we will be honoured to serve it with our convening power in the coming years.”

To best manage the coordination body, ILGA World hired an Equal Rights Coalition Secretariat Manager and is proud to welcome Leanne MacMillan to the team. Leanne brings to the role many years of experience in international advocacy and a steadfast commitment to advancing the rights of everyone in our communities most recently as the Director of Global Programmes at Stonewall and for over a decade leading international programmes at Amnesty International. For 3 years she served as a civil society co-chair from the United Kingdom to the ERC. 

“I am excited to join the ILGA World team and to be entrusted with the responsibility of managing the Secretariat of the Equal Rights Coalition,” MacMillan said. “Now more than ever, multilateral mechanisms are essential to progress the human rights of LGBTI people. To commit to truly leaving no one behind is to believe in the opportunity of these collaborative spaces, and to work every day to strengthen them.”

The Equal Rights Coalition was founded in 2016 at the Global LGBTI Human Rights Conference in Montevideo, Uruguay. Since then, member States, civil society organisations, and multilateral organisations have worked together to take action against human rights violations through public statements and diplomatic intervention. They have also engaged in ongoing dialogues with its members and beyond to encourage the development of progressive legislation and policies, improve the level of sustainable funding for civil society, and ensure that the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development is used as a tool to include LGBTI communities across the globe.

Over the past seven years, the number of States joining the coalition has increased significantly, and now includes members from across Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America, and the Pacific. The governments of Germany and Mexico currently co-chair the ERC. The State co-chairs are supported by civil society co-chairs, who for this term are LSVD for Germany and Fundación Arcoíris for Mexico.


Media contacts:


For the Equal Rights Coalition:

Doug A. Graffeo (they/them), Equal Rights Coalition Officer (LSVD) 
languages: English, Spanish
time zone: Central European Summer Time

Leanne MacMillan (she/her), Equal Rights Coalition Secretariat Manager (ILGA World) 
languages: English
time zone: British Summer Time

For ILGA World: 

Daniele Paletta (he/him), Communications Manager – [email protected]
languages: English, Spanish, Italian
time zone: Central European Summer Time


Category Declaration, English, 2024

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