Registration open for the Breaking the Barriers conference in Sofia on 20-21 September 2018

Victims’ rights, legislation, reporting, community outreach and other issues related to anti-LGBT hate crimes are among topics that will be covered at the Breaking the barriers: Improving access to justice for victims of anti-LGBT hate crime, to be held on 20-21 September 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria, as part of the EU-funded Come Forward project. The participation in the conference is free of charge, but registration is required. To register, click here.

The conference Breaking the barriers focuses on the problem of violence targeting lesbians, gay men, bisexual, trans and intersex people across Europe. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of sessions The programme includes discussions, presentations and workshops on, inter alia:

- Hate crime legislation on the books and in practice

- Training of hate crime professionals

- Community outreach and reporting of hate crime

- Recording hate crime

- Support services for hate crime victims

- Hate crime and the media

- Rights of hate crime victims.

On day one of the conference, the report Running Through Hurdles: Obstacles in the Access to Justice for Victims of Anti-LGBTI Hate Crimes in Europe, presenting the research findings from the Come Forward project, will be launched.

The draft programme can be found here.


A special feature of the conference will be two field visits to the nearby Borisova Gardens park, the site of the 2008 murder of Mihail Stoyanov. The facilitators will describe the case and speak of Stoyanov’s legacy today. As 30 September would be Stoyanov’s birthday, there will be a chance to commemorate him.

As a side event, on 20 September in the evening there will be a screening of a hate crime-themed movie, in cooperation with the Big Gay Film Club of Sofia.

The conference will be organized on the premises of the French Institute, the Municipal Library and the first Bulgarian LGBTI Centre Rainbow Hub, whcih opened earlier this year.

The conference is organized in the framework of the project Come Forward, co-financed by the EU Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme, by University of Brescia, Lambda Warsaw and GLAS Foundation, in cooperation with partner organizations from Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom, as well as ILGA-Europe, Transgender Europe, and the International Network for Hate Studies.