6th Annual IARS International Conference

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At a critical time for Europe and the UK, when European solidarity is questioned, the 6th IARS International Annual Conference will bring together key decision makers, researchers, scholars and communities to present new evidence and bottom-up solutions for a more equal society. 

Over two days and focusing on LGBT+ migrants, refugee and asylum seekers (day 1) and gender/ youth violence (day 2), this international event will push the barriers of policy making and practice through the presentation of evidence-based solutions, and by allowing the voices that are rarely heard to lead on debates that matter. The conference will launch the findings of our Erasmus funded projects Epsilon (Day 1) and Abused no More (Day 2).


We have an open Call for Abstracts to present at workshops at our International Annual Conference. We are interested in topics covering European voices on equality matters with a particular interest in gender violence and LGBT+ discrimination. Full papers can be considered for peer review and publication in the Youth Voice Journal, the leading academic publication on matters impacting on youth internationally.

Thursday 12th July particularly considers the issues that face LGBT+ migrants and refugees who become marginalised both by the local LGBT+ community and the local migrant community.  The impact of this double rejection is to marginalise and isolate them further.  The day will look at how professionals working with this difficult to reach community can better provide for their specific needs and raise awareness about their rights.

Friday 13th July considers matters facing young migrant women and girls who have suffered abuse.  The nature of their background coupled with the challenges they face in their new country makes this group especially vulnerable and challenging to work with.  The conference will look at their rights and how professionals working with this group of people can make a difference to their lives.

If you are interested, you can access the Call for Abstracts document here, which will provide you with all the information that you need.


The IARS International Institute is pleased to offer a limited number of bursaries of up to €200 plus the costs of registration (£70) for international participants. IARS members, workshop presenters, young people, migrants and refugees will be prioritised. Should you wish to apply for a bursary please download and complete this form and return it to contact@iars.org.uk by 15th June. We will offer the bursaries on a first come basis and as per the needs of the conference. 


This is free event that is co-funded by Erasmus+. It is also an accredited event that involves substantial costs to the charity. To secure your place, CPD Certification and lunch, you must click here to register.

The charity is requesting a donation of £70 (both days) or £45 (for 1 day). UK Tax payers will receive Gift Aid.

Donations can be made via the Big Give or by emailing contact@iars.org.uk

Larger donations are encouraged as all proceedings will be invested into our projects and ensure the continuation of our charitable work with marginalised groups.

  • IARS members - To find out more and to join us click here
  • Refugee, asylum seekers and young people in education or unemployed do not need to pay (proof will be requested).


The programme is subject to change. Click on the link to view the book of abstracts 

Day 1: Thursday 12th July 2018 (Epsilon project)


Agenda Item

09.00 - 09.30

Registration & Coffee – Networking Opportunity

09.30 – 09.45


Welcome from the Conference Chairs


Simon Israel (Channel 4 Home Affairs Correspondent and IARS Patron)


Dr Theo Gavrielides (IARS Founder and Director)



09.45 – 10.00

Setting the scene in Middle Temple


Sir George Newman (The Surveillance Commissioner, Middle Temple ex-Treasurer and IARS Patron)


10.00 – 10.15


 Leila Zadeh -  (Executive Director of the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group) - 'Challenges faced by LGBTQI+ people in the UK asylum system'


10.15 – 10.30


Dr Jason Schaub (Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Birmingham) - 'LGBTQ Young People and Migration: Issues and Challenges'


10.30 – 11.15

Panel: Epsilon Project Partnership:


"Presenting the findings"

  • Maija Linnala – IARS International Institute (UK)

  • Manuela Tagliani and Jonathan Mastellari- Anziani e Non Solo (Italy)

  • Eleni Sakellariou - KMOP (Greece)

  • Michelle Emmen and Benjamin Nolan -

    MOVISIE (Netherlands)
  • Michalis Ioannou - CARDET (Cyprus)


11.15 – 11.30



11.30 – 12.00

Coffee Break & Networking


12.00 – 13.15

Parallel International Workshops


Working Group 1


  • Jakub Niewiński - 'Dignity/ Our Right'
  • Allan Briddock - 'LGBT Claimant Denied Refugee Status Due to Multi-Layer Marginalisation'
  • Emily Lanham - 'LGBT and Public Legal Education; Knowing Your Rights'


Working Group 2


  • Bartosz Kotylak - 'Problems of Homosexual Relationships Resulting from the Polish Act of 14 July 2006'
  • Maija Linnala  - LGBT Community, Discrimination and Integration: Finding Ways Forward'
  • Deyone Milana Guiseppi - 'My Journey to Belonging'


13.15 – 14.00


14.00 – 15.00

International Workshops


Working Group 3

  • Jonathan Mastellari - 'LGBT+ Asylum Seekers: Needs and Good Practices in 5 Countries in Europe'
  • Dr Antonia Torrens 'The Situation of LGBT people in Greece'
  • Dr. Simon Aulton "The user-led model of LGBT project delivery"

15.00 – 15.30

Rapporteurs' Round Up

15.30 – 15:45


Simon Chambers (Erasmus+ National Agency in the UK)



15:45 - 16:15

Conclusions and Closing from the Conference Chairs


Simon Israel (Channel 4 Home Affairs Correspondent and IARS Patron)


Dr Theo Gavrielides (IARS Founder and Director)