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Rights on the move

Rights on the move – Rainbow families in Europe is the two-day international conference closing the research project with the same name, an action co-funded by the European Union Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme (for more information on the project visit The convenor is the Faculty of Law of the lead partner, the University of Trento.

Rights on the move looks at European legal obstacles and solutions for rainbow families, i.e. families where the couple and the parental roles involve non-heterosexual, trans or intersex persons moving and residing within the EU. By adopting a child-oriented approach, “Rights on the move” aims at unravelling how freedom of movement and family life should be read in compliance with the EU Charter, the European citizenship rights of the child and other international and supranational instruments. The diversity of regulations about marriage and partnership, access to assisted reproductive technologies and adoption, as well as separation and child custody exposes these families to considerable obstacles when moving within the EU.

Prominent speakers will address the audience during plenary sessions, while presentations and discussions on specific topics will take place in parallel symposiums.


9 July 2014 Submission of abstracts to:
19 July 2014 Notification of accepted abstracts
31 July 2014 Deadline for early-bird registration
22 September 2014 Deadline for registration
29 September 2014 Deadline for submission of full papers
16-17 October 2014 Conference
31 October 2014 Deadline for submission of final papers

Purpose and scope

The conference aims to bring together jurists and advocates from a broad variety of fields and discuss the project results. Its overarching goals are to present the state of the art of legal scholarship in the field of same-gender sexualities, gender identity and expression, and intersexuality, with a specific focus on parent-child relations and reproductive rights.
The conference is, in a neutral environment, open to the discussion of key legal issues addressed from different perspectives, analysing all interests at stake and encouraging pluralism.


The conference will present the results of the project: the comparative survey carried out in the 28 Member States of the EU, the application of relevant EU and international legal standards to rainbow families. A White Paper, prepared by the partners, will also be presented. It concerns the position of rainbow families within the EU rules on free movement. It contains analysis of current rules on free movement as they apply or not apply to rainbow families and recommendations for future legal regulation.

Although the focus is on the European dimension, we value any experience from other federal or supranational legal contexts that provide guidance in dealing with new family patterns.


The conference will have three working languages: English, Italian and French. Simultaneous translation is guaranteed only at one parallel symposium at a time and during the plenaries.

Target audience and keynote speakers

The programme will be of interest to academics, legal practitioners, judges, public officials, advocates, students and members of the LGBTI community. Keynote addresses will be delivered by prominent academics, judges, representatives of public institutions, equality bodies and legal experts.
The conference is expected to be accredited by the Trento Bar Association for continuing professional development. Those seeking a certificate of attendance will need to sign an attendance sheet when entering and leaving the conference.


A call for papers has been issued (abstracts to be submitted before 9 July 2014). The conference includes plenary sessions and parallel thematic symposiums. In order to encourage and provide room for discussion, papers will become available ahead of the conference. Thematic symposiums will see speakers pitch their main idea and engage in a discussion on the symposium topic. Some break-out sessions will have a more theoretical approach and others a more practical tone.

Parallel symposiums will be defined once selection process and the list of presentations are completed. Presentation of research and action projects (at national, EU and global level) are welcome. The organizers will be happy to include information materials in the conference package if received at least one week before conference start and previously announced. Posters are also welcome in the coffee-break area.

Updated programme available (17 Sept)


Alexander Schuster
University of Trento

Rights on the move
Via Verdi, 53
38122 Trento (Italy)
Tel: +39 0461 283518