The APF has published a world-first publication to provide visibility and good information to support NHRIs in their efforts to combat discrimination.
As the recent tragedy in Orlando graphically demonstrates, violence against members of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities continues to be daily reality across all parts of the world.
And this is where national human rights institutions can play a powerful leadership role, said Pip Dargan, Deputy Director of the APF secretariat.
"NHRIs have strong powers and functions to promote and protect the rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics," she said.
"They are also very well placed to start conversations between different groups in their communities in order to address misconceptions and tackle the prejudice that can lead to violence and discrimination."
Earlier this month, the APF launched Promoting and Protecting Human Rights in relation to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Sex Characteristics: A Manual for National Human Rights Institutions.
"This is a world-first publication by NHRIs on this issue," Ms Dargan said.
"We are positive it will help build greater understanding of the forms of human rights violations and discrimination that many LGBTI people face, as well as the practical steps that NHRIs can take to address and possibly prevent these violations from occurring."
Ms Dargan said the manual, which includes case studies from a number of APF members, "provides hope, visibility and good information that can make that difference".
Graphic: Participants at the Being LGBT in Asia Regional Dialogue
The manual is a publication of the APF and the United Nations Development Programme Bangkok Regional Hub (UNDP).
It forms part of an ongoing program of cooperation to strengthen the capacity of NHRIs in the region to work with LGBTI communities and better advocate for their human rights, which will include:
- A regional conference in 2017 to mark the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Yogyakarta Principles
- Training courses in the South Asia, South East Asia and Pacific sub-regions
- Support for NHRIs to mainstream into their strategic plans and work programs human rights issues concerning LGBTI people
- Assistance for closer consultation between NHRIs and LGBTI communities.
"We are confident that NHRIs will find the manual a very useful resource that not only increases knowledge and understanding of the issues but also helps them to learn from the experiences of each other," Ms Dargan said.
The manual was coordinated by the APF secretariat and written by Chris Sidoti, APF Expert NHRI Consultant, and Jack Byrne, APF Consultant, with advice and input from members of the project reference group and representatives from APF member institutions.
Date: 17 June 2016