News : Article

​APF launches landmark training program

Graphic: 'RESPECT' sign in rainbow colours

Representatives from South Asian NHRIs have begun a landmark training program on promoting and protecting the human rights of LGBTI people.


Representatives from the national human rights institutions (NHRIs) of South Asia have begun a landmark training program on promoting and protecting the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

"Equality and freedom from discrimination are fundamental human rights that belong to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics," said Pip Dargan, Deputy Director of the APF secretariat and APF Gender Focal Point.

"However, LGBTI people in the Asia Pacific region can experience shocking levels of violence, harassment and discrimination," she said.

"This course aims to assist Commissioners and staff from NHRIs in our region with new information, strategies and partnerships to bolster their work to promote and protect the rights of LGBTI people in their respective countries."

The APF has partnered with UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub to deliver this new training program – the first of its kind for NHRIs.

The program for South Asian NHRIs includes four weeks of online learning (10 October-4 November 2016), followed by a week-long workshop in Colombo, Sri Lanka (12-16 December 2016).

Importantly, representatives from civil society organisations actively working on human rights issues for LGBTI communities in countries across South Asia will also take part in the program.


Woman holding a rainbow umbrella

The APF Manual on Promoting and Protecting Human Rights: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Sex Characteristics will provide the basis for the blended learning program.


The training course – led by Chris Sidoti, APF Expert NHRI Consultant, and Jack Byrne, APF Consultant – has been designed to support participants to:

  • Improve their understanding of concepts and terminology related to sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics
  • Understand the international human rights system in relation to issues of sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics
  • Deepen their understanding of the role of NHRIs in this area of work
  • Identify and share opportunities for participating NHRIs and civil society organisations to promote and protect the rights LGBTI people
  • Connect with other NHRI colleagues and civil society organisations working on similar issues.

As part of the workshop, participants will develop an action plan to promote and protect the rights of LGBTI people in their country, which will be presented to decision makers within their respective NHRIs.

The APF will follow up with NHRIs to document responses to the proposed action plans and the progress made in promoting and protecting human rights for LGBTI people.

Blended learning training programs will also be held for APF members and civil society organisations in South East Asia (starting November 2016) and the Pacific (starting March 2017).

Date: 7 October 2016


Image credits

  1. 'RESPECT' sign in rainbow colours - Australian Human Rights Commission
  2. Woman holding a rainbow umbrella - Sunxez, Flickr; http://bit.ly/1E9564c