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Making LGBTI rights a part of everyday work

Graphic: Staff from the Australian Human Rights Commission take part in the APF seminar

The APF is encouraging member institutions to consider what steps they can take to better integrate the rights of LGBTI people in their regular work.


Staff of the Australian Human Rights Commission have been encouraged to identify practical ways to ensure that issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics are considered across all parts of the Commission's regular work program.

The one-day APF workshop on 9 February 2017 introduced Commission staff to the key human rights issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people across the Asia Pacific region and, more specifically, Australia.

A special session was held for Commissioners to highlight developments at the international level, including the recent appointment of the first-ever UN Independent Expert charged with protecting people against violence and discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Another session for complaint handling staff examined issues and responses to discrimination and harassment that transgender people face in the workplace.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has been very active in promoting and protecting the rights of LGBTI people over many years, including through landmark inquiries and outreach programs, said Pip Dargan, Deputy Director of the APF secretariat and APF Gender Focal Point.

"However, issues relating to sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics often cross over with other parts of a person's identity, like their age, race, disability," she said.

"That's why it is so encouraging that the Commission is now looking at ways to integrate its work on these issues across all areas of its mandate."

The workshop was led by Chris Sidoti, APF Expert NHRI Consultant, and Jack Byrne, APF Consultant.


Graphic: Participant presents at the workshop for South East Asian NHRIs


South-East Asia sub-regional workshop on advancing LGBTI rights

From 13-17 February 2017, the APF hosted a sub-regional workshop to promote country-level partnerships to better promote and protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGTBI) people across South East Asia.

The workshop brought together 22 participants representing national human rights institutions (NHRIs) and civil society organisations working for LGBTI rights from countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Timor Leste.

A key focus was to encourage conversations between the different groups and identify practical opportunities for joint action.

By the end of the week-long workshop, all country groups with both NHRI and civil society participants had developed awareness raising projects that they would jointly deliver in their respective countries.

The workshop, held in Manila and hosted by the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, followed four weeks of online learning.

In December 2016, the APF convened a workshop in Colombo for NHRIs and civil society organisations from countries in South Asia.

A blended learning training program will also be held for APF members and civil society organisations in the Pacific, starting in March 2017.

Date: 23 February 2017


Image credits

  1. Staff from the Australian Human Rights Commission take part in the APF seminar - APF
  2. Participant presents at the workshop for South East Asian NHRIs - APF/Fasoha Aishath