Available translations: English العربيّة

Promoting and protecting human rights in relation to sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics

Graphic: Participants at the Being LGBT in Asia Regional Dialogue


Equality and freedom from discrimination are fundamental human rights that belong to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics.

However, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in the Asia Pacific region can experience shocking levels of violence, harassment and discrimination.

National human rights institutions (NHRIs) in the Asia Pacific region are strong advocates for the rights of all people, including LGBTI people.

The Yogyakarta Principles provide a framework for the work of our members in this area, which includes research, recommendations for law and policy reform, investigating and resolving complaints and education and awareness raising activities.

Importantly, they do this work by establishing strong partnerships with LGBTI organisations.

To support our members in their efforts, the APF partners with UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub to deliver a blended learning training program to build knowledge and strengthen cooperation between NHRIs and civil society organisations in the Asia Pacific.

Representatives from APF members and civil society organisations actively working on human rights issues for LGBTI communities are invited to take part in the program, with the goal to build new partnerships and address the pressing human rights challenges facing LGBTI people.


Graphic: Participants at a workshop involving the Samoa Faafafine Association and Samoa's NHRI

Partnerships help drive change for LGBTI communities

Five NHRIs from across the region have worked with LGBTI communities to deepen their relationships and address some of the pressing issues they face.


Participants from our blended learning course on sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics describe the serious challenges facing LGBTI people in the region and the importance of establishing partnerships to advocate for greater respect of their fundamental rights.


The training course – which includes four weeks of online learning, followed by a week-long workshop – supports 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 ill develop an "action plan" to promote and protect the rights of LGBTI people, which is then presented to decision makers within their respective NHRIs.

Following the training program, the APF and UNDP supported the NHRIs of Bangladesh, Fiji, the Philippines, Samoa and Timor Leste to develop projects that respond to pressing issues facing LGBTI people in their respective countries.

The APF and UNDP also hosted an international conference in April 2017 to mark the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Yogyakarta Principles.


PAST PROGRAMS

The APF has delivered:


Image credits

  1. Participants at the Being LGBT in Asia Regional Dialogue - UNDP/H. Nhan, Flickr; http://bit.ly/28YTE0a