The 7th biennial conference of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association in Asia (ILGA Asia), which happened in the Cambodian capital, attracted over 300 delegates from throughout Asia who discussed a diverse range of issues affecting LGBTI people and communities across the region. Asia Pacific HIV and LGBTI community network APCOM had a strong presence at the week-long event, co-presenting several sessions and events on a variety of topics including improving advocacy for and reducing violence against LGBTI people.
APCOM Executive Director Midnight Poonkasetwattana says basic human rights underpin any successful approach to public health, and the alarming escalation of the HIV epidemic in Asia among men who have sex with men (MSM) will continue to worsen if governments and other authorities across the region continue to practice violence, discrimination and exclusion against these vulnerable communities.
The lived experience of LGBTI people in Cambodia
Co-hosted with the Australian Embassy
The sessions co-presented by APCOM at the 7th ILGA Asia Conference included one at the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh on the lived experience of LGBTI people in Cambodia which was co-hosted with the Embassy. Speakers from various local LGBTI advocacy and support groups participated in the event including Len from CamASEAN, Madam Mom from Bandanh Chaktomok (BC), and Sokdom from Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK). Issues discussed included addressing LGBTI-related discrimination and exclusion through legal and legislative advocacy as well as education in schools, and the need for local LGBTI community groups to collaborate more effectively.
LGBTIQ+ in humanitarian settings
Co-organised by APCOM Foundation, UN Women, IPPF Humanitarian and Edge Effect
Session co-presented by APCOM focused on addressing the increase in violence and exclusion experienced by many LGBTI people during natural disasters and humanitarian crises in partnership with IPPF, UN Women, and Edge Effect. Participants discussed how emergency service providers can be supported to make their services more inclusive of the needs of LGBTI people.