APCOM to speak at the Asian Development Bank IDAHOT 2020 Virtual Panel

By May 15, 2020 Advocacy, Newsroom, Regional

Bangkok, 15 May 2020

APCOM will take part with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to commemorate the 2020 International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB), our second time in a row to collaborate for the same event.

Shifting to a virtual format due to limitations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the panel discussion “IDAHOTB 2020: Bridging the LGBTI Inclusion Data Gap” is part of a series of joint virtual IDAHOT commemoration activities by the World Bank, the ADB, and the Inter-American Development Bank. These activities are anchored on the global theme for IDAHOT 2020 ‘Breaking the silence.’

The ADB panel, which will take place on May 20, 2020, 16:00 – 17:15 (Manila time), will focus on the importance of better data collection on LGBTI populations as it is essential to inclusive development and leaving no one behind.

APCOM was at the ADB’s very first IDAHOT commemoration on 17 May 2019 at their headquarters in Manila, the Philippines. This was a result of various initial engagements between APCOM and the ADB, and internal discussions at the ADB on how to initiate LGBTQI inclusion. During the 2019 IDAHOT at the ADB, part of the panelists was APCOM Executive Director, Midnight Poonkasetwattana and Claire de Leon, Executive Director of Babayanes. Babaylanes is a partner organization of APCOM’s Finance Inc. project supported by Voice Global, which aims to engage the finance and the private sectors for LGBTQI inclusion.

This year, APCOM will again be part of the ADB IDAHOT panel discussion. APCOM aims to share the results of a pilot research under Finance Inc. conducted in cooperation with partners in Cambodia (Micro Rainbow International), Indonesia (Suara Kita), Lao PDR (LaoPHA), and the Philippines (Babaylanes, Inc.). The research looked into the experiences of LGBTQI of exclusion and inclusion in the domains of education, work, and health.

According to APCOM Executive Director, Midnight Poonkasetwattana, “We’re delighted to be sharing the research findings. The partnership with the Asian Development Bank is crucial to highlight the importance of multilateral development banks to not only partner and work with, but to meaningfully engage the LGBTQI communities in the discussions and taking future actions together to ensure inclusion. With the effects of COVID-19 to our LGBTQI community in Asia Pacific, this will contribute to our collective goal of leaving no one behind.”

IDAHOT 2020 Invitation, Cr: ADB.org

Panelists at the IDAHOT 2020 of the Asian Development Bank are:

Ramil Andag, a transwoman and SOGIESC Rights Officer at APCOM. She has over 10 years of experience and involvement with human rights, SOGIE inclusion, and HIV prevention work in the Philippines and across the Asia Pacific region

Sarita KC, identifies as a bisexual woman is Director of Mitini Nepal working for the rights and dignity of lesbian, bisexual third gender.

Timo Ojanen, a sexual and gender minorities, mental health, and sexuality education expert at the Faculty of Learning Sciences and Education, Thammasat University, Thailand;

Yiu-tung Suen, Assistant Professor of the Gender Studies Program, and Founding Director of the Sexualities Research Program, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong;

Woochong Um, Director General concurrent Chief Compliance Officer of the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department at Asian Development Bank.

More information about the event and instructions on how to join the discussions is available here.

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