Encouraging the Australian Government to invest $15 million a year for LGBTQI rights in the Asia Pacific region

By February 20, 2023 Advocacy, Publications

APCOM joins Global Philanthropy ProjectEquality Australia and PSGDN on launching a report “Partnering with Pride”, ahead of the Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference. 

The report calls for a strategy to guide Australia’s approach on LGBTQI issues in Asia and the Pacific, a high-level role to represent Australia internationally and lead engagement in this area, as well as recommending the Australian Government to invest AUD 15 million per year for LGBTQI community in the region. 

Australian Government urged to advance LGBTIQ+ equality in our region
Media release by Equality Australia

“Australia has a historic opportunity to respond to this report and meet the movements’ call to action at this pivotal moment of social, political and climate transformation. Asia and the Pacific region are well-documented as being uniquely under-resourced for LGBTIQ+ communities. We welcome the government of Australia to join these under-resourced groups to defend and advance equality in the region.”  

Matthew Hart, Director, Global Philanthropy Project

“As Australia prepares to host Sydney WorldPride and the largest ever LGBTIQ+ human rights conference in the Southern Hemisphere, our Federal Government must act on the discrimination and disadvantage our communities face both at home and abroad. This is an opportunity for Australia to demonstrate its commitment to human rights and empower LGBTIQ+ people in our region to make the change they need to be free from discrimination and harm. Working in partnership with these human rights groups – who are achieving change despite their limited resources – will improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.”  

Anna Brown, CEO, Equality Australia

“We need a community-led and community-owned intermediary funding mechanism for communities working on LGBTQI issues in the Asia Pacific region. The Covid-19 pandemic really magnified the need for such a mechanism for advocates, activists and organisations to continue to do their important work in the region by reaching and helping the most marginalised that often falls outside the support of the government. The Australian Government has an opportunity to help build and sustain this mechanism to ensure the human rights, resiliency and sustainability of LGBTQI people in the Asia Pacific region.”  

Midnight Poonkasetwattana, Executive Director, APCOM

The report was written in partnership with other Asia Pacific regional LGBTQI networks,
APTN, ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, Intersex Asia, ILGA Asia, and PSGDN

The Australian Government has a unique opportunity to show leadership in Asia and the Pacific to advance LGBTIQ+ human rights. The report recommends that Australia: 

  • Provide $15 million per year for LGBTQI community groups in the region to help prevent legal and social stigma and discrimination
  • Develop a strategy to guide Australia’s support for LGBTQI human rights
  • Ensure Australia’s high-level representatives promote and uphold the rights of LGBTQI people around the world 

The report commented that Australia has the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to values of human rights and equality within a multilateral framework given its previous success in gender equality and disability inclusion. Partnering with Pride recommends that Australia engage in this area through a partnership-based approach that recognises the central role of local leadership in bringing about change. This would align closely with the Australian Government’s broader approach to engagement in the Asia Pacific. In a space often perceived as difficult, it would set Australia apart as a constructive and progressive partner.

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