Foreign Minister Penny Wong, through a recorded video announced the Inclusion and Equality Fund which will be Australia’s first dedicated fund to support LGBTQI rights and reduce discrimination against the community in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Leaders like APCOM who alongside their work on health, work with thirty-five countries in Asia and the Pacific to strengthen human and legal rights, reducing stigma and building inclusion.”She commented in the Opening Statement.
Read the Opening Statement here:
Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference, Opening Statement
A coalition of LGBTQI groups across Asia and the Pacific, along with the Global Philanthropy Project and Equality Australia last week released Partnering with Pride, a report that called on Australia to provide $15 million per year to community groups in the region.
“This groundbreaking announcement marks the first time Australia has committed to a long-term strategy and dedicated funding to help LGBTIQ+ people in our region address social stigma and legal discrimination,”commented Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown.
APCOM Executive Director Midnight Poonkasetwattana said,
“The fund is a historic moment for community groups in the Asia-Pacific region. Countries in this region are home to some of the world’s harshest anti-LGBTIQ laws,”he continued,
“Seventeen Asia-Pacific nations criminalise consensual same-sex relations, including seven Pacific Island countries, with punishments ranging from caning to up to life in prison and in some cases even death.”
APCOM together with the coalition of LGBTQI community organisations in Asia and the Pacific involved in the Partnering with Pride report very much look forward to working closely with the Australian Government to localize this funding for the benefits of LGBTQI people in our region.