APF LGBTIQ Caucus statemen

The ASEAN LGBTIQ Caucus Statement:

Inclusion of SOGI issues and Rights in the ACSC/APF and in the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

The second convening of the ASEAN Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) People’s Caucus at Phnom Penh, Cambodia was not only to celebrate diversity but moreso, to remind the governments and members of civil society that the recognition, promotion and protection of LGBTIQ rights are still long overdue.

 For the second year, issues pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) have been given equal priority and attention as other struggles and issues at the ASEAN Civil Society conference/ASEAN People’s Forum (ACSC/APF). While we appreciate the long overdue acknowledgement and opportunity, we need the ACSC/APF to do more than just lipservice.

 Across the ASEAN region, LGBTIQ persons are either treated as second class citizens, criminals, are seen as deviants, and in some cases are not even recognized as human beings.  We are made to lead dual lives and be ashamed of ourselves for who we are. We are subjected to name calling, condemnation, taunts, reparative treatments and other inhumane abuses.  Discrimination and violence come not only from our families, friends, communities, and employers but also from state institution such as state actors, especially police and religious officers. Even in the face of discrimination and violence, the governments refuse to protect our basic human rights

 In Brunei, Burma, Malaysia and Singapore colonial laws that criminalize SOGI are used to harass, extort money and demand sexual favours, arrest, detain and persecute LGBTIQ persons. In the Philippines and Indonesia, anti-‐trafficking or pornographic laws are used to conduct illegal raids at gay establishments and detain LGBTIQ people. The anti–‐kidnapping law in the Philippines is used to forcibly break apart lesbian couples in legitimate and consensual relationships. In Cambodia, a lesbian was imprisoned following a homophobic complaint by the family of her partner because of their relationship. In Thailand, the negligence of the state is clearly manifested in the refusal to investigate the killings of fifteen lesbians and gender–‐variant women. The existence of the pornographic law in Indonesia, which haphazardly included SOGI as pornography, is used by several internet providers to block websites of legitimate LGBTIQ organization such as the International Gay Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGHLRC) and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association (ILGA) websites. In Malaysia, Seksualiti Merdeka, an annual sexuality festival was disrupted and banned by the police as the festival was deemed a “threat to national security”.

 Basic human rights, such as right to healthcare, housing and education, are denied on the basis our SOGI. This has contributed to the steep rise in HIV infection amongst most at risk populations: men who have sex with men and transgendered people. Archaic laws that criminalize SOGI make it even more difficult in implementing life–‐saving interventions to at–‐risk groups.

Even with all the hurdles and challenges faced by the LGBTIQ movement in Asia, our numbers and strength has been steadily growing. We have come at the stage in our struggle for equality and respect that we will ACSC/APF 2012 never accept discrimination, abuse and violence a part of our existence by the denial of our rights and our humanity.

 It is in this spirit of pride and dignity that we are reclaiming our rightful space in our respective countries and in our region, and demand our governments to:

  • Include SOGI provision into the ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights, specifically inclusion of reference to ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’ within Article 2
  • Immediately repeal laws that directly and indirectly criminalize SOGI, recognizes LGBTIQ rights as human rights, and harmonizes national laws, policies and practices with the Yogyakarta Principles.
  • Establish national level mechanisms and review existing regional human rights instruments (e.g. AICHR, ACWC) to include the promotion and protection of the equal rights of all people regardless of SOGI with the active engagement of the LGBTIQ community.
  • Depahologize SOGI and promote psychological well being of people of Diverse SOGI in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) standards, and ensure equal access to health and social services.


  • Arus Pelangi, Indonesia
  • Cambodia Center for Human Rights (CCHR), Cambodia
  • Child’s Rights Coalition – Asia
  • HerLounge, Indonesia
  • Human Rights Education and Information in Burma (HREIB), Burma
  • ICS, Vietnam
  • Institute of Studies for Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE), Vietnam
  • iSee, Vietnam
  • Knowledge and Rights with Young people through Safe Spaces (KRYSS), Malaysia
  • Mplus, Thailand
  • Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand
  • Seksualiti Merdeka, Malaysia
  • Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP), Philippines
  • The Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK), Cambodia


  • International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC–Asia Program)
  • International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association (ILGA-­-Asia)


  • Aliansi Remaja Independent (Independent Young People Alliance), Indonesia
  • Harry Benjamin’s Syndrome, Indonesia
  • People Like Us (PLUS), Singapore
  • Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana, Indonesia
  • Sayoni, Singapore
  • Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), Malaysia
  • Lesbian Activism Project (LeAP!), Inc, Philippines
  • GAYa NUSANTARA, Indonesia
  • Oogachaga Counselling and Support, Singapore
  • Youth Interfaith Forum on Sexuality, Indonesia
  • Philippines Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Philippines
  • Rainbow Rights Project (R-­-Rights), Inc., Philippines


  • King Oey – tk_oey@yahoo.com
  • Ging Cristobal – gcristobal@iglhrc.org
  • Thilaga Sulathireh – thilaga.sulathireh@gmail.com

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ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People\’s Forum (ACSC/APF) merupakan pertemuan tahunan berbagai komponen masyarakat sipil yang dimulai pada tahun 2005 di Malaysia. Pertemuan ini dilanjutkan di Filipina pada 2006, Singapura pada 2007, Thailand pada 2009, Vietnam pada 2010 dan Indonesia pada 2011. Di setiap akhir pertemuan di Forum tersebut, masyarakat sipil akan membuat statemen kolektif dan rekomendasi untuk ASEAN.

Tahun 2012, ACSC/APF diadakan di Phnom Penh, Kamboja pada 29-31 Maret 2012. Tanggal tersebut dipilih karena pada 3-4 APril 2012 akan diadakan ASEAN Summit yang ke-20. Pertemuan ini menjadi sebuah ruang bagi debat konstruktif dan demokratis mengenai ide, formulasi mengenai ASEAN, dan juga menjadi sarana untuk saling berbagi pengalaman dengan berbagai gerakan dan masyarakat sipil serta memperluas jaringan terhadap berbagai isu di wilayah Asia Tenggara, khususnya proses pembangunan komunitas. Tahun ini, berefleksi dari perhatian utama masyarakat ASEAN, maka tema yang dipilih adalah \”Transforming ASEAN into a People Centred Community\”. Tema ini dikerucutkan dalam wokshop tematik sebagai berikut

01. Natural resources & environment
02. Land rights & evictions
03. Indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities & LGBTIQ rights
04. Gender & women’s rights
05. Child & youth rights
06. Civil liberty, good governance & rule of law
07. Persons with disabilities
08. Democracy & election
09. Migration (migrant workers)
10. Refugees & IDPs
11. Agriculture
12. Economic justice
13. Trade union, labour rights & workers
14. Peace & security
15. People’s regional alternatives
16. Education
17. Health

Adanya ruang perbincangan mengenai hak-hak LGBTIQ menjadi momen yang signifikan bagi masyarakat sipil di Asia Tenggara untuk memasukkan SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) ke dalam Deklarasi HAM ASEAN, mengingat berbagai pelanggaran HAM berbasis orientasi seksual dan identitas gender masih terjadi di negara-negara di Asia Tenggara. Hal ini membuat YIFoS untuk ikut mendorong statemen dan rekomendasi yang dikeluarkan oleh Kaukus LGBTIQ pada forum tersebut. Ini menjadi bagian dari komitmen YIFoS sebagai organisasi berbasis komunitas untuk turut ambil bagian dalam gerakan perjuangan hak-hak LGBTIQ di level regional dan berproses terus untuk belajar dari berbagai organisasi maupun komunitas yang telah berperan sedari awal proses pembentukan Kaukus LGBTIQ ini.

[More about APF LGBTIQ Caucus statemen]

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