“World peace is no longer just a beauty pageant punchline, it is now my reality where I can truly make world peace happen. ”
So said Rica Paras, chairwoman of the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP), in attendance at the 21st meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland from September 17 to 21. Paras – one of the leading voices of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement in the Philippines – is one of the representatives of a coalition of LGBT organizations from the Philippines, attending a number of meetings with State representatives in order to raise various issues regarding the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Philippines, which will be adopted at the Council’s session.
The Philippine LGBT coalition includes STRAP Kababaihan Philippines Inc., Progay Philippines, Rainbow Rights Project Inc., Metropolitan Community Church-Quezon City (MCCQC), and IGLHRC Asia Program.
Paras is scheduled to deliver the UPR Statement for Philippines on Thursday, September 20, from 3.00PM Central Europe time (9.00PM Philippine time), with live streaming available at the United Nations Human Rights Council Webcast.
Paras’ representation was supported by COC Netherlands, an organization based in Amsterdam, with special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. STRAP founder and Outrage Magazine contributing writer Sass Rogando Sasot is also working as an international project officer with COC Netherlands.