Right on time to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) on May 17, UNDP, USAID and the University of the Philippines (UP) will host experts and advocates from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in a public forum to discuss key human rights challenges and opportunities. The discussions will particularly focus on issues facing LGBT people in the region, to do with education, health, employment, family affairs, media, community and politics.
This move is said to be part of the “proactive approach” that LGBT advocates, community based organizations, human rights institutions and other supporters have been taking to educate and advocate for the equal treatment of LGBT people.
LGBT experts and advocates from all over Asia who are expected to speak for panel 1 include: Professor Michael L. Tan, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy of the University of Philippines; Xu Bin, founder of Common Language (China); Prempreeda Ayutthaya, board member of the Asia-Pacific Transgender Network (Thailand); and Ging Cristobal, project coordinator for Asia and Pacific Islands Region of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (Philippines). The discussions will be moderated by Professor Eric Manalastas, MSc, deputy director for Research Publication and Resource Collection of the Center for Women’s Studies of University of Philippines – Diliman.
Speakers for panel 2, which will deal with youth perspective on being LGBT in Asia, include: Xu Wenxu, UNV LGBT human rights officer (China); Luluk Surahman, UNV LGBT human rights officer (Indonesia), Christopher Reyes, UNV LGBT human rights officer (The Philippines), Rashima Kwatra, UNV LGBT human rights officer (Thailand), and Lieu Anh Vu, UNV LGBT human rights officer (Viet Nam). It will be moderated by Li Zhou, technical officer of LGBT and Human Rights of the UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Centre (Thailand).
The event is supported by the Being LGBT in Asia initiative. Launched on the International Human Rights Day 2012, this joint UNDP, USAID initiative is being implemented in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Viet Nam.
Slated from 4.30PM onwards, the public discussions will be at the National College of Public Administration and Governance Assembly Hall (2nd Floor) of the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.