APTN Delivers Key Demands on behalf of the LGBT Constituency at the Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development 2022

The Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) is an annual and inclusive intergovernmental forum and a regional platform for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development while serving as a regional preparatory meeting for the High Level Political Forum (HLPF).

The forum assesses progress in achieving the  2030 Agenda by identifying regional trends and consolidating and sharing best practices and lessons learned. The Forum takes into consideration the contributions of United Nations system bodies (at the regional level), other regional and sub-regional organizations, as well as civil society organisations organised by different constituencies as part of the Asia Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism (APRCEM).

The theme of the 9th APFSD is “Building back better from COVID-19 while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific”. The forum will provide the space for an in-depth review of the following cluster of goals which will be reviewed by the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in 2022: SDG 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality), 14 (Life below water), 15 (Life on Land), and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

APTN is part of the APRCEM and was represented by Madhura Chakraborty (Human Rights and Advocacy Manager) and Nhuun Yodmuang (Senior Human Rights and Advocacy Officer). On the 30th of March (day 3 of the event), Nhuun Yodmuang presented the key demands from the LGBTI constituency. To watch the speech, please click on the video below:

The original text of the speech:

Statement from the LGBTIQA+ Constituency of APRCEM

The LGBTI communities across Asia and the Pacific have limited visibility and access to advocacy spaces due to the fact that queer, trans, gender diverse, non-binary and intersex people are often criminalized and stigmatized in the region, barring our access to public life and decision making spaces.

Further, gender equality, as defined by Goal 5, falls short in addressing the needs of the LGBTI community owing to the binary language used throughout. The indicators and measurements under SDG 5 do not reflect the lived realities of our communities in the region which are characterized by increased homophobic and transphobic hate crimes and hate speech, violence and discrimination.

Current COVID-19 mitigation policies also do not take into consideration the widespread vulnerability, impoverishment, criminalization and homelessness among the LGBTI people. These experiences of inequality and discrimination are compounded by intersections with other markers of identities such as caste, ethnicity, indigenous status, disability, age, etc.

The following are our demands to achieve gender justice.

  1. Repeal punitive laws, such as death penalty or criminalisation of LGBTI people and  ensure our social inclusion, representation, and bodily autonomy.
  1. Recognise and legislate against homophobic and transphobic hate crimes and hate speech. Ensure disaggregated data collection to understand the nature and extent of discriminations faced by LGBTI people in order to inform policies.
  1. Ensure corporations are taxed progressively so these taxes can be used for public services and social protection accessed by LGBTI people and other marginalized communities.
  1. Ratify the ILO Convention 190 and enact legal measures that protect LGBTI people from violence and harassment in the world of work, in formal as well as informal sectors.
  1. Ensure accessible and high quality public healthcare services that meet the specific needs of queer, trans, intersex communities keeping in mind intersections with disability as well as linguistic diversity.
  1. Ensure safe and inclusive space both for formal and informal education including  understanding about land, environmental and climate justice as well as age appropriate, multilingual and accessible information targeting LGBTI youth through Comprehensive Sexuality Education.
  1. States across the region must work together to find ways to make movements safe for migrants, internally displaced and stateless people and asylum seekers keeping in mind the particular needs of migrants and forced migrants from LGBTI communities.
  1. Ensure enactment of Legal Gender Recognition and equal marriage and adoption laws to ensure property and land rights for LGBTI individuals and families.
  1. Ensure accountability to people and transparency about dismantling surveillance technologies being used to target activists from the LGBTI communities as well as WHRDs and environmental defenders.
  1. Ensure the formation of the LGBTI Task Force consisting of state representatives as well as CSOs to combat the systemic barriers

We demand Development Justice Now to exercise our equal and inalienable right to equal lives with dignity.