APTN Transphobic Hate Crime Monitoring Workshop

Published November 25, 2022
Location Asia Pacific

Virtual workshop on local monitoring and campaigning to combat transphobic hate crimes and violence, and harmful practices.

This workshop is a pilot to conduct a Transphobic Hate Crime and Violence monitoring, and reporting system that is accessible to transgender-led and local organisations. It was held virtually on the 10th & 11th of November and attended by 15 partners and community members (India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, and Thailand) who have previously engaged with APTN in different regional and national projects. 

With this workshop, we aim to:

  • Strengthen the capacity and build peer-to-peer knowledge among trans-led organisations on documenting incidents of transphobic hate crimes, violence and other harmful practices, including conversion therapy by utilising APTN’s tools.
  • Building a better understanding among trans-led organisations of the nature and extent of transphobic hate crimes and conversion therapy against trans and gender-diverse people, as well as relevant legislative and policy frameworks to strengthen their engagement in global, regional and local advocacy.
  • Facilitate discussion among trans-led organisations on the strategies to support survivors and victims of mentioned forms of violence. 
  • Identify and explore the types of campaigns to tackle the issues related to transphobic hate crime and conversion therapy.

In this workshop, the participants addressed some key challenges they faced during their work in documenting the process of hate crimes and other harmful practices:

  • There has been a challenge to cooperate and engage with the victims/survivors because of the sensitivity of the issue. They are also facing the unwillingness of allies to speak up.
  • A lot of cases have been underreported because the identities of the trans victims/survivors had been erased or documented wrongly.
  • Lack of necessary capacity and expertise in data collection, funding, and long-term strategy to close the knowledge and information gap pertaining to hate crimes, Conversion Therapy and other harmful practices.

Also, some best practices have been shared among participants:

  • Some countries and partners already had a strong connection and partnership with support groups: physical and mental healthcare providers, human rights groups, and lawyers. Local champions are not only able to provide technical support (counselling, legal aid advice, etc) but also collaborate with CBOs to develop guidelines and data-collection tools.
  • Trying to raise awareness and initiate discussion among community members, partners and stakeholders to understand the nature and the extent of hate crimes and other harmful practices at different levels. 

In order to better tackle the issues, participants also discuss the opportunities & threats that lie ahead:

  • Seek, compile, or establish mechanisms to hold the perpetrators of conversion therapy practices accountable.
  • Increase awareness of the impact of hate crimes, conversion therapy and other harmful practices among trans and gender-diverse communities and inform them on how to take caution and action.
  • Filing a petition in partnership with a lawyer or legal experts to change the legal framework to support the work in the hate crimes, conversion therapy, and other harmful practices related cases better.

Threats that need to be addressed and mitigated are:

  • Retaliation from the perpetrators.
  • Insensitivity and pressure from law enforcement and police.
  • The threats against data privacy.

Overall, participants have a good impression of the workshop, and engagement with different participants across the region was cherished. They also learned to tackle challenges through discussion, for example, there are discussions and tips on how to engage sensitively with victims of hate crime and conversion therapy practices. Participants shared several ideas that can be implemented by local communities and applied in the local context, such as campaigns raising awareness of hate crimes, conversion therapy and harmful practices during the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), and Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV). 

Above are some of our notes and learnings after the workshop. We are still continuing this work and we hope that there will be more improvements in documenting hate crimes!