The Being LGBTI in Asia Phase 2 initiative (BLIA-2) is a regional partnership between UNDP, the Swedish Embassy in Bangkok and USAID, with a focus on four countries: China, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand. The initiative is aimed at advancing the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, and reducing inequality and marginalization on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).
The initiative is a collaboration with civil society, and engages national and regional institutions to advance protective laws and policies, and empower civil society. It supports policy and operational research, and strategy development among vulnerable groups and a range of key stakeholders at national and regional level. The initiative recognizes that specific LGBTI populations, including lesbians, gay men, transgender men and women and intersex persons face varied and diverse experiences depending on their distinct gender identities and expressions, and social cultural context.
The objectives of the Project are:
- Through community building and empowerment to support LGBTI individuals to know their rights, and to have access to justice to report human rights violations and end impunity;
- Through community mobilization for effective policy advocacy on legal and policy change (with law makers, local governments, judiciary, and National Human Rights Institutions) to ensure the development and enforcement of protective laws (including anti-violence/anti-discrimination laws and policies);
- Through community mobilization to engage in dialogues with key stakeholders (such as religious organizations, the private sector, law enforcement authorities, educational institutions) to address stigma, discrimination and end harmful practices that fuel human rights violations against LGBTI individuals in public and private settings, and to ensure LGBTI individuals have equal access to public services.
The expected outcomes of the Project are:
- Increased capacity of LGBTI organizations to effectively mobilize, advocate and contribute in policy dialogues and community empowerment activities;
- Improved capacity and action of governments, the judiciary, parliaments, National Human Rights Institutions to develop SOGI-related protective laws and policies; and
- Reduced stigma and discrimination and end of harmful practices (including violence) against LGBTI people in selected areas.
Outcome 1: Increased capacity of LGBTI organizations to effectively mobilize, advocate and contribute in policy dialogues and community empowerment activities
At country level the following activities will support the desired outcomes:
- A small grant scheme for LGBTI community groups, for capacity building, research or advocacy. Grants will be managed by UNDP National Project Officers (NOA) at UNDP country offices.
At regional level, the project will support LGBTI networks and advocates:
- the ASEAN SOGIE Caucus (ASC) with governance, to engage in policy dialogue at multinational level, and network effectively with national partners;
- the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) with institutional and technical support to assess and address country and regional level needs.
Outcome 2: Improved capacity and action of governments, the judiciary, parliaments, NHRIs to develop SOGI-related protective laws and policies
At regional level, the project will:
- Convene a multi-stakeholder Regional Dialogue to assess and document the LGBT human rights situation.
- Based on the Regional Dialogue outcome, support regional action frameworks (for APTN and ASC).
- Support for ASEAN and SAARC as platforms for policy dialogue.
In the focus countries, the program will support (with the help of national and regional LGBTI organizations, and the Asia Pacific Forum):
- National advocacy agenda setting, based on the National Dialogues.
- Capacity building for government representative on country relevant LGBTI issues.
- Capacity building of the National Human Right Institutions with support from ASEAN SOGIE Caucus and the Asia Pacific Forum (APF).
- Inform the Universal Periodic Reviews and other human rights reporting mechanism to ensure LGBTI issues are integrated.
- Sensitivity events for judiciary, lawmakers and law enforcement personnel, including gender recognition.
- Link to ongoing human rights programming and opportunities.
Outcome 3: Reduced stigma and discrimination and end of harmful practices against LGBTI people in selected areas
At regional level, the project will support stigma and discrimination reduction, and end harmful practices through:
- Collaboration with UNESCO for a regional consultation on anti-bullying interventions and school curricula on SOGI.
- Partner with USAID/Health Policy Project and APTN to develop and disseminate the Asia Pacific Transgender Blueprint.
- Development of a faith community anti-stigma strategy to roll out in focus countries.
- Regional study and regional consultation on workplace LGBT & SOGI issues in the private sector.
- Support to B-change Foundation to expand the “Be” web-app and expand the use and scope of the “being-me” video product.
- Engage private sector partners to ensure workplace protections
In the focus countries, the project will support a range of national consultations with relevant sector representatives, including:
- Faith leaders and faith communities.
- Private sector stakeholders, through a national conference.
- Education sector policy makers and teachers through a national consultation.
Through these various activities, Being LGBTI in Asia Phase 2 has produced the following reports with our project partners: