May 13, 2014
For immediate release
The CamASEAN Youth’s Future and Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer (LGBTIQ) People Affirms ‘We Are #Cambodiantoo’ & Calls the States and the People to Support the Inclusion of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity & Expression (SOGIE) in the National Agenda and Programs
The CamASEAN Youth’s Future (CamASEAN) on 20th April, launched its ‘We are #Cambodiantoo & #CambodianLGBT’ campaign on its social media sites in the lead up to the Cambodia Gay Pride and International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHOT) that will take place in Phnom Penh from 17th to 18th May, 2014. The social media campaign calls for the online users to show their support for the inclusion of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression (SOGIE) in the Cambodian government and other development programs by using the hashtag #Cambodiantoo & #CambodianLGBT as they send supportive tweets and facebook.
In addition, the CamASEAN released a summary of laws that are misused, mistreated as well as discriminated against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans*, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) persons in the Cambodia. This is accompanied by online posters of the recommendations of joint-submission of Cambodian LGBTIQ to promote and protect the rights of LGBTIQ persons. The posters can be found in Khmer and English on our websites www.camasean.org and www.cambodialgbt.wordpress.com .
“The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness regarding the recommendations, which address the pressing issues concerning LGBTIQ persons in the Cambodia. The CamASEAN and its partners call on the government of Cambodia, development partners, embassies and people to improve and strengthen laws that are misused, mistreated and discriminated against LGBTIQ persons and to comply with the Human Rights standards, establish national level mechanisms and to review existing Human Rights instruments!” said Srun Srorn, Resource Person of CamASEAN, Cambodia.
“Cambodia has no laws that discriminated against a person based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, contrary to their constitutions that guarantee fundamental rights and liberties for all. Meanwhile, the cultural norm and personal perceptions of individual local authority, police, workplace, public places and families sanctioned violence continues unchecked or solved. In such environments, we face barriers from fully enjoying our fundamental rights, accessing services, and living a fulfilling and meaningful life without fear, shame and guilt,” added Khan Chancholex, Advisor of Cambodia LGBT Legal Support.
“Many LGBTIQ persons are denied our right to health when SOGIE is still pathologized. To date, many lesbian and transgender female to male are treated as having mental illness by sending to Kru Khmer or traditional doctors believe that they can treat their daughters to be straight girls/women. The assumption that SOGIE is a mental illness leads to the attempts to cure us. This violates our fundamental liberties and takes away our personal autonomy,” explained Meas Sophanut, the Manager of Rainbow Cambodia Advocate Team.
With this campaign, CamASEAN aims to create a positive environment where diversity and choice are respected, where people can all co-exist in dignity and humanity. In view of that, we call LGBTIQ persons and allies to post ‘selfies’ or photos of themselves with apps like Instagram, using the hashtag #Cambodiantoo and #CambodianLGBT to show their support for the inclusion of SOGIE in the country.
The CamASEAN and its partners will also host a series of ‘Queer tweets’ on the 13th, 14th and 15th of May 2014 with three different topics every day. We shall cover the basics of SOGIE inclusion on the first day; the trends and challenges, positive developments in relation to SOGIE in Cambodia on day two.