Joint Statement, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network & International Lesbian and Gay Association
Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia
Delivered by Alberto Ulises Quero Garcia
54:54 – 57:00 / Text is below
Thank you, Madam Vice President,
This statement is also made on behalf of Micro Rainbow, and a coalition of Cambodian NGOs who work on human rights, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
We would like to congratulate the Special Rapporteur for his outstanding work in monitoring the situation of human rights in Cambodia for the last six years and we commend him for consulting with local LGBTI NGOs.
Cambodian LGBTI people are severely abused, discriminated against, and subjected to socio-economic exclusion from family, community members, employers, local authorities, and the police.
Family rejection forces many LGBTI people to leave home, give up school at a young age, become homeless, and live in poverty. Families with LGBTI children feel ashamed and are pressured by neighbours and relatives to reject them.
We are also aware that gays and transwomen are often arrested, and that lesbians and transmen are forced into marriage by their families.
According to the latest report from Cambodia’s Ministry of Planning, MDG1 is “seriously off-track and requires robust intervention.” Such a situation of poverty is widespread but when combined with sexual orientation, gender identity or expression issues, discrimination, and lack of access to public services it creates a situation of massive inequality for LGBTI people in Cambodia.
We call on the Cambodian Government to:
- Immediately repeal laws that indirectly criminalize sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression;
- Take all measures necessary not only to reduce the situation of poverty, but also to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence, which undermine LGBTI people’s full enjoyment of their human rights;
- Engage with and consult the LGBTI community and those working on issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression;
- De-pathologize sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression, and promote the psychological well-being of LGBTI people and ensure equal access to health and social services.
Finally, we call on the future Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia to investigate the human rights situation of LGBTI people in his future reports.
We thank you.
This statement is endorsed by the following local NGOs:
- Rainbow Community Advocacy Team (Rainbow CAT)
- Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK)
- Cambodia LGBT Legal Support (CLGBT)
- PFLAG Cambodia
- CamASEAN Youth’s Future
- Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR)