Some 25 countries across Asia and the Pacific in the past decade have launched a range of measures to advance social, economic, cultural and political inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, according to a report.
Despite the progress, the report emphasises that LGBTI people continue to represent some of the most marginalised populations. Consensual homosexual sexual conduct between adult males continues to be criminalised in at least 19 countries in Asia and the Pacific. This colonial era, punitive approach to same sex behaviour legitimises prejudice, contributes to mental health problems, increases vulnerability to HIV, and exposes people to hate crimes, police abuse, torture and family violence.
These are key findings the summary of "Leave no one behind: Advancing social, economic, cultural and political inclusion of LGBTI people in Asia and the Pacific" report, released today in Hanoi by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
"The Leave no one behind report outlines the many opportunities for collaboration and obstacles that lie in the path towards true equality and respect for the human rights of LGBTI people in the region,” said Ted Osius, US Ambassador to Vietnam. “It provides us with a clear roadmap on how to overcome these obstacles and is therefore an incredibly valuable tool for governments, civil society and other development stakeholders. It will help all of us engage to protect the rights of all LGBTI people.”
The summary report provides 39 recommendations for governments and development partners. These recommendations support the argument that the inclusion of LGBTI people in broader development goals is essential if countries are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).