IDAHOT Events 2015: Cambodia – A Voice for the Voiceless

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CamASEAN, together with its affiliates organised again a ten-day Gay Pride and IDAHOT celebration, beginning on May 14th, under the slogan ‘Voice for the Voiceless “Family is like our SKIN & Coming Out is a Right”’.

The goal for 2015 is firstly to raise awareness within the LGBTI community, their parents and friends, and public to understand the Cambodia laws and policy to reflect to the reality of LGBTI people and their common life. Secondly, to inform the Cambodian society that LGBTI people have participated in social development such business, employment, education and cultural protection and promotion. UN Agencies expressed their support for the Pride Cambodia. The IDAHOT celebrations still contiue to the International Human Rights Day with a LGBTI exhibition.
The topics and activities of the IDAHOT week included:

  • Ending bullying at schools advocating for Non-discrimination policies at schools
  • Poverty reduction and seeking positive social attitudes in Cambodian society
  • My voice, my story “radio program” and National Dialogue on Gaps and Human Rights of Transgender People in Cambodia to understand the gaps and social protection needs of transgender community.
  • A Voice to Voiceless community workshop to build straight allies and other CSOs to celebrate IDAHOT
  • ‘Coming Out, Come Home’ to make dialogue between experienced LGBT individuals on how to come out safely to younger members of the community
  • Participattion with Private Sector and other groups or NGOs from 17-24th May.
  • A documentary screening and reflection to inspire more activism movement, both for LGBTI and straight people.

Following are some details for the activitities planned during Pride and the IDAHOT Celebration
Summary report by the organisers. If you like to have more details about the events please contact the organisers for the detailed reports:

Result of campaign and celebration of IDAHOT and Gay Pride by our team.

Our main achievement this year has proved increasing interest from Public:

– We have gained three schools to join us with about 100 students in Prey Veng where we organized STOP BULLYING at SCHOOL.

– We gained unexpected participation from media while this year there are 4 TV joined us and we can collect their products only one from Hong Meas while My TV, CTN, Bayon not yet collect. But we understand that at least 3 millions people have watched this and now we put them in youtube. However, we got 6 times radio talks by VoD, CCHR and Confrel, and Bayon Radio. While Phnom Penh post, Radio Free Asia, VoD News and

– We get more NGOs and UN bodies involve with us esp. the private sector have celebrated their event for 10 days long which mean the many of them give us venue and refreshment to support us.

-First time we have workshop to identifying needs of transgender people. we will send detail report of each workshop we have next week.

-We bring our Cyclo to visit UN, Embassy, International NGOs and local NGOs who are our allies even though we did not meet any of them during Sunday but we posted on faceboook with their buildings and rainbow Cyclo.

-Our aims to build straight allies have been very progressive and our social media gain more than 11,920 members added themselves and discuss every minutes in the facebook groups.

After May 17, the Minister of Information invited us to meet him to discuss further work of how to protect LGBTI through media. 

Cambodia Gay Pride & IDAHOT has been celebrated since 2004 as HIV/AIDs awareness for men who have sex with men (MSM), but from 2009 the celebration becomes the human rights cause which promote the human rights of LGBTI (not just MSM and HIV/AIDs). This year, Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK) celebrate from 14-17 May with majority are lesbians and transmen, Bandahn Chaktomuk or National MSM network is started in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh participated by MSM, transwomen and Gays, NGOs partners, EU Embassy and UN, Private business have started from 14-24 May.
CamASEAN Youth’s Future (CamASEAN)) co-organize together with Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) celebrated from 14-18 May with diversity participants who are LGBTI, straight men and straight women.
We hope that all of our achievements on May 17 this year, by all, will continue to reverberate throughout the other 364 days of the year.
Lesson learned:

  • Well preparation is a must as the honourable guest speakers were from the local authority.
  • More local NGOs participated with providing us refreshment and venue for the workshops
  • More local media (more than 10 include 4 TV) attended during press conference with cover more than 3 million audiences
  • Three schools (One high school and two secondary schools) in Baphnom district, Prey Veng have participated in campaign of stop bullying at schools which show how important Non-discrimination in education is important
  • We don’t have budget to support LGBTI participants from Province to join us or we were not able to go to Provinces while we use radio talk to reach them.

Comments on what has been done well:                

  • The best cooperation amongst the project partners to support the celebration.
  • Diversity dialogue have brought the LGBTI people and their straight allies (family, friends, and local authority) to understand, analyse and accept each other as human being and seek next step to support each other.
  • The project gains the attraction and interest from the participants. Many people raised lots of questions, discussion and inspiration about next dialogue, campaign and inclusion sexual orientation & gender identity/expression in government agenda or in other NGOs’.
  • The multi stakeholders including the Media attended the event.
  • The event strongly gains the supports from all the stakeholders like LGBTI, straight allies, donors, private sector, schools, UN, Embassy, and NGOs.
  • Tuk Tuk race and Rainbow Cyclo is very visible in public.
  • Online campaign has gained a lots of comment, like and share in social media-facebook, twitter, hastag and website.
  1. Actions coming out of the event/activity and how they relate to the event
  • 14th May is “Stop Bullying at School” at Prey Veng, to aware of LGBTI students and teachers to understand their human rights to stop bullying at schools and to produce policy paper to Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport (MoEYS) to establish non-discrimination in schools. The workshop was organized in Prey Veng Province, and hosted around one hundred participants from 03 high schools in Prey Veng and many universities in Cambodia. At the end of the workshop, participants produce a paper policy which what they want to see at school non- discrimination for LGBTI students and how nondiscrimination is important. The facilitators were Sum Chandara (Project Manager of PFLAG), and Phao Phanith (Facilitator of LLC). The main issues and objectives were:
    • Raising Awareness about Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression
    • Basics of Human Rights
    • Color Rainbow Painting: info session about the Rainbow Flag
    • Next Step identification

      Message to stop bullying at school from Baphom high

                  – As I am a youth, I will help to encourage the person who live with HIVs and LGBT.

                  – As I am a youth in Baphnom high school, I will encourage the LGBT person to overcome

                     challenges and encourage to live to have equal rights and freedom because we are


                  – As I am a youth, I will consult to the LGBT and the person who are discriminating on LGBT.Cambodia_School

  • 15th May is “Poverty Reduction and social positive attitude changes” at Rainbow CAT, Phnom Penh, to promote economic empowerment among LGBTI community towards positive social attitude changes and to connect businesses into social entrepreneurship. UNAIDS, journalists, LGBTI in poverty, LGBTI activists, human rights and youth activists, CSOs representative, and Business people. The workshop consisted of:
    • Input from the Facilitator
    • Representative sharing
    • Question and answer
    • Slide presentation
    • Group Discussion
    • Panelist/ sharing individual expectation

    Participants in the workshop said that this workshop is very important because they can loan (no interest) opportunity to set up business; inspiration questions of how to start up a business which we want to do but have never thought more strategically and detail; and Sharing business experience about failure and successful from LGBTI people in business life. There were 15 LGBTI people who wrote their business plan in the last session of the workshop. Facilitators were Kong Yara, Long Malen, Tana and the workshop was supported by Micro-Rainbow International.Cambodia_PovertyWS

  • 16th May is “National Dialogue on Gaps and Human Rights of Transgender People in Cambodia” at LICADHO, Phnom Penh, to identify gaps and develop possible solutions of problem to support transgender community in Cambodia 2015. Transgender, LGBT activist, straight people, UNAIDS, CSOs, shared experiences about laws and policy in Cambodia that protect Transgender and LGBTI people, and they wrote their planning what they can do to end discrimination and violence to transgender at workplace, family, school, and health sector. The participants were divided into 4 groups to discuss the following key issues: Group 1: Stigma and Discrimination from Family ; Group 2: Lack of Health Care Services for Transgender; Group 3: Stigma and Discrimination in Employment and Group 4: Bullying at Education. The strategic plans that were developed included:
    1. Health Group
    • Mobile apps, SMS (reporter, improvement, and asking information about health- maybe made on July 2015)
    • Create Network to support TG and family
    • Workshop on human rights, social protection, and sharing needs TG and health center
    • Group meeting and reflection LGBT community members
    • Poverty Reduction Project in Cambodia
    1. Employment Group
    • Counseling Team to consult about LGBT issues and employment
    • Poverty Reduction Project: access loan
    • Meeting Employment Sector and LGBT to reflect and improve problems
    • Report poverty among LGBT to the public
    • Meeting ministry of labor and LGBT
    • Press Release
    • Networking to help each other
    • Workshop to share and raise awareness among stakeholders
    • Vocational Training to TB,TG
    1. School Group
    • Include SOGIE into high school and university
    • Sharing and workshop about SOGIE more at school
    • Networking with school to lobby about LGBT case and sharing SOGIE
    • Training LGBT at school to understand about their rights and strategic advocacy
    1. Family Group
    • Training Counselors
    • Showing examples of family who have a good loving relationship together
    • Education about LGBTI
    • Dialogue between families and family and LGBT in the community to identify solution
    • Demonstration Training to Community members about LGBT
  • 17th May, Morning is “International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) Celebration “Voice to the Voiceless” & Press Conference” at Park Café, Phnom Penh, to Build Ally between LGBTI with parents, sibling, classmates, colleagues, NGOs relevant, and government especially Media, to Voice to the Voiceless and my story and my voice- LGBT and all people are important involvement to end LGBT violation and discrimination, and to make non Discrimination policies in school to LGBT and Marginalized people. There are panelist about Gay Pride and IDAHOT 2015, presentation LGBT movement in Cambodia, and questions and answer sessions. There are more than 35 participants in the press Conference and 4 national TV has been broadcast and 6 newspapers have been public. This year, the media public more positive about LGBT in Cambodia.

               Purpose of the workshop

Build Ally between LGBTI with parents, sibling, classmates, colleagues, NGOs relevant, and government especially Media

Voice to the Voiceless and my story and my voice- LGBT and all people are important to involvement to end LGBT violation and discrimination ​

Non Discrimination policies in school to LGBT and Marginalized people​​

What were the key issues raised?

Update about LGBTI movement in Cambodia

Panel Discussion among straight allies with LGBTI friends

Media questions and answerCambodia_PressConference

17th May, Afternoon is “Safe Coming Out, Stay Home” at Open Institute, Phnom Penh, to develop strategy to coming out home safe, stay home. There are a lot of LGBT people who join and share about why coming out safe, and how to coming stay home, and why coming out not stay home. The key issues consisted of:

  • Life Line Sharing
  • Penal discussion of why come out and how to be safe at home sharing from each speakers of their experiences, strategic and recommendation for open up and acceptance in the family and community.
  • Question and Answers from participants
  • Display short video “ Two girl again the rain” & “ Speech Ban Ki Mon”
  • Group Discussion

17th May, Afternoon is “Cyclo and Tuk Tuk Race” at Rambutan, Phnom Pneh to raise awareness LGBTI in the public through make up Cyclo and Tuk Tuk about LGBT and take photo to share on social media and media. Our team has Cyclo and goes to UN branches in Phnom Penh, university, Embassy, and some Ministries in Phnom Penh.

  • 18th May Morning is “LGBT sensitization for the legal view“ to understand domestic and international toward LGBTI people. There were gender activists, LGBT activists, journalists, CSOs, and youth who joined the workshop. In the workshop, issues about LGBT movement in Cambodia, domestic and international law, social exclusion to LGBT, and Being LGBT in Asia were raised.

18th May Evening is “Dancing Event” to raise awareness in the public and social media and doing advocacy- not forget your health. We dance in front of Wat Bhatum in Phnom Penh.
18th May Evening is LGBT meeting at EU Office” to meet LGBTI people and activists to share about LGBT movement and recommendation. There are Embassies representative from EU, British, and Swedish, UN representative from UN Women, OHCHR, UNAIDS, and LGBT community, NGOs, and institutions.

  • Participated with other business events and Government- National AIDS Authority- Clean city with collecting rubbish along road


  1. Key people to interview or contact about this process and why.
  • Mr. Srun Srorn, Resource Person of CamASEAN Youth’s Future
  • Mr. Kong Yara, Facilitator of CamASEAN Youth’s Future


Organisers and support: CamASEAN Youth’s Future, Rainbow Cambodia Advocate Team (Rainbow CAT), Cambodia LGBT Legal Support (CLGBT), Parents and Friends of LGBTI (PFLAG) Cambodia, Cambodia Women and Choices (CWC), Cambodia Children and Choices Project (CCP), Life is Learning Club (LLC), Baphnom Learning Club (BLC), Cambodian Center for Human Rights (partner), Open Institute (partner), LICADHO (venue), Heinrich Böll Stiftung (venue), Micro Rainbow International (Donor).
CamASEAN Youth Future was founded in January 2012 after Cambodia received the ASEAN Chair and a group of young people have been involved with ASEAN Grassroots People Assembly (AGPA). A core group of LGBT activists and diverse young people were keen to build on the connections and momentum achieved. They felt that there was much to be done to improve the lives of LGBT in the Kingdom.
Learn more about the organisation, their members and activities on their website.

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