ADVOCACY February 19, 2017

How to Report Human Rights Violations Faced by LGBTIQ People to National Human Rights Institutions in South Asia

Six countries in South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) have established a national human rights institution (NHRI), all of which include complaint mechanisms. The establishment of these NHRIs has provided MSM and transgender people with access to complaints mechanisms that can help resolve human rights violations these marginalised communities often face. However, several challenges remain to limit …

SHOWCASE May 10, 2016

Raising the Bar for Progress – Improving the Safety and Well-being of Transgender People in Kerala, India

As a transgender person, Jaisy* is used to harassment but the time she spent in prison in Kerala, India stands out due to the physical and verbal abuse she was forced to endure. “I thought I’d rather die than go through that kind of humiliation,” she exclaimed. “The curiosity among the police officials as to how I am ‘physically’ different …

SHOWCASE April 11, 2016

Limelight: Muthukumar Natesan (India)

Lotus Integrated AIDS Awareness Sangram (LOTUS) is an organization based in Tamil Nadu, India, that blossomed out of a pre-existing social network of ‘kothis’ – homosexuals who would meet regularly but informally for the betterment of the community. Kothis in Tamil Nadu face many problems such as abuse from rowdies, non-acceptance from their family and society, which often lead to …

SHOWCASE March 22, 2016

Long Ride to the Taxi Rank – Progress on Transgender Rights in Kerala, India

“I still remember the day in 2014 when I met with senior Kerala government officials,” recalls Dr Arumugam Vijayaraman, Deputy Director, Voluntary Health Services (VHS) in Chennai, India. “Transgender visibility did not exist at that time in Kerala.” It seemed like it would be a long road ahead for transgender rights and visibility. However, the accelerator has been pushed over …

SHOWCASE December 23, 2015

Limelight: Daina (India)

a young, former transgender sex worker learns tough lessons from the school of life

Early last year, in a progressive move, the Indian Supreme Court ruled to legally recognise the third gender. The government was ordered to provide transgender people with quotas in employment, education and other key amenities. Transgender people in India are, however, is still far from feeling welcome in their society. APCOM spoke to Daina, 20, a member of Youth Voices …

REGIONAL December 23, 2015

PrEParing South Asia

The progress of South Asian PrEP advocates in generating PrEP demand in their region

In September 2014, APCOM conducted the region’s pioneer dialogue exploring the roll out of PrEP in Asia and the Pacific called PrEParing Asia. PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. PrEP is an HIV prevention approach where HIV-negative individuals use HIV medication to significantly reduce their risk of becoming infected if they are exposed to the virus. A common brand of medication used …

REGIONAL June 25, 2015

MSM & Transgender Communities Paving the Way to Sustain their Income

With the prevailing social stigma and oppressive law, access to funding is difficult for the everyday heroes working for the community of sexual and gender minorities.

The sustainability of many community organisations in the region has been questionable. With the prevailing social stigma and oppresive law, access to funding is difficult for the everyday heroes working for the community of sexual and gender minorities. It is not uncommon that their work survive from project to project and then disappear altogether due to their inability to sustain their income. In a constitutionally-Islamic …

SHOWCASE April 30, 2015

Spotlight: The Humsafar Trust, India

Formed in 1994, The Humsafar Trust is the oldest LGBTQ organization in India. Based in Mumbai, the organisation was founded by Ashok Row Kavi, a reputed journalist and activist at a time when there was no talk and no national level movement for LGBT human rights. Today, Humsafar is one of the leading organizations covering the spectrum of sexual minorities …

SHOWCASE December 10, 2014

Spotlight: Voluntary Health Services, India

In 1958, an eminent physician and scholar Dr. K. S. Sanjivi, influenced by the Gandhian philosophy “Unto the Last”, envisaged and made available health and medical services to the poorest of the poor through the establishment of the Voluntary Health Services in the Indian city of Chennai. The underlying ethos of VHS is that of prevention and cure of serious …