Joint Statement on Trans Advocacy Week at the UN Human Rights Council 35th Session

Joint Statement on Trans Advocacy Week at the UN Human Rights Council 35th Session
 
Sixteen trans and gender diverse activists from fifteen countries across all regions of the world - including Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, North America, the Pacific, and the Caribbean - participated in the first Trans Advocacy Week at the 35th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. This historical event was a joint initiative organized by the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN), Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE), the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights (RFSL), and Transgender Europe (TGEU). 
 
During the week of June 5 - 9, trans activists met for a full day strategic planning meeting; produced and delivered two oral statements commenting on the latest reports of the Special Rapporteur on Health, the Independent Expert of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI), and the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions; attended private meetings with Special Procedures and their staff; met with representatives from UNAIDS, the Global Fund, UNHCR, and with the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights. They also attended a meeting between the Equal Rights Coalition and civil society organisations. Many of the activists also met with their Permanent Missions to the UN in Geneva as well as with other activists working regionally and internationally on human rights issues at the Council. 
 
Follow the links to watch the video of the statement of Manisha’s intervention on the right to mental health or to watch the video or read the statement of Ricky’s intervention on violence, discrimination, and legal gender recognition.  
 
A key highlight of the week was the groundbreaking panel on Transgender People, Mental Health and Human Rights. Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn, the Independent Expert on SOGI issues, and Dr. Dainius Pūras, the Special Rapporteur on Health, presented at the panel, accompanied by the presentations of Viviane Vergueiro and Mauro Cabral Grinspan, and the moderation of Julia Ehrt. After the panel presentations, other participants spoke from the floor. Video from the side event is available in two parts - Part 1 and Part 2.
 
The Trans Advocacy Week was planned after trans activists’ participation in the Public Consultation called by the UN Independent Expert on SOGI on January 2017. Some participants in the Trans Advocacy Week, such as Erika Castellanos (Belize) and Ricky Nathanson (Zimbabwe) had already been part of that process. For other participants, such as Viviane Vergueiro (Brasil), Lady Gaga (Papua New Guinea), Yaya Aye Myat (Myanmar) and Fritz von Klein (Ukraine), this was their first time ever at the UN. These participants left excited and committed to UN trans advocacy; Yaya explained her thoughts saying, “I am however pleased to be part of this Trans Advocacy Week and I would like something to happen in the future. Amongst the UN state members, if there is at least 2% of the ambassadors are transgender people then, I would die happily.  Am I dreaming too much?”
 
The organizers are already planning a second Trans Advocacy Week for June 2018 as well as additional engagements within UN spaces during the year. For Mauro Cabral Grinspan, GATE Executive Director, “this initiative shows what can be achieved by trans networks, organizations and networks working together, in spite of how scarce our resource are.” Micah Grzywnowicz, International Advocacy Advisor at RFSL noted, “Trans activists and trans issues have never been so visible at the Human Rights Council and UN spaces at large. This has been truly historic week and a start of a larger and sustained engagement with the UN.” 
 
Contact information:
 

Mauro Cabral Grinspan
Executive Director
GATE
mcabral@transactivists.org
 
Cianán B. Russell
Human Rights & Advocacy Officer
Asia Pacific Transgender Network
cianan.russell@weareaptn.org
 
Micah Grzywnowicz
International Advocacy Advisor
The Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights (RFSL)
micah.grzywnowicz@rfsl.se
 
Julia Ehrt
Executive Director
Transgender Europe
julia@tgeu.org
 
Zhan Chiam
Gender Identity and Gender Expression Senior Programme Officer
The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)
 

Joint Statement on Trans Meeting with the United Nations Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Trans activists from 5 continents met with the newly-appointed UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (IE SOGI), Dr. Vitit Muntarbhorn, on 26 January 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland to bring special attention to the issues facing trans and gender diverse people and communities around the world. This was a historic meeting. It was the first discussion convened specifically by and for trans-led organisations in order to interact with UN Special Procedures. The IE SOGI mandate has experienced significant challenges since it was created by the Human Rights Council in June 2016, surviving three close votes in the UN General Assembly aiming at deferring it indefinitely.  

 “This meeting, the first of its kind focused only on trans issues and gender identity with a UN Special Procedure, is a vital step in the global movement for trans rights”, says Mauro Cabral, Executive Director of Global Action for Trans Equality.  Ricky Nathanson, from the Southern Africa Trans Forum adds, “We are encouraged by the Independent Expert’s engagement and look forward to continued interactions as he works to fulfill his mandate.”

The undersigned attended the meeting with the Independent Expert and are committed to continued support of the mandate to help ensure that Gender Identity is holistically addressed in the Expert’s work equally alongside Sexual Orientation. We encourage our partners, trans activists, and trans communities to continue to be vocal in contacting the UN IE SOGI - our voices count!

Signed by:
Mauro Cabral, Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE)
EriKa Castellanos, C-NET+, Collaborative Network of People Living with HIV
Zhan Chiam, International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)
Julia Ehrt, Transgender Europe (TGEU)
Micah Grzywnowicz, Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights (RFSL)
Aizhan Kadralieva, Labrys (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organization) 
Ricky Nathanson, Southern Africa Trans Forum
Kemal Ordek, Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association (Kırmızı Şemsiye)
Cianán B. Russell, Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN)
Amets Suess, International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization (STP)

LGBTIQ Regional Organizations from Asia Pacific Welcome the Decision of UNGA Plenary Meeting to Safeguard the Mandate of Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI)

On Monday, December 19th, a group of states attempted to halt the mandate of the Independent Expert on the “protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). The position of Independent Expert in SOGI was created by the
passing of UN Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/RES/32/2 in June of this year and is held by Vitit Muntarbhorn, a Thai human rights expert. The Independent Expert began his work in November. The first attempt to block this resolution was during the UNGA third committee meeting in November. The mandate of IE on SOGI was safeguarded with 84 countries voting in favour, 77 against and 17 abstentions. The vote on Monday will be the second hostile attempt to defer the mandate by introducing the amendment A/71/45.

We welcome the decision of the United Nations General Assembly.

Today’s defeat of the hostile amendment was remarkable and brought impact (84 voted against, 77 voted in favour and 16 abstentions on the proposed amendment A/71/45). The SOGI Independent Expert will continue with his work to document LGBTIQ human rights violations globally. With the increasing of threats and violence against LGBTIQ persons in many countries, the role of Independent Expert on SOGI becomes more important to bring these issues within then international level. The established mechanism will give assurance to LGBTIQ persons worldwide that we are fully entitled for protection under the international human rights law. We would convey our huge appreciation for the Asia Pacific countries who decided to stand with us and voted against the hostile amendment1. We, the undersigned below, are committed to support the mandate holder to end discrimination and violence as well as to achieve the enjoyment of
human rights for LGBTIQ persons.

 

Signed by:

Ryan Silverio, Regional Coordinator, ASEAN SOGIE Caucus (ASC)

Hiker Chiu, Co-Chair, ILGA ASIA

Abhina Aher, Chair Person, Regional Steering Committee, APTN

Joey Joleen Mataele, President, Pacific Sexual Diversity Network

Midnight Poonkasetwattana, Executive Director, APCOM

CALL TO ACTION: APTN Urges Partners to Rally Behind the Mandate of the UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Results of the 21 November UNGA vote

Results of the 21 November UNGA vote

On Monday, 19 December 2016, yet again there will be a vote at the UN General Assembly to challenge the Mandate of the Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (IE SOGI). This will be the third attempt of its kind since the Mandate was formalised.

The last vote, which took place on 21 November 2016, was very close, passing by only 7 votes. The voting record (84 in favour of protecting the mandate, 77 against, and 17 abstentions) included notable responses from countries in Asia and the Pacific, and this is where APTN and our partners must act.

This short, 2-minute video explains the situation simply:

Action to raise our voices in this vote is especially important because of the timing: many UN Representatives have already left for the holiday break or will leave very soon. With a vote scheduled on Monday morning, it is extremely important that all remaining UN Mission Representatives who support the Mandate participate in the vote.

From our region, this was the voting record. You can click through on this table to find the contact information for each of the UN Missions for these countries.

For the Mandate Against the Mandate Abstention or Did not vote
Australia Afghanistan Bhutan
Cambodia Bangladesh India
Fiji Brunei Darussalam Lao PDR
Japan China Micronesia (FS)
Kiribati DPR of Korea Myanmar
Mongolia Indonesia Nepal
New Zealand Malaysia Papua New Guinea
Republic of Korea Nauru Philippines
Samoa Pakistan Solomon Islands
Sri Lanka Singapore Tonga
Thailand
Timor-Leste
Tuvalu
Vanuatu
Vietnam

We urge all of our partners, community members, and supporters: Please contact your UN Mission in New York and encourage their support of the Mandate.

  • Encourage those who did not vote before to vote in favour! 
  • Encourage those who voted against to abstain or vote in favour! 
  • Continue to encourage those who voted in our favour previously to stand with us and our rights! 

Make our voices heard!

Victory!: UN SOGI Independent Expert mandate will stand

LGBTI activists from Asia and the Pacific welcome the decision of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on the protection of the human rights of LGBTI people around the world, while reaffirming the legitimate mandates of the Human Rights Council. On 21 November, the UNGA rejected a move that aims to weaken the legitimately established Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (IESOGI). Resolution A/C.3/71/L.46 (2016) proposed to postpone the IESOGI mandate pending UN investigation into the lawfulness of the Expert. This would have effectively caused serious repercussions on the IESOGI to perform his role in protecting the rights of LGBTI persons and halted all efforts of the Expert indefinitely.

In a Joint Statement issued on 7 November 2016, the undersigned, ASEAN SOGIE Caucus (ASC), ILGA ASIA, the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN), the Pacific Sexual Diversity Network (PSDN), and APCOM, voiced opposition to this resolution and encouraged our partners to contact their respective UN Missions - and with this help, the resolution was defeated. Success! The IESOGIE mandate will move forward, thanks in part to this work.

We encourage our partners to continue to be vocal in contacting their country UN Missions - our voices do count! 

Urgent Call to Action: Defend the Human Rights Council Resolution

The mandate of the new UN Special Rapporteur on SOGI is being challenged. All UN member states get a vote - so make sure your government hears from you! In opposition to the resolution challenging the Special Rapporteur, APTN has released a joint statement with our partners, ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, Pacific Sexual Diversity Network, ILGA Asia, and APCOM.


Joint Statement: Defend the Human Rights Council Resolution

On June 30th 2016 the United Nation Human Rights Council for the first time adopted the HRC resolution 32/2 on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, a remarkable milestone for LGBTIQ persons and communities around the world. The resolution was sponsored by Latin American states including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay. With 23 votes in favor, 18 against and 6 abstentions, the resolution also sought to appoint the first Independent Expert (IE) on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) to address the violence and discrimination based on SOGI. During the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council in September 2016, Prof. Vitit Muntarbhorn professor of law at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand was appointed as the first IE on SOGIE, and should have commenced his work on 1 November 2016. 

This remarkable achievement, however, is currently under major threat. A group of African States at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) has tabled a draft resolution (A/C 3/70/L.66) to seek for the deferral of the HRC resolution 32/2 - indefinitely, in order to allow time for further consultations to determine the legal basis of the IE has been submitted by a group of States at the UN General Assembly in New York.  This would be harmful and derail anti-violence and non-discrimination efforts in relation to acknowledgement of human rights of LGBTIQ under international human rights law. Such a move would also be destructive to the institutional integrity of the Human Rights Council, and its relationship with the UN’s Third Committee, and undermine strength or legitimacy of the human rights system.

The vote on the propose draft will be on November 8th, 2016. In relation to this, we, LGBTIQ civil society urge all countries to vote against the drafted resolution. Let us show our solidarity by contacting your government’s foreign affairs ministry in your capital and their Ambassador in New York and urge them to:
●    Reject any attempt at undermining the mandate of the SOGI Independent Expert
●    Resist the language in resolution questioning the mandate and deferring consideration to the Council’s resolution
●    Defend and uphold the integrity and independence of the Human Rights Council and its decision

Spread this message, and let us show our solidarity!!

You can also sign the online petition to oppose this resolution.

Understanding the ICD: Its History, Organisation, and Engaging Asia and the Pacific in the Revision Process

In concert with the International Day of Action for Trans Depathologisation on 22 October 2016, the Asia Pacific Transgender Network has developed the following discussion paper on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) within the World Health Organisation in relation to transgender issues to help local trans activists in the region understand the classification system and prepare to engage the revision process for the ICD. The ICD is now in edition 10 (ICD-10) and edition 11 (ICD-11) is in preparation. This paper aims to answer the questions:

  1. What is the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems and why is it important to trans people?
  2. What do I need to know about ICD?
  3. What steps should I take to get involved in the process?

Read our full discussion paper to learn more. If you're interested in further information or working with APTN in the ICD revision, please contact our Human Rights & Advocacy Officer, Cianán Russell, at cianan.russell@weareaptn.org

Other APTN products about ICD and transgender health issues:

“Nothing for Us Without Us”: Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) Insists on Trans-Led Initiatives to Serve Trans Populations in the Asia Pacific Region

Research by Winter (2012) has speculated that 0.3 percent of the adult population in Asia and the Pacific may be trans. Using 2010 UN population data, he calculated that there may be between 9.0 and 9.5 million trans people in this region. Available data consistently show that trans women are disproportionately affected by HIV. They are more likely to be HIV positive than the general adult population. A 2013 meta-analysis of studies published globally between 2000 and 2011 shows that the pooled HIV prevalence rate for trans women is 19.1 percent, and they are 49 times more likely to acquire HIV than the general adult population (Baral et al., 2013).

Despite such vulnerability, trans data, resources and responses are subsumed and diluted under a broader MSM response.

There is a need to separate gay and MSM activities from transgender activities in this region. The continuation of this conflation ultimately reveals the gay and MSM communities’ insistence that transgender women are “really men”; we ask this to stop. We have recently reiterated these concepts with APCOM. As a result of outcomes from these communications, the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) is restructuring our relationship with APCOM and asking that our partners inform us if you are approached by APCOM on transgender issues.

APTN was launched in 2009 when 15 transgender activists from 10 Asia and Pacific countries came together to champion the health, legal and social rights of transgender peoples. In 2010 at the ICAAP Conference in Busan, South Korea, following a transgender caucus supported by APCOM, it was acknowledged and agreed that the focal point for all transgender related work and advocacy would be transitioned to APTN to lead. APTN acknowledges this history and the support APCOM has provided APTN to establish and to pursue its mandate in serving transgender peoples and communities in the Asia Pacific region.

APTN is the only leading transgender organisation in the Asia Pacific region. We have the expertise, specialism, data, publications and research to lead transgender-related work in the region. We have global support that APTN is the leading transgender entity in the Asia Pacific region. It is our goal to work, over the coming years, to disengage trans-focused work from gay and MSM organisations, centralising transgender advocacy in trans-led initiatives.

As transgender activists we intend to change the policy discourse and current perceptions of putting transgender people under the MSM umbrella; this conflation is confusing, tokenises trans people, and disrespects the identities of transgender people. We look forward to your continued support in our common goals to enable transgender women and men in the Asia and Pacific region to organise and advocate for the improvement of their health, protection of their legal, social and human rights, and enhancement of their social wellbeing and quality of life.

If you have comments or concerns on this issue, please contact the APTN Regional Steering Committee at RSC@weareAPTN.org

We demand dignity, respect, and our humanity: Opening Statement for the Trans Pre-Conference, IAC 2016

Joe Wong, APTN Programme Manager, delivered a powerful opening statement for the Trans Pre-Conference at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, SA, July 2016. 

Our movement must be an intersectional one, taking into account the expanse of identities we hold, challenges we face, needs we prioritize, and contexts in which we live. We must focus on what our people need and how they believe those needs should be met. We must center trans voices and promote trans-led initiatives. Today we have a full- day event, time to meet and work with one another, to learn from each other. But as we all know, we must do more. For every single trans person able to be here today, there are thousands upon thousands who are absent. And it is for these people that we must make demands.


Those demands again:
We demand comprehensive data collection.
We demand adequate funding.
We demand responsible gender identity laws.
We demand action to reduce gender-based violence.
We demand universal access to healthcare and gender affirming health services. We demand the right to work.
In sum, we demand dignity, respect, and our humanity.

The "Gender Incongruence of Childhood" diagnosis revisited: A statement from clinicians and researchers

This is an open letter to the World Health Organization (WHO), an agency of the United Nations, from researchers and clinicians working in trans health and rights regarding proposed revisions to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Version 11 (ICD-11) that relate to healthcare for trans adults and adolescents, as well as gender diverse (GD) children.

We commend WHO for proposed revisions that would move diagnostic categories related to gender transition processes (currently ICD-10’s “F64 Gender identity disorders”) from the chapter of Mental and Behavioural Disorders to a new chapter on Conditions Related to Sexual Health. We also welcome the proposal to eliminate “F65.1. Fetishistic transvestism” and “F66. Psychological and behavioural disorders associated with sexual development and orientation” from the ICD-11 altogether. However, we are concerned about the proposed Gender Incongruence of Childhood (GIC) diagnosis and call on the WHO to reconsider its inclusion. Instead, we urge consideration of less stigmatizing proposals by the GATE Civil Society Expert Working Group and other global experts to facilitate access to psychological support for gender diverse children.

To add your name and voice to this letter, please fill out the form at the bottom. You will be able to view other signatories, after you sign. [Erratum 20150516. Should read, "You will be prompted to view other signatories after you submit your response, or follow the link in the signature section."] For questions about this open letter, please write Sam Winter <sjwinter@hku.hk>. For questions about this web form, contact Kelley Winters <kelley@wintersgap.net>.

For signing the letter please go to: www.gicrevisited.org

General comments on ICD proposals related to gender expression and identity

  1. We follow with interest the progress of the ICD revision process. We look forward to seeing the publication of ICD-11, which we are confident will remain, like ICD-10 (http://goo.gl/MlUnk8), the major diagnostic manual used worldwide.
     
  2. From the ICD-11 Beta Draft (http://goo.gl/tOhj9R) current at time of writing we note a number of revisions relevant to the provision of healthcare for transgender people, defined here as those individuals who identify in a gender other than the one that matches their sex assigned at birth.
     
  3. We support the proposal to abandon the diagnoses of fetishistic transvestism (F65.1) and all diagnoses in the block entitled disorders of sexual preference (Block F66). [Erratum 20150516. Should read, “Psychological and behavioural disorders associated with sexual development and orientation (Block F66).”] We agree that these diagnoses are problematic, in that they have no clinical utility, serve no credible public health need, reinforce defamatory stereotypes, and are potentially harmful to the health and wellbeing of those diagnosed.
     
  4. We support the proposal to remove from the Mental and Behavioural Disorders chapter the diagnoses most commonly used to facilitate gender affirming healthcare for transgender people, and to locate them instead in a chapter called Conditions Related to Sexual Health.
  5. We believe the proposal for a new chapter placement is in line with contemporary clinical understanding, affirmed by professional associations such as WPATH (the World Professional Association for Transgender Health,http://goo.gl/89zAwa), that the gender identities of transgender people are not properly viewed as psychopathological. We note that the psychopathologising perspective does not match (and has in fact sometimes undermined) the provision of effective gender affirming healthcare approaches used in contemporary times to support transgender people who have healthcare needs. Indeed it has contributed to potentially harmful approaches aimed at modifying their gender identities. The WPATH Standards of Care Version 7 (http://goo.gl/rven2O) note that such approaches are unethical. We believe too that the psychopathologising perspective has needlessly increased the stigma faced by transgender people, undermining the right to legal gender recognition.
  6. We support the abandonment of the term gender identity disorder, currently used as an overarching name for the block of diagnoses (F64) most commonly used to facilitate gender affirming healthcare for transgender people. We see the proposed replacement term, gender incongruence, as an attempt to reduce the overly pathologising language inherent in the term gender identity disorder. We note however that the term gender incongruence is not universally supported within transgender communities. See recent press releases by STP (International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization, http://goo.gl/0GRvA6), and GATE (Global Action for Trans* Equality, http://goo.gl/GHpzog), the latter in association with STP.
  7. We note that there are currently two proposed gender incongruence diagnoses, one for adolescents/ adults, and one for children under the age of puberty. We note with approval language in the descriptions of these diagnoses which avoids binary thinking, and is more inclusive of the diversity in people’s gender identities.
  8. We note that other aspects of the wording of the diagnostic descriptions have attracted criticism. However we focus in the following sections on the proposal for a gender incongruence of childhood (GIC) diagnosis.

Specific concerns about the proposed gender incongruence of childhood diagnosis

  1. First, we note with concern that, regardless of where in ICD-11 the proposed GIC diagnosis is placed, it pathologises the experiences of young children below the age of puberty who are either exploring their identity, or are incorporating their gender identity into a broader sense of who they are, becoming comfortable expressing that identity, and managing any adverse reactions from others. We note that in a number of cultures worldwide these experiences, which we call here gender diversity, would not be regarded as pathology.

  2. We also note that many children who express pronounced and unwavering convictions regarding gender identity, and who have supportive families, do not display any level of distress. Rather, distress occurs when the child feels that their genitals ought to dictate their identity and behaviour.

  3. We note too that, unlike transgender adolescents and adults, gender diverse children below the age of puberty have no need of somatic gender affirming healthcare. These children do not need puberty suppressants, masculinising or feminising hormones, surgery, or indeed medical intervention of any type. They simply need the opportunity and freedom to explore, incorporate and express their gender identity; they need the support and information that enables them to do these things, as well as manage any adverse reactions of others. In our opinion these developmental challenges do not warrant a diagnosis. Furthermore, a diagnosis wrongly signals to the child and their family that there is something wrong or improper with the child.

  4. We note that the WHO Working Group generating the GIC proposal (http://goo.gl/8JiJi2), and the WHO secretariat, have taken a very different diagnostic approach to persons experiencing developmental processes linked to their sexual orientation. There are currently several diagnoses in ICD-10’s Block F66 (for example sexual maturation disorder and egodystonic sexual orientation) that have the effect of pathologising young people exploring same-sex sexual orientation, incorporating their sexual orientation into their sense of self, learning to express their sexual orientation and dealing with adverse reactions from others. To its credit, the Working Group took the view that developmental processes of this sort – exploration, incorporating, expression and reaction-management in regard to sexual orientation – should not be pathologised. The Group recommended that these diagnoses be removed. The ICD-11 beta draft reflects these recommendations. We are perplexed that the Working Group, and WHO secretariat in preparing the ICD-11 beta draft, have not taken the same approach with young gender diverse children, who engage in similar developmental processes, but linked to gender identity.

  5. We note that the Working Group has recommended that healthcare helping young people who experience discrimination on grounds of their sexual orientation can be provided by way of non-pathologising codes in Chapter 21 of ICD-10 entitled Factors Influencing Health Status and Contact with Health Services. These are the so-called Z Codes in Chapter 21 of ICD-10 (currently Q Codes in the ICD-11 Beta Draft, and placed in Chapter 24). Certain Z Codes may be useful in cases where a person is seeking healthcare for reasons associated with stigma and prejudice. We believe a similar Z Code approach should be taken with gender diverse children below the age of puberty (and their caregivers) who require support from the healthcare system.

An alternative proposal and call to WHO

  1. We note the proposals that arose out of the Civil Society Expert Working Group (https://goo.gl/O1NrbJ) that met in Buenos Aires in April 2013. The meeting was convened by GATE, an international organization focused on promoting trans people’s human rights, including to health. The proposals (GATE, 2013) [Erratum 20160516. Should read, “(https://goo.gl/wuPMkI)”] are for facilitating healthcare for gender diverse children below the age of puberty through the use of Z Codes – in most cases minor amendments of already existing Z Codes. Such Z codes would detail the nature of the support being offered to these children and to the adults responsible for caring for them. These codes could facilitate children’s (and caregivers’) access to supportive counselling and information services, as well as to medical examinations linked to approaching puberty. These codes could also be used to facilitate children’s access to school in authentic (gender affirmative) roles. Finally, in those few cases in which young gender diverse children experience distress of an extent and nature demanding clinical mental health care, these Z Codes could be used as markers, attached to generic diagnoses such as depression or anxiety, signaling that the child’s mental health issues are linked to experiences of discrimination on grounds of their gender diversity (with implications for the sort of care needed).

  2. We take the view that arguments for the GIC diagnosis – for example that it will provide a foundation for research and training – appear flawed. We do not believe that research or training in relation to childhood gender diversity would suffer if there were no GIC diagnosis in ICD-11. We note that research into same sex attraction and relationships has thrived since homosexuality diagnosis was removed from the diagnostic manuals decades ago. We believe too that knowledge about the healthcare needs of gay and lesbian youth is better now than it was when homosexuality was a diagnosis.

  3. We note too that key transgender health and rights organisations worldwide other than GATE have spoken out against this proposal. They include ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex association), ILGA-Europe, STP (Stop Trans Pathologization) and TGEU (Transgender Europe). We note also statements arising out of two international meetings examining transgender health, one in Cape Town, South Africa, and the other in Taipei, Taiwan. Finally, we note that the European Parliament in the so called Ferrara Report published in July 2015 called on the European Commission to “intensify efforts to prevent gender variance in childhood from becoming a new ICD diagnosis”. This call was reaffirmed in a European Parliament Resolution passed in September 2015. We are aware of a recent member survey by WPATH that found that a majority of participants were opposed to the proposed diagnosis, with this majority much greater among members outside the USA.

– GATE (https://goo.gl/wuPMkI)
– ILGA (http://ilga.org/)
– ILGA-Europe (http://goo.gl/Z1k636)
– STP (http://goo.gl/oERkcm)
– TGEU (Transgender Europe, http://goo.gl/KRJLlI)
– Cape Town, South Africa (http://goo.gl/vIMwYH)
– Taipei, Taiwan (http://goo.gl/cW4Jxf)
– European Parliament Resolution (http://goo.gl/rBAJRA)
– Member survey by WPATH (http://goo.gl/mAVmgu)

Taking into account all the above, we the undersigned, a group of scholars, researchers and clinicians working in transgender health and rights, call on WHO to abandon the proposed GIC diagnosis and incorporate the use of Z Codes as a means of facilitating and guiding support for gender diverse children below the age of puberty. We commend to WHO the GATE Civil Society Expert Working Group proposal (https://goo.gl/NfdDmg).

Original Signatories

Sam Winter, BSc, PGDE, M.Ed., PhD
Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
Discipline: Psychologist.
Years working in field of transgender health and rights: 16.
Clinical services offered for transgender people: Yes
Years doing this sort of work: 14 years.
Clinical services for gender diverse children: Yes.

Elizabeth Riley BSc, GDCouns, MA(Couns), PhD
Counsellor, Clinical & PhD Supervisor, Trainer, Sydney, Australia
Disciplines: Health Sciences & Counselling
Years working in field of transgender health and rights: 18
Clinical services offered for transgender people: Yes
Years doing this sort of work: 20 years.
Clinical services for gender diverse children: Yes

Simon Pickstone-Taylor, MBChB
Honorary Senior Lecturer, Gender Identity Development Service, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Discipline: Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and General Adult Psychiatrist.
Years working in field of transgender health and rights: 13.
Clinical services offered for transgender people: Yes
Years doing this sort of work: 13 years.
Clinical services for gender diverse children: Yes.

Amets Suess, PhD, MA, BA
Researcher, Area of International Health, Andalusian School of Public Health, Granada, Spain
Discipline: Sociology, Social Anthropology, Art Therapy, Bioethics
Years working in field of transgender health and rights: 14

Kelley Winters, Ph.D.
Gender Diversity Medical Policy Analyst; author, Gender Madness in American Psychiatry: Essays from the Struggle for Dignity (2008)
Discipline: Interdisciplinary scholarship.
Years working in field of transgender health and rights: 21.

Lisa Griffin, Ph.D.
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, United States.
Discipline: Psychologist.
Years working in field of transgender health and rights: 21.
Clinical services offered for transgender people: Yes
Years doing this sort of work: 21.
Clinical services for gender diverse children: Yes.

Diane Ehrensaft, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco
Discipline: Developmental and Clinical Psychologist
Years working in field of transgender health and rights: 25
Clinical services offered for transgender people: Yes
Years doing this sort of work: 30 years.
Clinical services for gender diverse children: Yes.

Darlene Tando, LCSW
Gender Therapist, Private Practice
San Diego, California
United States
Discipline: Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Years working in field of transgender health and rights: 10
Clinical services offered for transgender people: Yes
Years doing this sort of work: 10
Clinical services for gender diverse children: Yes.

Hershel Russell M.Ed, (Couns. Psych)
Registered Psychotherapist,Counsellor, Clinical Supervisor, Trainer, Toronto, Canada
Discipline: Psychotherapist.
Years working in field of transgender health and rights: 15.
Clinical services offered for transgender people: Yes
Years doing this sort of work: 20 years.

Brenda R. Alegre,PhD.
Registered Psychologist and Psychometrician
Assistant Lecturer Faculty of Arts, University of Hong Kong SAR, China
Discipline: Clinical Psychology
Years working in the field of transgender health and rights: 10+ years
Clinical Services offered for transgender people: Yes
Years doing this sort of work: 10+ years
Clinical services for gender diverse children: yes

Griet De Cuypere, M.D. Ph.D.
Former Head of the Gender Team Gent, Belgium
Discipline: Psychiatrist – psychotherapist.
Years working in field of transgender health and rights: 30.
Clinical services offered for transgender people: Yes
Years doing this sort of work: 30 years.

Sign the Letter:

For signing the letter please go to: www.gicrevisited.org
To view current signatories in spreadsheet form, see https://goo.gl/yqta4Q

Press release: Trans community in Thailand voices demands for comprehensive care and respect for human rights

www.facebook.com/weareaptn https://youtu.be/171phOukKAM

www.facebook.com/weareaptn
https://youtu.be/171phOukKAM

 

BANGKOK, Monday 4th April 2016 – Thai trans community healthcare workers, health and rights activists, academics, and representatives from partner organisations gather today in the event “Demanding Care: Transgender Health Discrimination in Thailand” where the video “Demanding Care: Stories of Transgender Healthcare Discrimination in Thailand” is launched and accompanied by a panel “Trans Discrimination and Legal Protection”.  

“I am excited to host this event. Trans health and discrimination issues are of utmost importance in improving Thai society. Thailand should focus on the health and wellbeing of all its citizens, including transgender people”, said Kath Khangpiboon, Chair of the Thai APTN Foundation and co-founder of the Thai Transgender Alliance, addressed participants from Thai trans women and trans men community and partner organisations who gather in support for trans health and rights cause.

The video “Stories of Transgender Healthcare Discrimination in Thailand” showcases 16 transwomen and transmen across Thailand from all walks of life. The storytellers recount their personal struggle of being discriminated as a trans person and their demands to end discrimination against trans people in all forms.

 The panel “Trans Discrimination and Legal Protection” features Jetsada Taesombat (Thai Transgender Alliance), Dr.Nittaya Phanuphak (Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre), Thitiyanun Nakpor (Sister Foundation Pattaya), Kanusnun Dokput (FTM Bangkok), and Ronnapoom Samakkeekarom (Faculty of Public Health, Thammasat University) with Kath Khangpiboon as moderator.

The discussion starts off with Thai Transgender Alliance describing their experience handling trans discrimination and rights violation cases using traditional and social media as well as their approach working with media in gender-sensitive reporting. Next on the panel is Dr. Nittaya, Chief of the Prevention Department at the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre, who shares her experience in providing comprehensive health services for both trans men and trans women in Bangkok at Tangerine Community Health Care Centre, and recommends good practices for providing non-discriminatory services. The talk then shifts to Thitiyanun from Sister Pattaya, who manages trans community health programs in Pattaya where misconduct from law enforcement impedes the health and lives of trans women and trans sex workers. The moderator then gives floor to Kanusnun from FTM Bangkok to share his experience organizing trans men and his organisation’s work providing healthcare information and peer support for trans men as well as raising public awareness about trans men in Thai society and the visibility of trans men in the gender equality movement. The panel ends with Ronnapoom’s review of the existing legal framework in protecting rights of gender minorities, particularly trans people, citing the Gender Equality Act of 2015, for which he was part of the drafting and motion process.

The event also provided a space for facilitated discussion between participants to share concerns and experiences of discrimination as well as key actions to avoid discriminatory situations, how to engage family and friends as allies in trans activism, and how trans people should be empowered in light of legal protection.

For the video “Stories of Transgender Healthcare Discrimination in Thailand”, please click https://youtu.be/171phOukKAM

For further information:
www.facebook.com/weareaptn

FOR MORE INFORMATION/INTERVIEWS CONTACT:
joe.wong@weareaptn.org

 

 

ข่าวแจกสื่อ (Press Release): ชุมชนคนข้ามเพศร่วมเรียกร้องการปฏิบัติที่เท่าเทียมและบริการสุขภาพแบบรอบด้าน

www.facebook.com/weareaptn https://youtu.be/171phOukKAM

www.facebook.com/weareaptn
https://youtu.be/171phOukKAM

4 เมษายน 2559 – มูลนิธิเอเชียแปซิฟิค ทรานส์เจนเดอร์ เนตเวิร์ (APTN) ร่วมกับเครือข่ายเพื่อนกะเทยไทย จัดงานเสวนา “หยุดการเลือกปฏิบัติต่อคนข้ามเพศ Demanding Care: Transgender Health Discrimination in Thailand” ณ โรงแรมโนโวเทล เพลินจิต โดยภายในงานมีการเปิดตัววิดีโอ “Demanding Care: Stories of Transgender Healthcare Discrimination in Thailand” ซึ่งรวบรวมประสบการณ์ของคนข้ามเพศ ในการถูกเลือกปฏิบัติ และต่อด้วยการเสวนา “เมื่อคนข้ามเพศถูกละเมิด” โดยคณะวิทยากรที่มีความชำนาญประเด็น คนข้ามเพศร่วมแลกเปลี่ยนประสบการณ์

คุณคทาวุธ ครั้งพิบูลย์ ประธานมูลนิธิ APTN และผู้ก่อตั้งเครือข่ายเพื่อนกะเทยไทย เป็นผู้กล่าวเปิดงาน โดยเน้นย้ำถึงความสำคัญของการทำงานสุขภาพของคนข้ามเพศควบคู่กับงานด้านสิทธิมนุษยชน ทุกคน รวมถึงคนข้ามเพศ ควรเข้าถึงบริการสุขภาพและสวัสดิการที่ครอบคลุมทุกด้านอย่างเท่าเทียมกัน งานเสวนามีผู้สนใจ เข้าร่วมกว่า  คนจากชุมชนคนข้ามเพศ นักกิจกรรม คนทำงานด้านสุขภาพ รวมถึงตัวแทนจากองค์กรภาคี ทั้งไทยและต่างประเทศ  

วิดีโอ “Stories of Transgender Healthcare Discrimination in Thailand” รวบรวมเรื่องเล่าของคนข้ามเพศ 16 คนจากพื้นเพที่หลากหลาย ที่ต่างล้วนมีประสบการณ์ถูกกีดกัด ถูกเลือกปฏิบัติเพราะความเป็นคนข้ามเพศ และร่วมกันส่งเสียงเพื่อยุติการเลือกปฏิบัติต่อคนข้ามเพศในทุกมิติ

เวทีเสวนา “เมื่อคนข้ามเพศถูกละเมิด (Trans Discrimination and Legal Protection)” เป็นเวทีร่วมแลกเปลี่ยนประสบการณ์โดยคณะวิทยากรที่มีความเชี่ยวชาญในประเด็นคนข้ามเพศจากหลายมิติ ได้แก่

*คุณเจษฎา แต้สมบัติ เครือข่ายเพื่อนกะเทยไทย*

เล่าถึงสถานการณ์การละเมิดสิทธิคนข้ามเพศในประเทศ ซึ่งยังคงเกิดขึ้นอยู่เป็นประจำแม้จะมีการทำงานสร้าง ความเข้าใจและงานรณรงค์ต่อต้านการกีดกัดและเลือกปฎิบัติด้วยเหตุแห่งเพศสภาพก็ตาม เครือข่ายเพื่อนกะเทยไทย ทำงานสื่อสารประเด็นคนข้ามเพศผ่านสื่อสาธารณะและโซเชี่ยลมีเดีย รวมถึงการสื่อสารผ่านเวทีวิชาการ/กึ่งวิชาการ ต่างๆ สังคมไทยเข้าใจสิทธิมนุษยชนของคนข้ามเพศมากขึ้นกว่าแต่ก่อนแต่ก็ยังมีการเลือกปฏิบัติอยู่ในหลายพื้นที่ เช่น ศาสนา ต้วเลือกในการทำงาน การศึกษา

*พญ.นิตยา ภานุภาค พึ่งพาพงศ์ ศูนย์วิจัยโรคเอดส์ สภากาชาดไทย*

เล่าประสบการณ์การจัดบริการสุขภาพสำหรับหลายกลุ่มประชากรที่ต้องบูรณาการความละเอียดอ่อนเรื่องเพศเข้าไปด้วย สำหรับบริการสุขภาพสำหรับคนข้ามเพศต้องจัดให้เหมาะสมกับความต้องการเฉพาะ เช่น การบำบัดด้วยฮอร์โมน การตรวจ 3 ช่องทาง การวางนโยบายสุขภาพสำหรับกลุ่มประชากรใดๆต้องอาศัยกระบวนการรับฟังความคิดเห็น เพื่อให้นโยบายและแนวปฏิบัตินำไปใช้ได้จริงและผู้รับบริการพึงพอใจ

*คุณฐิติญานันท์ หนักป้อ มูลนิธิซิสเตอร์*

ให้มุมมองต่อการตีตราและเลือกปฏิบัติคนข้ามเพศ ว่าคือการปฏิบัติต่อคนข้ามเพศด้วยความไม่เท่าเทียมบนอคติ แห่งเพศ ช่องว่างของการทำงานสุขภาพคนข้ามเพศกับงานสิทธิคือการแยกทำงานแบบแยกส่วน และคนทำงาน สุขภาพมักให้ความสำคัญกับงานสิทธิเป็นลำดับรองลงมา จากประสบการณ์การทำงานในพื้นที่พัทยา พบว่าการสร้าง ความเข้าใจร่วมกับกับตำรวจ ผู้นำท้องถิ่นและองค์กรของรัฐจะช่วยให้การทำงานสุขภาพกะเทย/สาวประเภทสอง ก้าวหน้ามากขึ้น

*คุณคาณัสนันท์ ดอกพุฒ FTM Bangkok*

แลกเปลี่ยนประสบการณ์การรวมกลุ่มของผู้ชายข้ามเพศ การรวบรวมและเผยแพร่ชุดความรู้ด้านสุขภาพสำหรับ ผู้ชายข้ามเพศ และร่วมงานขับเคลื่อนสิทธิทางเพศในระดับชาติ รวมถึงการสื่อสารสังคมประเด็นผู้ชายข้ามเพศ เพื่อสร้างความเข้าใจและลดอคติ

*อาจารย์รณภูมิ สามัคคีคารมย์ คณะสาธารณสุขศาสตร์ มหาวิทยาลัยธรรมศาสตร์*

เล่าถึงปัญหาการละเมิดคนข้ามเพศที่มีการร้องเรียนเข้ามา เช่น การเกณฑ์ทหาร การถูกปฏิเสธบริการ พรบ.ความเท่าเทียมระหว่างเพศ พ.ศ.2558 ได้ให้ความคุ้มครองการเลือกปฏิบัติโดยไม่เป็นธรรมด้วยเหตุแห่งเพศ โดยมีกลไกรับเรื่องร้องเรียน กลไกการระงับมิให้มีการเลือกปฏิบัติและแนวทางการชดเชยเยียวยาผู้เสียหาย อุปสรรค ของการทำงานต้านการละเมิดสิทธิคนข้ามเพศมีหลายระดับ คนข้ามเพศส่วนใหญ่ไม่รู้สิทธิของตนและเมื่อถูกละเมิด ไม่รู้ว่าจะต้องทำอย่างไร  

เวทีเสวนาได้เปิดโอกาสให้ผู้เข้าร่วมได้ซักถามวิทยากร และแลกเปลี่ยนข้อคิดเห็นต่อประเด็นที่ได้มีการพูด คุยบนเวที รวมถึงเสนอแนวทางเพื่อลด/ยุติการเลือกปฏิบัติต่อคนข้ามเพศ การสร้างการมีส่วนร่วมของครอบครัว เพื่อน ของคนข้ามเพศในการขับเคลื่อนประเด็นสิทธิคนข้ามเพศ และการสร้างความเข้มแข็งให้กับชุมชนคนข้ามเพศในงาน คุ้มครองสิทธิ

ลิ้งค์วิดีโอ “Stories of Transgender Healthcare Discrimination in Thailand” https://youtu.be/171phOukKAM

ท่านสามารถติดตามกิจกรรมและข่าวสารอื่นๆของมูลนิธิเอเชียแปซิฟิค ทรานส์เจนเดอร์ เนตเวิร์ค (APTN) ได้ทางเฟซบุ๊ค https://www.facebook.com/WeAreAPTN

ติดต่อสอบถามข้อมูล
joe.wong@weareaptn.org

 

 

For immediate release: Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR)
19 November 2015, Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN), Bangkok, Thailand

The International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which occurs annually on 20 November, is a day to memorialize the transgender men and women who have lost their lives to hate crimes and violence during the previous year. TDoR is also serves to highlight and bring public attention to anti-transgender violence and murder, to publicly mourn the violence inflicted on our community and the lives of the people we have lost, and to remind cisgender people that we are their siblings, children, parents, friends, and lovers.

Violence against transgender people continues to increase year by year. The Global Trans Murder Monitoring Project (http://www.tgeu.org/tmm) has identified 155 such killings across 16 countries in Asia between January 2008 and December 2014. There were a further two transgender people killed in both the Pacific and Australia, and one in New Zealand. These reported cases represent a fraction of such alleged hate crimes, due to family cover-up of a victim’s transgender identity, police misgendering of a body, and difficulty with correcting gender on legal documentation. The highest numbers of identified deaths were in India (48), the Philippines (35), Pakistan (22), and Thailand (14). The per capita rate of reported killings is particularly high in the Philippines, where civil society groups actively monitor such murders, including the high-profile killing of transgender woman Jennifer Laude on 11 October 2014.

In a climate of criminalisation, where law enforcement agencies themselves perpetrate violence with impunity, it is not surprising that violence against transgender people is underreported and inadequately investigated. In this region and globally, transgender organisations have attempted to monitor the most extreme forms of violence: when transgender people have been killed because of their gender identity. This violence remains invisible and unreported when States do not legislate against family violence and leave families to enforce social norms, standards of respectability, and morality.

The collection and dissemination of anti-transgender violence and murder statistics is conducted by Transgender Europe (TGEU) at www.tgeu.org/tmm and at www.tdor.info


This year, the Asia Pacific Transgender Network has released a Transgender Day of Remembrance Media Toolkit and terminology resource to guide the media to a fair and inclusive coverage and reporting on transgender people. The TDoR Media Toolkit can be downloaded here or at http://www.weareaptn.org/publication

Enquires

Joe Wong
Programme Manager
joe.wong@weareaptn.org             
+66 92 502 8428

Natt Kraipet
Network Coordinator

natt.kraipet@weareaptn.org
+66 82 653 3999

 

 

EXTENDED DEADLINE : APTN Job Vacancies - 1 Human Rights & Advocacy Officer and 1 Communications Officer

Post Title: Human Rights and Advocacy Programme Officer
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Background: 
The Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) advocates for the protection of the legal, social and human rights of transgender people as well as the enhancement of their social wellbeing and quality of life in the Asia-Pacific region.

Transgender people in the Asia-Pacific region experience large scale violations of their human rights and are subject to stigmatization and discrimination. Many Asia- Pacific countries continue to discriminate against Transgender people in laws and policies. Transgender people commonly experience barriers including prejudicial treatment, abuse and lack of respect for their identities in accessing healthcare, education, employment and justice in family and social contexts.

Transgender people continue to be pathologized as mentally ill and are widely denied recognition of their gender and protection under governmental laws and policies. During the recent High-Level Roundtable on Gender Identity, Human Rights and the Law in Hong Kong participants highlighted legal gender recognition as a key issue for transgender populations in the Asia-Pacific. It was noted transgender populations are widely denied legal gender recognition and when it is available it is often made subject to a range of preconditions such as marital status, lived experience, surgical interventions and sterilization.

Access to education for transgender persons is undermined by a failure to respect gender diversity and strict stereotyping as well as the prevalence of transphobic bullying and attitudes. Many transgender children and youth do not complete their studies, suffer negative psychological effects from bullying or fail to reach their full potential. Access to employment is also hindered by inadequate gender recognition that leads to mismatched identity documents as well as employer transphobia.

The APTN is seeking a Programme Officer to aid in addressing some of the complex human rights and gender recognition issues faced by transgender people in the Asia- Pacific region. The Programme Officer will report to and work closely with the APTN Programme Manager.

Duties and Responsibilities: 
The Human Rights & Advocacy Officer will undertake the following tasks:

  • Develop and implement an Advocacy Framework for APTN
  • Organising consultations on human rights and gender recognition; including developing agenda and logistics preparation;
  • Providing administrative support to the APTN Programme Manager and Secretariat as required;
  • Draft and distribute reports, briefing papers, letters, press release, op-eds and other submissions to UN human rights bodies;
  • Coordinate communication channels with UN partners;
  • Disseminate knowledge products as required;
  • Support country partners in training and documentation of human rights violations including developing strategies to address and change abusive laws, policies, and practices;
  • Respond to queries from partners, media and colleagues in the transgender community on gender recognition and human rights issues when assigned by the Programme Manager;
  • Present human rights concerns of transgender people in public forums, international, regional, and national meetings;
  • Liaising with APTN country partners and staff to ensure effective coordination and delivery of activities;
  • Travelling in region and internationally, when assigned by the Programme Manager;
  • Carrying out any other duties as required.

Required Skills and Experience

Education: 
University degree and/or equivalent experience in Human Rights, Sociology, Law, Health, Community Mobilization, and/or Public Policy or other relevant field

Work Experience:

  • Minimum of 2 years of work experience in the human rights and/or advocacy field
  • Documented experience working with transgender organizations and/or related issues on human rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identify (SOGI) issues and challenges faced by the transgender community;
  • Experience of working with community based organisations is highly preferred;
  • Engagement with UN, and other international rights organizations on human rights issues will be an asset;
  • Proficiency in written, verbal, organizational, analytical, and interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent computer skills, proficient in Microsoft Office;
  • Proficiency with social media is a strong asset.

Language Requirement: Fluency in written and spoken English is essential.

Transgender women and men or people with experiences working on transgender issues are strongly encouraged to apply. 

To apply please submit CV and cover to Joe Wong at joe.wong@weareaptn.org and Natt Kraipet at natt.kraipet@weareaptn.org by 31 October 2015. We would appreciate if you could kindly circulate the job announcement to your network.
 
_____________________________________________________


Post Title: Communications Officer
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Background:
The Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) advocates for the protection of the legal, social and human rights of transgender people as well as the enhancement of their social wellbeing and quality of life in the Asia-Pacific region.

APTN is seeking a Communications Officer to advance the reach and voice of APTN based on its core mission to improve the human rights and quality of life for transgender people in the Asia Pacific region.

The Communications Officer will provide substantive knowledge management and communications related support to APTN and its staff based in Bangkok. The Communications Officer will actively coordinate knowledge sharing amongst APTN and its partners and donors, support development of knowledge products and provide strategic communications support for grant activities and major events and campaigns. The Communications Officer will report to and work closely with the APTN Programme Manager.

Duties and Responsibilities: 
The Communications Officer will undertake the following tasks:

  • Develop and implement a Communications Strategy for APT
  • Develop and disseminate APTN knowledge products (quarterly e-newsletter,
  • press releases, reports, flyers, posters, event-branded materials etc.) as required
  • Provide coordination assistance and strategic support to APTN campaigns
  • Provide communications and knowledge management support to APTN and partners as needed, supporting advocacy with the media, public, UN agencies and partners and provide substantive support in the development of related knowledge products and reports
  • Coordinate communication channels with UN partners;
  • Provide strategic communications support for grant activities, major events and campaigns Website and Social Media;
  • Monitor and update APTN Social Media accounts with the intention of increasing APTNs voice, reach, likes and followers across social media platforms;
  • Ensure APTN website is well maintained and up to date;
  • Produce a quarterly and annual update on communications, including an analysis of Social Media Activity
  • Liaising with APTN country partners and staff to ensure effective coordination of communications and provide technical assistance to partners on communications issues
  • Respond to queries from partners, media and colleagues in the transgender community on gender recognition and human rights issues when assigned by the Programme Manager;
  • Providing administrative support to the APTN Programme Manager as required;
  • Carrying out any other duties as required
  • Required Skills and Experience

Education: 
University degree and/or equivalent experience in Communications, Media, Web Development, Social or Political Sciences or other relevant field

Work Experience:

  • Minimum of 2 years of work experience in the communications and/or media;
  • Documented experience working with transgender organizations and/or related issues on human rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identify (SOGI) issues and challenges faced by the transgender community;
  • Proven experience in maintaining websites and developing e-newsletters;
  • Proven experience in coordinating with various stakeholders and production of
  • communications materials and products and their dissemination
  • Experience of working with community based organisations is highly preferred;
  • Engagement with UN, and other international rights organizations on human rights issues will be an asset;
  • Proficiency in written, verbal, organizational, analytical, and interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent computer skills, including experience managing websites and use of web based content management systems ;
  • Proficiency with social media.
  • Proven experience in producing the page layout and design of materials such as reports, posters, newsletters, etc would be considered a strong asset

Language Requirement:
Fluency in written and spoken English is essential.

Transgender women and men or people with experiences working on transgender issues are strongly encouraged to apply. 

To apply please submit CV and cover letter to Joe Wong at joe.wong@weareaptn.org and Natt Kraipet at natt.kraipet@weareaptn.org by 31 October 2015. We would appreciate if you could kindly circulate the job announcement to your network.

Appointment of Regional Steering Committee 2015 - 2018

08 October 2015, Bangkok, Thailand

The Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) was launched in 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand as the first and only Asia Pacific regional transgender network advocating for the rights of transgender people and their legal recognition. Since 2009, APTN has slowly and steadily with strong support of various transgender activists, groups, networks, allies and organizations have moved collectively towards establishing as a strong network, building its growth to achieving goals that foster societies that uphold, respect, and protect the diversity, safety, equality and dignity of transgender people.

The APTN is registered in Thailand as a regional transgender network in the Asia Pacific region. On 22 September 2015, the APTN announced it’s new Thai Foundation Board (TFB) and its Regional Steering Committee (RSC) through its web page www.weareaptn.org.  

The APTN is pleased to announce that from 28 September – 2 October 2015, the Governance and Strategic Development Planning Meeting was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Thai Foundation Board and RSC determined their responsibilities and functional relationships as a governing bodies of APTN.

The APTN RSC are pleased to announce the functional roles of its newly appointed members as follows;

·       Chairperson                      Abhina Aher – INDIA
·       Vice Chairperson                Phylesha Brown-Acton – NEW ZEALAND
·       Secretary                             Chase Tolentino – PHILLIPPINES
·       Treasurer                             Nada Chaiyajit – THAILAND
·       Executive Member              Sulique Waqa – FIJI          

The term served by the current APTN RSC will be for three years (2015 – 2018) with yearly rotation of responsibilities. Profiles of the APTN RSC are attached as an annexure for your reference. The RSC will continue to support Thai Foundation board and the APTN secretariat to achieve APTN goals and ensure the stronger transgender movement in the region.

The meeting was funded by the Robert Carr Civil Society Networks Fund and supported by UNDP, UNAIDS and International HIV/AIDS Alliance. It was facilitated by Sarah Zaidi.

On behalf of APTN RSC, TFB and Secretariat, we welcome your input and look forward to your kind support and coordination in future!

APTN: Transgender Rights and Health Report Points to Progress, Gaps in Asia-Pacific

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For Immediate Release

Transgender Rights and Health Report Points to Progress, Gaps in Asia-Pacific

(Bangkok, 8 October 2015) – The health and human rights of transgender people in the Asia-Pacific region are highlighted in a new report released today by the Asia-Pacific Transgender Network. The “Blueprint for the Provision of Comprehensive Care for Trans People and Trans Communities in Asia and the Pacific” points to the significant barriers trans people face, highlights important progress in some countries, and calls for sustained efforts to improve the legal and social status of trans people across the region. 

“The Blueprint is intended to provide information about the current health and human rights situation for trans people in Asia and the Pacific, including clinical advice for meeting the health needs of trans people,” said Joe Wong, Programme Manager at APTN. “We hope this becomes a central reference document for trans community advocates, health professionals, policymakers, and those who design or deliver services to trans people.”

 The Blueprint was developed as a partnership between APTN, UNDP, and the USAID- and PEPFAR-funded Health Policy Project. The Pacific Sexual Diversity Network was involved in the process to ensure that the voices and experiences of Pacific trans people are visible, alongside those of trans women, trans men and third gender people from all parts of Asia.

 “This Blueprint builds the case for changing laws, policies, and practices so that trans people are able to participate fully in every country and community across this region,” said Wong. “Trans peoples’ human rights, including the right to health, have been cemented by multiple international bodies. It’s time for governments to make these rights a reality.”

APTN will document how people use the Blueprint and any progress achieved on the policy considerations listed in the report. Please visit their website, The Asia Pacific Trans Health Blueprint in Action, to report how the document is being used in your community advocacy.

For more information, please contact:

Joe Wong
Programme Manager
Email: joe.wong@weareaptn.org

Natt Kraipet
Network Coordinator
Email: natt.kraipet@weareaptn.org

Request for your inputs and suggestions for APTN's Thai Foundation Board and Regional Steering Committee meeting

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) is organizing Thai Foundation Board and Regional Steering Committee Orientation and Training from 28th September to 2nd October 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

As the first regional transgender-led organization in the Asia Pacific region, APTN sees the importance of community engagement and inclusivity, and support from our partners that could dive APTN to achieve our mission. 

"To enable transgender women and men in the Asia and Pacific region to organise and advocate for the improvement of their health, protection of their legal, social and human rights, and enhancement of their social wellbeing and quality of life."

We would, hereby, like to invite you to contribute any issues, concerns, or suggestions regarding transgender issues and others you would like the board and steering committee to discuss at this meeting. 

You contribution will help us strengthen our organization and effectively respond to transgender issues in the region. 

For further information, please contact:

Joe Wong
Programme Manager
Email: joe.wong@weareaptn.org

Natt Kraipet
Network Coordinator
Email: natt.kraipet@weareaptn.org

Thank you and best regards,
APTN Secretariat 

ANNOUNCEMENT: APTN's New Thai Foundation Board and Regional Steering Committee

ANNOUNCEMENT: APTN's New Thai Foundation Board and Regional Steering Committee

Bangkok, September 22, 2015

The Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) is pleased to announce the new Thai Foundation Board and Regional Steering Committee. Please join us in welcoming our new Thai Foundation Board Members: 

  • Kath Khangpiboon;
  • Thitiyanun Nakpor;
  • Rena Janamnuaysook.

And Regional Steering Committee Members: 

  • Abhina Aher (India); 
  • Phylesha Brown-Acton (New Zealand);
  • Nada Chaiyajait (Thailand);
  • Chase Go Tolentino (Philippines);
  • Sulique Waqa (Fiji). 

As a registered organization, APTN has a Thai Foundation board that oversee the finances and assets of the Foundation. They are legally responsible for presenting activity reports, financial report, balance sheets and income and expenditure accounts to the Ministry of Interior as required by law. With assistance from the Secretariat, the Thai Foundation Board oversees all work permits and work visas for non-Thai staff. 

However, the Thai Foundation Board members respecting the fact that APTN is a regional network and thereby requires greater inclusivity discharge governance duties to the APTN Steering Committee on the condition that it ensures that the Foundation is upholding its objectives and operating within the laws of Kingdom of Thailand. The Steering Committee is the body that establishes and oversees the vision, mission, and strategic objectives of APTN ensuring that its activities and finances are managed in a responsible manner and in accordance with its strategic plan.

The profile of the new Thai Foundation Board and Regional Steering Committee is now available on APTN website. 

Thai Foundation Board
http://www.weareaptn.org/thaiboard/

Regional Steering Committee
http://www.weareaptn.org/regionalsc/

For further information, please contact:

Joe Wong
Programme Manager
Email: joe.wong@weareaptn.org

Natt Kraipet
Network Coordinator
Email: natt.kraipet@weareaptn.org

 

Nepal pride parade: Advocating for LGBTI rights to be written into the new constitution

30 August 2015
Joe Wong

Nepal LGBTI community rallied all over Kathmandu. The pride event organized by Blue Diamond Society annually falls on the day of Gai Jatra -  one of the oldest and notable of the many festivals celebrated.

BDS_GaiJatra_2015

In Kathmandu, largest city in Nepal, thousands of people gathered on its streets to watch as over 500 members of the LGBT community paraded through, carrying rainbow banners and banners.

"Our main demand is that the rights of the sexual minorities should be guaranteed in the new constitution," said Pinky Gurung, of the gay rights group Blue Diamond Society, according to the New York Times.

Just this year, Nepal made a move by including an "others" category for this year's passports for those who do not identify themselves as either male or female. The government of Nepal has also released citizenship certificates for those who are members of the "third gender." On the other hand, these certificates are still hard to obtain from some government offices.

The Asia Pacific Transgender Network has been partnering with Blue Diamond Society and has collaborated with the organization on matters related to the rights and welfare of transgender people. This is part of APTN mission in supporting transgender rights and well-being.

Closing date for application 21 Sept: Job Vacancy - 1 Human Rights & Advocacy Officer and 1 Communications Officer

Post Title: Human Rights and Advocacy Programme Officer
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Background:
The Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) advocates for the protection of the legal, social and human rights of transgender people as well as the enhancement of their social wellbeing and quality of life in the Asia-Pacific region.

Transgender people in the Asia-Pacific region experience large scale violations of their human rights and are subject to stigmatization and discrimination. Many Asia- Pacific countries continue to discriminate against Transgender people in laws and policies. Transgender people commonly experience barriers including prejudicial treatment, abuse and lack of respect for their identities in accessing healthcare, education, employment and justice in family and social contexts.

Transgender people continue to be pathologized as mentally ill and are widely denied recognition of their gender and protection under governmental laws and policies. During the recent High-Level Roundtable on Gender Identity, Human Rights and the Law in Hong Kong participants highlighted legal gender recognition as a key issue for transgender populations in the Asia-Pacific. It was noted transgender populations are widely denied legal gender recognition and when it is available it is often made subject to a range of preconditions such as marital status, lived experience, surgical interventions and sterilization.

Access to education for transgender persons is undermined by a failure to respect gender diversity and strict stereotyping as well as the prevalence of transphobic bullying and attitudes. Many transgender children and youth do not complete their studies, suffer negative psychological effects from bullying or fail to reach their full potential. Access to employment is also hindered by inadequate gender recognition that leads to mismatched identity documents as well as employer transphobia.

The APTN is seeking a Programme Officer to aid in addressing some of the complex human rights and gender recognition issues faced by transgender people in the Asia- Pacific region. The Programme Officer will report to and work closely with the APTN Programme Manager.

Duties and Responsibilities:
The Human Rights & Advocacy Officer will undertake the following tasks:

  • Develop and implement an Advocacy Framework for APTN
  • Organising consultations on human rights and gender recognition; including developing agenda and logistics preparation;
  • Providing administrative support to the APTN Programme Manager and Secretariat as required;
  • Draft and distribute reports, briefing papers, letters, press release, op-eds and other submissions to UN human rights bodies;
  • Coordinate communication channels with UN partners;
  • Disseminate knowledge products as required;
  • Support country partners in training and documentation of human rights violations including developing strategies to address and change abusive laws, policies, and practices;
  • Respond to queries from partners, media and colleagues in the transgender community on gender recognition and human rights issues when assigned by the Programme Manager;
  • Present human rights concerns of transgender people in public forums, international, regional, and national meetings;
  • Liaising with APTN country partners and staff to ensure effective coordination and delivery of activities;
  • Travelling in region and internationally, when assigned by the Programme Manager;
  • Carrying out any other duties as required.

Required Skills and Experience

Education:
University degree and/or equivalent experience in Human Rights, Sociology, Law, Health, Community Mobilization, and/or Public Policy or other relevant field

Work Experience:

  • Minimum of 2 years of work experience in the human rights and/or advocacy field
  • Documented experience working with transgender organizations and/or related issues on human rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identify (SOGI) issues and challenges faced by the transgender community;
  • Experience of working with community based organisations is highly preferred;
  • Engagement with UN, and other international rights organizations on human rights issues will be an asset;
  • Proficiency in written, verbal, organizational, analytical, and interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent computer skills, proficient in Microsoft Office;
  • Proficiency with social media is a strong asset.
  • Language Requirement: Fluency in written and spoken English is essential.

    Transgender women and men are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • To apply please submit CV to Joe Wong at joe.wong@weareaptn.org and Natt Kraipet at natt.kraipet@weareaptn.org by 21 September 2015. 

    _____________________________________________________


Post Title: Communications Officer
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Background:
The Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) advocates for the protection of the legal, social and human rights of transgender people as well as the enhancement of their social wellbeing and quality of life in the Asia-Pacific region.

APTN is seeking a Communications Officer to advance the reach and voice of APTN based on its core mission to improve the human rights and quality of life for transgender people in the Asia Pacific region.

The Communications Officer will provide substantive knowledge management and communications related support to APTN and its staff based in Bangkok. The Communications Officer will actively coordinate knowledge sharing amongst APTN and its partners and donors, support development of knowledge products and provide strategic communications support for grant activities and major events and campaigns. The Communications Officer will report to and work closely with the APTN Programme Manager.

Duties and Responsibilities:
The Communications Officer will undertake the following tasks:

  • Develop and implement a Communications Strategy for APT
  • Develop and disseminate APTN knowledge products (quarterly e-newsletter,
  • press releases, reports, flyers, posters, event-branded materials etc.) as required
  • Provide coordination assistance and strategic support to APTN campaigns
  • Provide communications and knowledge management support to APTN and partners as needed, supporting advocacy with the media, public, UN agencies and partners and provide substantive support in the development of related knowledge products and reports
  • Coordinate communication channels with UN partners;
  • Provide strategic communications support for grant activities, major events and campaigns Website and Social Media;
  • Monitor and update APTN Social Media accounts with the intention of increasing APTNs voice, reach, likes and followers across social media platforms;
  • Ensure APTN website is well maintained and up to date;
  • Produce a quarterly and annual update on communications, including an analysis of Social Media Activity
  • Liaising with APTN country partners and staff to ensure effective coordination of communications and provide technical assistance to partners on communications issues
  • Respond to queries from partners, media and colleagues in the transgender community on gender recognition and human rights issues when assigned by the Programme Manager;
  • Providing administrative support to the APTN Programme Manager as required;
  • Carrying out any other duties as required
  • Required Skills and Experience

    Education:
    University degree and/or equivalent experience in Communications, Media, Web Development, Social or Political Sciences or other relevant field

Work Experience:

  • Minimum of 2 years of work experience in the communications and/or media;
  • Documented experience working with transgender organizations and/or related issues on human rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identify (SOGI) issues and challenges faced by the transgender community;
  • Proven experience in maintaining websites and developing e-newsletters;
  • Proven experience in coordinating with various stakeholders and production of
  • communications materials and products and their dissemination
  • Experience of working with community based organisations is highly preferred;
  • Engagement with UN, and other international rights organizations on human rights issues will be an asset;
  • Proficiency in written, verbal, organizational, analytical, and interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent computer skills, including experience managing websites and use of web based content management systems ;
  • Proficiency with social media.
  • Proven experience in producing the page layout and design of materials such as reports, posters, newsletters, etc would be considered a strong asset

    Language Requirement:
    Fluency in written and spoken English is essential.

    Transgender women and men are strongly encouraged to apply.

    To apply please submit CV to Joe Wong at joe.wong@weareaptn.org and Natt Kraipet at natt.kraipet@weareaptn.org by 21 September 2015.