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

IMG_3533.JPG

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. 

E-Newsletter August 2015: Keeping up with APTN

Robert Carr Civil Society Network Fund
The grant we received from Robert Carr Civil Society Network Fund (RCNF) has been a key aspect of strengthening relations and connections with countries. Last year we were able to successfully work with our partners in Thailand and Malaysia to help them strengthen their work in advocacy.

In terms of support, we provided our country partners with a small grant in order to fund their efforts. Specifically, in Malaysia we supported Justice for Sisters in their advocacy efforts to challenge the Shahria Law for criminalizing transgender women. We did this through activities such as security mitigation training and development of resources for trans women who are arrested. In Thailand we worked in partnership with Thai TGA (Transgender Alliance) to create guidelines for sensitization of the military conscription process for transgender women. Thai law still recognizes transgender women as men, which results in them being abused, discriminated and humiliated during military conscription. These guidelines will tell the military how to properly treat transgender women, and will inform transgender women on how to prepare for the day. It will be a very important resource for many transgender women in aiding them through the military recruitment process.

This year we plan to focus on four more countries in the region – Cambodia, Nepal, India and Pakistan. We look forward to supporting their advocacy efforts and seeing what changes can be brought about.

Communications and Advocacy Outreach
With a large percentage of the world being on social media, it is incredibly important for organizations to have an online presence. APTN recognized this and has been working on building up our social media presence through our Facebook page.

On our Facebook page we share articles, stories and photos of issues that are experienced by transgender people. We also share updates on the work and activities we are involved in. We currently have 2385 likes and we are working on expanding our presence by sharing a wider variety of articles and also posting more frequently. We also have a flickr page where we post photos from our meetings, events and other activities. We plan to invest further in Facebook and other social media sites like Twitter because we believe we can use them as an effective advocacy tool for our community.

This newsletter is another one of our communications efforts. It is supported by UNAIDS and will be published quarterly, containing stories, profiles and updates on the work being done in the region.

Website Launch
We launched the APTN official website in January 2015 with support and funding from UNAIDS.

The website contains information about our network, our work and transgender related events. It also provides viewers with easy access to publications, news and research/data resources about transgender issues in the region.

Another aspect of the website is that we encourage transgender individuals and organizations to submit their stories, experiences and information to the site. This gives people the chance to share their stories and also draw comfort or learn from reading about people’s experiences.

It is expected that this website will connect the transgender community in the region together. It will also be used as an important transgender data resource for the community, partners and academics.

Mapping
The mapping exercise developed by APTN provides a list of existing capacity in the region on transgender issues and also includes the contact detail list of all the organizations and advocates. The development of such a map is extremely vital for advocacy for trans people as it makes it much easier for APTN, partners and stakeholders to communicate and start further partnerships with each other. It gives organizations a chance to strengthen collaborations, both old and new.

The map also identifies the gaps of each transgender organization in the region, therefore providing them with a sense of where they can make improvements to their organization. It also allows for country networks to identify the areas that need to be focused on within the region.

The mapping resource developed by APTN is also the first effort to focus on trans-specific organization/networks or/and advocates. We aim to conduct a yearly exercise to keep the information up to date. We encourage more organizations to participate in the next exercise.

Community-to-community learning between Trans networks/ organizations
The community-to-community learning and mentoring gave us the opportunity to not only share but also learn from other transgender organizations. In this process, we are constantly learning and improving – and there is much to be learnt from other organizations around the world who are working towards the same cause as us. These activities were greatly aided by UNAIDS and Alliance.

We were able to work and partner with organizations in Mexico, Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal and the Philippines. During the TG network meeting in Mexico, we formed a partnership with TGEU. We agreed on the following activities to conduct together:
-       The social experience of trans* people: A global survey by TVT (Transrespect vs Transphobia) project
-       Legal and social mapping
-       Trans violence monitoring

The partnership with TGEU brings about a lot of promising collaborations for the future. Meanwhile in Thailand, we visited Sisters, an organization in Thailand. Sisters is a trans-led community organization providing HIV treatment, care and supports to transgender sex workers and other vulnerable transgender people. The meeting was an extremely productive experience, and after the visit we hoped to be able to connect Sisters with other organizations in the region in order to provide similar services.

Sisters is a great example of the extent to which a community led organization can make a difference. We were also able to visit another successful transgender organization in the Philippines called Colors. Colors aims to better the lives of transgender people and does so through various outreach programs and seminars about the human rights awareness, health concerns (with attention to HIV/AIDS and other STI’s) and appreciating one’s identity. Similar to the learning experience with Sisters, we are aiming to assist country networks to scale up the successful transgender programs across the region.

In Cambodia we had the opportunity to share some trans-positive practices in clinical settings with RHAC (Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia), an organization providing services to trans people. A few months after the meeting, RHAC has started looking at more inclusive and gender-sensitive staffs practices.

Finally, in Nepal, APTN visited Blue Diamond Society (BDS) and learnt more about the work they do the transgender community. We were able to gain a great deal from these programs and hope to continue similar ones in the future, with even more organizations.

Steering Committee
For the past year, APTN has had an interim board in place that has helped to guide us in terms of strategy. We are now moving towards a more permanent structure by electing a Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee is expected to continue the work and strategy that was already endorsed by the interim board. They will also guide APTN in terms of strategy and policies, as well as provide us with technical advice.

It was decided at the last APTN interim board meeting that the Interim Board would elect a Selection Committee made up of individual trans experts to conduct the interview. Over 30 applications were received and reviewed. Nine candidates were short-listed based on their experience as a board member, their technical and communication skills as well as their commitment and vision for APTN.

The Selection Committee was made up of Dr. Sam Winter (Curtin University, Australia), Manisha Dhakal (Blue Diamond Society, Nepal), Kath Khangpiboon (Thai TGA, Thailand), Jack Byrne (New Zealand) and Thomas Guadamuz (Mahidol University,Thailand). Results of the election will be announced later this year.

 Advocacy and Strategic Information Products
UNAIDS and the Robert Carr Civil Society Network Fund provided support in our efforts to put out key advocacy and strategic information products. It is very important for transgender people to be represented as a separate community with diverse needs, and not just under the umbrella of MSM. Thus, it is important to spread information about the work we are doing and the needs of our community. We were able to do this year through our information products.

The total list of information products that we produced is the following:
-       Press releases
-       Brochure: distributed at various conferences, workshops and meetings
-       Donor Presentation: provided an overview of the work APTN is doing for new donors

Next year we will continue to put out even more advocacy and strategic information products as begin to collect more data about transgender people in the Asia and Pacific Region.

Registration of APTN as a legal entity
In an effort funded and supported by Robert Carr Civil Society Network Fund and HIV Alliance, APTN was finally registered as a Thai foundation. This comes as a great accomplishment as being registered gives us a lot more opportunities for funding and advocacy.

Donors often require registration in order to award grants. Thus, we can receive funding from a larger circle of donors now. As we are now a legal entity, we are able to have a wider outreach as an organization. It allows us to conduct many more activities in the future and also to reach a larger audience. It also makes it much easier for us to invite consultants and other organizations to work with us as we can now formally extend invitations to them. This benefits us greatly and we look forward to working with a wider scope of individuals.

Finally, APTN is the first regional transgender network to be formally registered as a legal entity in the Asia and Pacific region This is a great step forward in receiving more recognition for transgender issues.

Program development and Institutional Strengthening
Over this past year APTN held an interim board meeting to develop a new strategic plan. During this meeting we were able to identify the key areas that APTN would engage in:

-       Building regional network and country partners capacity
-       Generating strategic information for advocacy and policy
-       Advocacy campaign on legal recognition, employment and social welfare
-       Community-to-community learning
-       Creating APTN profile and partnerships

This strategic plan is still in the draft stages and it will be circulated once it has been finalized by the newly elected Steering Committee.

Development of regional concept note
APTN successfully organized Regional Transgender Community Consultation to Develop the Concept Note for Regional Proposal to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). We worked with our six country partners including SISTER (Thailand), GWA-INA (Indonesia), MSM – TG network of Vietnam (Vietnam), COLORS (Philippines), NAZ Male Health Foundation (Pakistan) and Blue Diamond Society (Nepal).

Through working with our country partners, we were able to identify the needs and activities for the transgender community to be included in the regional concept note. This was also achieved in collaboration with APN+, APNSW and ANPUD for Global Fund.

The needs and outcomes we identified in the note include:

1.    Community monitoring towards quality of services on HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support program;
2.    Community Study on Community Lead HIV Counseling and Testing Service;
3.    Community based study on the barriers to access to services.

Our input and inclusion in regional concept notes such as this one are incredibly important as it will hopefully result in more data collected about transgender people in the Asia and Pacific Region. These studies will also focus on our community as a separate entity.

Organization and participation in the 20th International AIDS Conference
The 20th International AIDS Conference took place from 20th-25th July in 2014. APTN organized two satellite sessions for the conference. These events were ““APTN and the Voice of Transgender in Asia Pacific” and “The Challenges of Being Transgender”.

It was recognized by the transgender community how important it is for transgender people to be separated from the MSM umbrella. KAP networks, donors, partners and governments also addressed it extensively. We also raised the needs of more investment on the transgender community to strategic partners and key donors such as UNAIDS, Global Fund, Robert Carr Civil Society Network Fund and the Australian Government.

The sessions also gave us chance to strengthen our partnerships with other transgender networks. It also allowed us the opportunity to collaborate more with transgender organizations from America, Australia and Latin America as new partnerships were established.

Participation in key meetings
APTN had the opportunity to attend and participate in two key meetings in 2015: The Asia-Pacific Intergovernmental Meeting on HIV and AIDS (IGM 2015) and Beijing+20

The Asia-Pacific Intergovernmental Meeting on HIV and AIDS (IGM 2015)
During this meeting, we were a part of a Civil Society Organization (CSO) working group that was trying to organize a CSO Forum. This forum would be a platform for CSO’s to address their HIV and human rights issues. In addition to this, APTN also represented as a speaker in a side session called “My Body, My Rights: Fighting HIV through the lens of HIV”. APTN addressed the importance of fulfilling the right to make free and informed decisions on sexuality. We also discussed how vital it is to eliminate discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI).

Beijing+20
We were actively involved with the platform “Unzip The Lips”. Unzip is a platform of organizations and individuals fighting for key affected women and girls. We collaborated with Unzip to hold a pre-conference to strategize with other key partners, like women who live with HIV, women who use drugs and sex workers. We were able to come up with strategies such as direct and personal approach to country delegations, and promoting the issues of key affected women and girls.

During the actual conference, we attended a press conference conducted by UN Women. During this press conference, APTN explained the existence of diverse gender identities. We also explained how it is much more suitable to understand gender as a continuum, rather than strike binary categories. In the side events conducted by UNAIDS, we emphasized that transgender women are women and should not be left behind in the women’s rights movements.

APTN’s participation in these two meetings brought about a lot of advocacy for the transgender movement, as well as spread knowledge of sexuality and gender.

Blueprint
The Blueprint for the Provision of Comprehensive Care for Trans Persons and their Communities in Asia and the Pacific is a much-needed publication that will provide public health officials, community led organizations, clinical service providers and more with complete transgender health information. This publication is in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the USAID-funded Health Policy Project (HPP), along with support from Linkages. The Blueprint is an adaptation of the PAHO Trans Health Blueprint, which focuses on the Caribbean and other Anglophone countries.

The purpose of the Blueprint is to strengthen and enhance the policy, clinical and public health responses for trans people in Asia and the Pacific. It is expected that the Blueprint will improve access to competent primary and specialized care for transgender people in the region. It will also help to promote the health of trans persons in Asia and the Pacific as it will identify the healthcare needs of the population. This publication is essential as there is no official trans health guide in Asia and the Pacific. However, this publication comes as the third regional Trans Health Blueprint.

The Blueprint details what the health issues are for the region and also includes recommendations for progressing trans health and human rights. Activists will be able to use the information in the Blueprint as evidence to push for changes within their own countries.

The Blueprint was a consultative process, engaging trans communities, stakeholders and experts. In order to complete the Blueprint, we had three regional consultations. Two of these took place in Bangkok while the other one took place in Nepal. After the Blueprint has been finished, funding has been set aside to create advocacy toolkits for selected countries to help turn it into local action plans.

APTN needs your advice for a series of trans resources about transitioning.

The Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) is creating a series of 5 short electronic resources based on common questions trans people ask about transitioning.

Topics
The 5 resources will look at these topics:

  1. I think I might be trans

  2. Telling others (family, friends, your current partner, school or workmates)

  3. Non-medical transition steps (binding, tucking, asking friends to use a different name or pronoun)

  4. Medical transition steps (hormones and surgeries)

  5. Keeping safe and strong (dealing with bullying and transphobia, feeling good about your identity and your body, resilience)

APTN needs your advice
APTN wants these resources to be as useful as possible across the region. Please tell us the main questions people in your community ask about transitioning. We will try to include the most common questions in the resources.

Please send your questions to joe.wong@weareaptn.org by Friday 3 July.

Audience
The resources are for trans people in Asia and the Pacific, and people close to them who want to know more about the transition process. These include, for example, family members, partners, friends, work colleagues and allies.

Format
The resource will be written in English and accessible online, as a series of electronic documents that can also be printed out. They will avoid technical terms and be written in simple, accessible language.

Each resource will probably be between 4 and 6 pages long. Together they will be a maximum of 25 pages. The final versions will include graphics to make them easier and more interesting to read.

Partners
Is your organisation able to help APTN to distribute the final resources in your country? Would you also consider translating them into your local language? If you want to be a project partner, please contact APTN on: joe.wong@weareaptn.org

OP-ed: In quake hit Nepal transgender people turn adversity into opportunity

Photo: Navesh Chitrakar

Photo: Navesh Chitrakar

In quake hit Nepal transgender people turn adversity into opportunity
Op-Ed

This year began with such hope for transgender people in Nepal as the government announced citizens could identify as “other” on their passports. We were getting ready to celebrate the issuing of the first of these pioneering passports, when disaster struck the country. Among the thousands of people who were killed by the earthquake which hit the Kathmandu area a little over a month ago, were Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersexual and Questioning (LGBTIQ) friends too.

Ciatala died when a house collapsed and her body was dug out of the rubble and brought to a teaching hospital. The Blue Diamond Society, dedicated to improving the sexual health, well-being and human rights of sexual minorities in Nepal, had the sad job of arranging a proper funeral. The Society has about 218, 000 members throughout the country. We continue to get reports of community members who are still missing.

 The quake cast many transgender people out into the streets, as their homes crumbled; 65 homes of transgender people and their families fully destroyed, at last count. When relief camps were quickly set up, people without families were segregated into male and female camps. Where did that leave the third gender? Once again, a situation was created due to the disaster where the third gender felt excluded in a country viewed as one of the most progressive on gender-identity in the world.

We could not accept this. The Blue Diamond Society sprang into action a few days after the quake and organized a camp specifically for sexual minorities. In communal tents, transgender people- both transgender males and females - felt safer. The community may have lost their homes, yet discovered a new resolve and strength as they shared food, comfort and shelter; rebuilding lives together.

 Since the quake, every day, the Blue Diamond’s support and hospice centre has been preparing food for community members. While the society’s three-storey building is still standing, there are cracks on the walls and the structure needs to be repaired. This means that transgender people and other sexual minorities living with HIV, who received care in the Blue Diamond Society hospice had to leave. Most of them have moved to the India-adjoining Terai districts.

 Not only in Nepal but in many other countries, transgender people are often at higher risk of HIV. This is because they rarely have identity papers that affirm their gender, and without such legal recognition they are excluded from education and employment opportunities.  They face exclusion, discrimination, violence and lack of access to appropriate health care. A UNAIDS report finds that globally, the chance of acquiring HIV is 49 times higher for a transgender woman than other adults of reproductive age.

 In Kathmandu, 300 transgender women were making a living selling sex before the quake. Now, not only do the women find it hard to find customers, their landlords increased their rent and they were thrown out of their homes; a clear case of discrimination and rights violation at a time of extreme vulnerability. Without permanent shelter and steady income the trangender women’s living conditions are difficult. However, international relief agencies have provided tents, blankets and water purification tablets to help them get through the initial emergency period.

Gender considerate disaster risk reduction is essential, and transgender people need to be included in preparation planning. Their voices must be heard and their issues must be addressed in the current post disaster risk assessment. The lack of government identification papers which reflect their gender identity often leads to exclusion from relief centres or government handouts. Also, basic facilities such as toilets and bathrooms in emergency shelters are often divided into male and female venues. In the best of times, forcing transgender individuals to choose between male and female toilets can lead to embarrassing encounters and in the worst of times it can spell danger: having to share toilets particularly at night put transgender persons at risk of violence and rape.

While many transgender people in Nepal still face an uncertain future, the community is proud to have come this far. Few disaster relief plans in the past have taken into account the needs of sexual minorities. It is rare for evacuation centres to provide private space for transgender people and other sexual minorities. In partnership with international organizations, the Blue Diamond Society has now organized 15 tents in Kathmandu for people of the LGBTIQ community; and 50 tents to transgender persons and their families, in the other affected districts.

While the road ahead is difficult, we are confident that transgender people in Nepal can continue to be a beacon of hope for their peers across Asia and the Pacific. The transgender community is using the same courage, resilience and tenacity that won them legal recognition, to shape relief efforts in Nepal. We hope their experience can set an example for future emergencies around the world. 

Manisha Dhakal, Executive Director, Blue Diamond Society,                
Joe Wong, Programme Manager, Asia Pacific Transgender Network

Kathmandu and Bangkok, 3 June 2015

Contacts: manishadhakal.nepal@gmail.com and joe.wong@weareaptn.org  

APTN IDAHOT2015: The Importance of Support for Transgender Youth

Bangkok, 17 May 2015

 The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is commemorated every May 17th; an important day for the transgender community to raise awareness to the broader society in order to stop transphobia. Emotional, physical and sexual violence experienced by transgender people is the result of transphobia, causing great damage to the community and their loved ones. The number of murder case of transgender people had shown that the largest groups of murdered transgender people are on the age between 20 to 29 years old.

A report from Transgnder Europe (TGEU) shows that in the last seven years. 131 transgender and gender diverse persons under the age of 20 have been reported murdered. Where the location of death is reported, 38% were murdered on the street and 24% were murdered in their homes.[1] This alarming number of the murder of young transgender people causes great concern for the transgender communities. 

The Importance of Support for Transgender Youth

Support from families are urgent and crucially needed for transgender youth as the role of family is to act as the support system for the children. Anecdotal evidence shows that  first-hand bullying is experienced by transgender youth within their family.

Violence by family members ranged from emotional and physical to sexual violence, some also were forced to wear hair and clothes aligned with societal gender norms and often trans youths are neglected when programs are being developed to address violence against youths”, said Joe Wong.

Apart from family support, educational institution is equally important to ensure transgender youth have a safe space and support system when faced with transphobia from peers or family. Many transgender youth discontinue their education due to the stigma and discrimination experienced within the school. A five countries study conducted by IGLHRC showed that LBT youth experienced physical, verbal and sexual harassment and expulsions in school[2]. Protection for transgender and gender diverse students from transphobic bullying from peer group, teachers, senior, and other school staff can help to enable the environment for youth transgender.

Transphobia is also one of the main barriers that prevent youth transgender to access health care services. Many feel reluctant to access the services because of the judgmental attitude of the staff and negative comments and behavior of the healthcare providers. Generally speaking, transphobia can also be found in public spaces, conducted by any official officers, and taking many forms (verbal, non-verbal, and physical violence).

“Sometimes when we talk about the rights of young people - the rights to identify to any identity they are most comfortable with are usually forgotten. The adults in the children’s environment have the responsibility to ensure the safety and support the children to develop healthy self-esteem, not otherwise. Instead of busy worrying about morals of the young people who comes out as trans, ensure them to have universal values such as kindness, honesty, compassion as their core virtue. With these virtues, young people have the opportunity to appreciate themselves better, therefore allowing them to empower themselves to have supportive environment. In the end, kindness and good virtues knows no gender afterall.”, Kevin Halim.

Taken the chance of the international day to reduce transphobia, IDAHOT 2015 aims to raise awareness of the public about the importance to end homophobia and transphobia within the society with more attention for young people. Through the awareness, it is hoped that the society can start support the young people, especially young transgender people and people with diverse gender identity that eventually help them to protect them from transphobic violence.

Asia Pacific Transgender Network urgently call for the following in support of trans youth:

  • Psychosocial support for family with transgender children or youth.
  • Support systems in school that protect and respect the rights of youth transgender from transphobic bullying in school settings, including but not limited, from their peers, senior, teachers, and staffs.
  • Equal opportunities for youth transgender people in education.
  • Equal opportunities for youth transgender people in employment.
  • Increase access in health care setting.

Contact Information:

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

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

[1] http://tgeu.org/tmm-idahot-update-2015/

[2] http://iglhrc.org/sites/iglhrc.org/files/RegAnCC_0.pdf

Blue Diamond Society updates and appeal for help: The aftermath for the recent devastating earthquake that hit Nepal hard affecting homes of LGBTI people.

IMG_1380.JPG

Dear friends and colleagues,

With heavy hearts, sadness and sense of fear, Blue Diamond Society, on behalf of Nepalese sexual and gender minority communities, sends this updates on aftermath of recent devastating earthquake that hit Nepal hard. You must have heard the news and some information already shared from our founder Sunil babu pant and other colleagues of BDS that LGBTI community are also equally affected if not more. The level of devastation in Nepal is huge and much is still not known. Even before the earthquakes, Nepal had electricity power load shading. There is now an acute electricity shortage which severely limits mobile coverage too.

Since the earthquakes the BDS has been trying to contact and search for our members and staff. We found the body of Ciatala (Kumar Bhujel), who identifies as third gender, in a teaching hospital. We reached her in time and found her. Otherwise the security force were ready to do a mass funeral of unidentified bodies. We have informed her mother in Dharan and we did funeral at Pashupati Aryeghat today.

A member of BDS’s care and support team, Jyoti Prakash KC, is still missing. We visited several hospitals in Kathamndu and are unable to find him. Moreover we have got information today that two more transgender; Melina and Bhawani are also missing.

The BDS’s main building and its care and support building are both cracked and damaged. Friends’ and colleagues’ houses have collapsed. Most of  LGBTI people are spending nights under some tents with BDS banner for security and identification. There is shortage of gas and food and the BDS has run out of food for the care and support and hospice for HIV positive LGBTI.

Around 300 trans women / metis in Kathmandu survive through sex work. They now have no way of earning money.Many LGBTI members from kavre, Gorkha, Dhading, Nuwakot, Kathmandu, Makwanpur,Bhaktapur,  Jhapa, Saptari and several other districts have lost their homes. Relief camps are there but only for general population, segregated facilities into binary genders, excluding THIRD gender. Even accessing toilets are a big issue for TG.

This is just an preliminary report, we will keep updating you as get more information from the ground, especially from remote districts of Nepal.

The needs are huge and for many months to come. The immediate needs: tents, clothes, blankets, umbrellas, water, food and medicine, fuel for generator and BDS's vehicle for about 4 to 6 months. Its difficult to estimate the amount needed just now but we can suggest something in a week times, however it is going to be a significant amount in BDS terms, any thing from 100 thousands to couple of mullions US dollars.For longer term: fund to repair both the damaged building of BDS, rehabilitation of LGBTI who have lost their homes and income/job creating program to support livelihood of LGBTI, mostly for those sex workers whose income are completely stooped now.

People have been asking us  how to support LGBTI people in Nepal. This request has details of the an appeal that has been launched by the Blue Diamond Society.

Please forward it to your networks - we need your support right now.  

You can support by different ways, for bigger amounts, please send fund directly to BDS bank account.

Details are:
Account Name: Blue diamond society
Account Number: 01400105200316
Swift Code: EVBLNPKABank Name: Everest Bank Limited, Branch Office,
Lazimpat Kathmandu Nepal
Physical Address: Blue Diamond Society Dhumbarahi Height-4, Kathmandu.
Ph: +977 1 4443350, +977 1 4426652

For smaller amount, any agency in each country can initiate collection of funds for BDS and send it later to BDS.

Thank you for your generosity, concerns and solidarity.

The internet connection and phone lines are still sporadic, but please contact us if you need more information at
Pinky Gurung, President +977 9841313377( bdsboard@gmail.com)
Manisha Dhakal, Executive director +977 9849214901( manishadhakal.nepal@gmail.com)

Call for nominations of APTN Steering Committee for the post 2015-2017

*UPDATE: Submission extended to 29 March. Shortlisted applicants will be notified by 11 April.

Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) is the first regional transgender network in Asia Pacific region. Our mission is 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.

APTN is pleased to invite transgender persons to submit nominations for candidates to serve on the APTN Steering Committee during the post 2015-2017. One position is allocated for applicants from the Pacific, one for transgender man and 3 other positions are open.

Position Descriptions:

The Steering Committee are expected to:

  • Uphold the Asia Pacific Transgender Network according to the objectives of the network. 

  • Stipulate policies for APTN and provide technical advices for Secretariat

  • Review activities and finance matters as well as support fund raising activities

  • Act as representatives of APTN and its affairs in dealing with external individuals

  • Committed to regularly attend Committee Meetings.

  • Submit written report(s) for meetings and/ or conference attended as APTN representative

Candidate Requirements: 

Every candidate wishing to be considered for any position on the APTN Steering Committee will be required to meet the followings requirement;

  • Self-identify as transgender

  • Must be individuals, at least 21 years of age, with capacity under common law to enter contracts;

  • Affiliated with the regional networks / organizations working towards transgender welfare;

  • At least 3 – 5 years experience in working in/for transgender community;

  • Knowledge in transgender men and women issues

  • Have the ability to communicate (written and spoken) effectively in English.

  • National citizen or Permanent Resident of Asia and Pacific countries

  • Cross-cultural knowledge

Nomination Submission: 

Closing Date:   Sunday, 15 March 2015, 10:00 PM Indochina Time – Bangkok

If you would like to be considered for one of these positions, please submit the required documents in PDF format only, to Natt Kraipet at natt.kraipet@weareaptn.org and Joe Wong at joe.wong@weareaptn.org by the closing date and time. The required documents are:

  • Nominee Form

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) (2 pages max.)

  • Letter of Interest providing specific examples of your contributions to the transgender community and your vision for APTN. (800 words max.)

  • 2 letters of reference from your organization and/or other relevant one.

Selection Process:

5 independent persons forming selection committee with vast knowledge on transgender issues will review the applications.  Only those applicants shortlisted will be notified by 1 April 2015.

 

Nepal minister: Government ready to amend anti-gay legal provisions

This community should be treated as any other human being.

Nepal's minister for information and communication has said the government is ready to amend discriminatory legal provisions against sexual minorities.

Speaking on Wednesday (4 February) at the first day of a three-day South Asian transgender and hijra consultation in Kathmandu, Minendra Rijal said the government had started the process by issuing passports with a third gender.

'This community should be treated as any other human being,' he said, adding that his party, the Nepali Congress, had mentioned equal rights for sexual minorities in its manifesto.

However, Rijal said equality could not be achieved through legal advancement and policies only, but also required changes in society's attitudes and behavior.

'I urge the community to stand up and take a lead,' he said. 

'As a minister, I will prepare myself to be a leader who will lead in such a way that encourages everyone to be more sensitive towards the issues of rights and health for the transgender and hijra community – with the hope of change resulting that will be considered revolutionary in retrospect.'

In South Asia, transgender people often find themselves pushed to the social, legal and economic margins of society thanks to pervasive stigma, discrimination, prejudice, harassment and abuse. In many places they live in fear of transphobic violence.

However, in the recent years Nepal, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have recognized third gender citizens.

'This is a good start. But we also need equal opportunities in education, employment and easy access to health services,' said Manisha Dhakal, deputy director of the Blue Diamond Society.

'Programs for us should not be restricted to distributing condoms, lubricants and HIV/STI related services – creating an enabling legal environment is equally important for us.'

Gay sex is criminalized in the most South Asia countries but Nepal legalized homosexuality in 2007.

Subarna Karmacharya, director of the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal, vowed to give priority to complaints regarding LGBTI issues and ensure that gay rights receive special mention in its upcoming strategic plan.

The consultation was jointly organized by Blue Diamond Society, Asia Pacific Transgender Network and UNDP under the Multi-Country South Asia Global Fund HIV Program, with support from UNAIDS, USAID, PEPFAR and the Health Policy Project.

See more here.

Leave to Appeal is Granted in Malaysian Crossdressing Case

Leave to Appeal is Granted in Malaysian Crossdressing Case

The Federal Court has given the Negeri Sembilan state government permission to appeal an earlier Federal Court of Appeals ruling that makes cross dressing legal in the state.  However, the court is limiting arguments to constitutional ones, rejecting interventions from the Islamic State Councils of Selangor, the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpus, Penang, Johor and Perak, as well as UMNO (the malay front of the ruling coalition led by the prime minister).  In the January 27 leave hearing, the panel of five judges told the Negeri Sembilan state lawyer, Shafee Abdullah, that the case should address fundamental constitutional arguments – the question of whether section 66 contravenes articles 5, 8(1), 8 (2), 9 and 10 of the Federal Constitution – rather than addressing the question of whether the Appellate Court has jurisdiction over Shariah law.

Malaysian court decision on
cross-dressing

Malaysian court decision on <br>cross-dressing

A Malaysian court decision that made a ban on cross-dressing illegal last year is now being challenged in court. Last November the Malaysian Court of Appeal ruled that a Shariah law criminalizing Muslim transgender people in Negeri Sembilan state was unconstitutional. The state government is now trying to overturn that decision. 

Community leaders, UN agencies call for urgent action to increase inclusion of transgender people within Asia-Pacific human rights, health and HIV responses

Community leaders, UN agencies call for urgent action to increase inclusion of transgender people within Asia-Pacific human rights, health and HIV responses

As a series of transgender-specific events take place in Bangkok, Thailand, representatives from the transgender community, United Nations organisations and USAID have emphasized the need for urgent action to increase focus and positioning of transgender human rights issues within health and HIV responses in the region.