Advocates for equal human rights for LGBTI persons gather in Apia
Apia, SAMOA — Today marks day two of the ILGA Oceania Conference 2018, with Australia’s Chargé d’Affaires Amanda Jewell, speaking on a panel, joined by United States of American Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Tony Greubel.
Ms. Jewell reiterated Australia’s loyal support for equal human rights and long-standing friendship with the ILGA Oceania.
“Australia advocates strongly for equal human rights, and an end to violence and discrimination, for LGBTI persons globally,” she said. “Australia is proud to support a range of initiatives and civil society to promote equal human rights and development, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.”
She said, “We do this out of a firm belief that all individuals are entitled to respect, dignity and legal protection regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Jewell highlighted Australia as a proud member of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC), which fulfills an important role as an information sharing and consensus building mechanism on positive developments in the protection of LGBTI human rights, and on concerning country situations.
“The 2018 Global LGBTI Human Rights Conference hosted by the ERC in Vancouver, Canada August 5-7 included a session co-hosted by Australia and Canada on the intersecting challenges faced by indigenous peoples who also identify as LGBTI,” she said.
“We are very pleased to co-host — with the US, APCOM and Samoa Fa’afafine Association — this follow-up event today, aimed at ensuring that Pacific regional NGOs and human rights defenders that could not travel to Vancouver can receive a detailed read-out of this event.”
Australia has provided support through a number of funding opportunities, including this week’s ILGA Oceania Regional Conference.
Jewell said, “There is an acknowledged need for capacity building amongst LGBTI civil society organizations in the Pacific.”
“Australia is a donor to the Global Equality Fund, which is administered by the US State Department, where we have provided $275,000 AUD since mid-2016 and are looking to continue this support, resources permitting.”
“Australia makes representations on these issues of repression of human rights, discrimination and violence against LGBTI individuals both directly with bilateral partners and through the Universal Periodic Review process.”
Seen in this photo is Jayiah Saelua, an American Samoa Faafafine Society representative asking a question during a Aug. 30th session of the ILGA Oceania Conference 2018 that was a follow up to the 2018 Global LGBTI Human Rights Conference hosted by the ERC in Vancouver, Canada on August 5-7 that highlighted the intersecting challenges faced by indigenous peoples who also identify as LGBTI. The session co-hosted with Australia, the US, APCOM and Samoa Fa’afafine Association — and was aimed at ensuring that Pacific regional NGOs and human rights defenders that could not travel to Vancouver can receive a detailed read-out of this event, according to a press release from the Australian High Commissioner, Apia, Samoa. [courtesy photo]