HUMAN RIGHTS DO NOT DISCRIMINATE: LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER, and MSM CAMBODIANS HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AS OTHER CAMBODIANS

JOINT PRESS RELEASE
Cambodia, 10 December 2012
For immediate release

PHNOM PENH, 10 December – On the occasion of International Human Rights Day, KANHNHA, Positive MSM Group and other community partners are raising awareness with regards to the human rights situation faced by Men who have sex with Men (MSM) and transgender men and women (TG) in Cambodia and in particular, MSM and TG people who are living with HIV and who use drugs. These vulnerable groups are often overlooked in when discussing the human rights situation in Cambodia.

The theme for this year’s International Human Rights Day is “the right of every citizen to participate in the conduct of public affairs”. This themeis particularly relevant to the rights of MSM and TG people in Cambodia because they are often excluded from their communities and from participating in public affairs – despite living and working amongst us in every village and province in Cambodia, and at every level of society.

Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) Cambodians, and in particular MSM and TG people and MSM and TG people living with HIV, have a high level of drug use and many also sell sex. Many of them are often discriminated against, leading to exclusion from education, limited employment opportunities and a lack of access to health and social services. Those living in rural areas and who work in entertainment venues often face more discrimination than those in urban areas. There are few services where they can obtain information they need to learn what their rights are, and how they can advocate for them.

Human Rights Day is a day to celebrate the human rights for all Cambodians. The MSM and TG and Positive MSM &TG communities, sex workers and drug users do not ask for special rights or extra rights, just the same rights as everyone else – the right to a safe environment, the right to health, the right to a livelihood, the right to love and have a family, the right to accepted as part of the community and society free of stigma and discrimination.

MSM and TG Cambodians, sex workers, and drug users will celebrate Human Rights Day today at WHERE ? from 13:30 to 17:15. by launching this year’s Cambodia Pride 2012 DVD. There will also be screenings of three short films highlighting local MSM, TG, and Positive MSM and TG issues, Workers right and Our right to health.

Mr Nuon Sidara, Executive Director of KANHNHA, will also present MSM and TG Movement in Cambodia. MSM and TG and Positive MSM &TG guest speakers will be with us to answer questions. Finger food will be served.

Please join us in celebrating International Human Rights Day and the human rights of MSM, TG and Positive MSM & TG Cambodians, sex workers, and drug users.

This press release is endorsed by:

– Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK)
– CPN+ (Positive MSM Project)

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