2013 PRESS RELEASES
Released on June 27, 2013
On June 26, 2013, the United States Embassy convened a roundtable discussion on issues facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in Cambodia. The objective of the roundtable was to promote a discussion among organizations from LGBT advocacy, human rights, and health sectors to find common ground to further LGBT rights in Cambodia.
The participating organizations included the Khmer HIV/AIDS NGO Alliance (KHANA), Network for MSM and Transgender/Bandanh Chatomok (BC), Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR), East West Management Institute (EWMI), and Rainbow Community of Kampuchea (RoCK).
U.S. Embassy Political Officer Dustin Dockiewicz gave opening remarks. Human Trafficking and Civil Society Specialist Serey Chan and HIV/AIDS Program Development Specialist Dr. Bunna Sok, both from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), led the discussion.
The participants shared common issues facing LGBT individuals in Cambodia such as stigma, discrimination, violence, human rights abuse, and limited access to legal and health services. They also described their activities to raise awareness and address LGBT issues. These activities include the use of social media, public campaigns, citizen journalism, advocacy work within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, providing hotline counseling and legal aid, and documenting cases of human rights abuse.
The participants found the roundtable to be a safe venue to share information and best practices and to enhance collaboration to advance LGBT rights in Cambodia. The participants agreed to formalize the roundtable as a “LGBT Community Forum” that will meet regularly to identify priority areas and set up appropriate strategies to address LGBT issues.
The United States is committed to working with the Cambodian government, civil society, and the public to continue the fight to protect the human rights of everyone, including those who are LGBT.