Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK)
International Human Rights Day 2013-
“Celebrating International Human Rights for LGBTIQ People in Cambodia 2013”
Background and general activities of RoCK
RoCK is a Cambodian LGBT rights group. It was formed after the successful Cambodia Pride Week 2009 (10-17th May) when LGBT Pride volunteers wanted to continue working to improve the lives of LGBT people in Cambodia. A week-long Pride involving various events (workshops, film festival, art exhibition, media coverage, social events) was an empowering experience for Cambodian LGBT as they had opportunities to share their experiences and bring more visibility to their lives and their concerns. They felt a stronger sense of community and wished to continue to work together to bring more understanding and visibility of LGBT people to Cambodian society. Since then, RoCK has successfully organized and annual LGBT Pride Week and last year 2012, organized the first-ever ASEAN LGBT Pride Week in Cambodia. And the Pride Week this year we made more visible event which more than 50 monks were invited for Blessing Ceremony and First Tuk Tuk parade (22) in public.
As well as organizing the annual Pride Festival every May, RoCK works all year round to promote LGBT rights awareness and advocacy. It does this by aiming certain activities at general community and society, and certain activities at internal movement building among LGBT-
- RoCKers carry out multiple awareness session for university students of Gender Studies in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang;
- also with other organizations as requested- Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), KHANA, British Embassy and others;
- RoCK harnesses the power of the arts to increase visibility and understanding through commissioning short films and documentaries, art exhibitions, music and songs;
- RoCK carries out research on LGBT experiences;
- RoCK takes on cases of rights abuses of LGBT to ensure that services are made available and problems are solved;
- RoCK engages in community-organising within the LGBT community promoting volunteerism and self-help as the most powerful and sustainable way to bring about change- “be the change you wish to see!”
- RoCK organizes SOGI workshops for its growing membership around the country to further deepen the LGBT community’s understanding and articulation of their identity
Focus and progamme of IHRD 2013
One of the biggest causes of the discrimination and marginalization experienced by the LGBT community is the accusation that homosexual love is unnatural, abnormal and not belonging to Cambodian culture rather coming to influence young people from exposure to foreign cultures, music and fashions. The deep discrimination against LGBT leads to family rejection of LGBT sons and daughters and fear of this rejection is the biggest factor preventing LGBT people from their freedom of expression and to be who they are. Coming out of the closet comes with huge risks if it leads to one being abandoned or rejected by one’s family, the primary social fabric of life in Cambodia. Addressing this discrimination and strengthening support mechanisms for LGBT people continues to be the core work of RoCK and is the focus of IHRD 2013.
IHRD will focus on the important issue of family acceptance during IHRD this year. There will be a 2-day programme featuring:
- Our second ever national gathering of LGBT couples and their family members who accept them. We hope this will be a step on the way to founding a PFLAG group in Cambodia- Parents and Friends of Lesbian And Gay. During ASEAN Pride Week we met with the Vietnam PFLAG group and saw it is possible!
- Commune leaders as well as police will be invited for sharing about how their experience with homosexual couples in their own community.
- RoCK will launch its Pride DVD from the previous May on IHRD
- RoCK will also screen some documentary which produced last years
- RoCK will exhibit its photo-book art piece “Cambodian LGBT Lives” featuring LGBT people with family who accept them.
RoCK will invite 100 RoCKers from the provinces for the 2-day programme and RoCKers from Phnom Penh as well as target groups of CPN Plush, a support organization for HIV+ transgender and MSM with whom RoCK is collaborating and other supporters.
Women’s Network for Unity (WNU), # 3-4 Street 339, Tuol Kork, Sangkat Boueng Kak 1, Khan Tuol Kork.
Tel: Mr Srun Srorn 092 300 006
Monday-Tuesday 9-10th December 2013
Agenda of Int. HR planning (9th -10th December 2013)
on 9th December:
- Morning: workshop sharing about activities of other provinces (Takoe, K.chnang, Siemreap, Preyveng, Svayreang, Pursat, Preah vinhea)
- Afternoon: workshop sharing about experience of commune chief and police to support us (Takoe, Kandal, Preah vihea, Prey veng)
on 10th December:
- Morning: Sharing about Work of RoCK for the last few year and also RoCK status for 2014
- Afternoon: Lounching the DVD Pride 2013 and Other couples of Short documentary which relate to RoCK’s work
- Evening: Show and Dancing
- Cleaning at Siem Reap town 7-8th Oct
- Radio talk show at SR/ BTB
Contact person Tana 010 305 311 or Srorn 092 300 006