Being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender in Asia: Viet Nam country report

04 Aug 2014

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Ha Noi 4 August 2014 - To coincide with the third annual Viet Pride campaign being celebrated in Ha Noi this week, a new report shines a light on the discrimination that lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgenders still face in Viet Nam.

Thanh’s experience is not uncommon. "When I told a friend about who I really am, he told other friends and I faced verbal abuse and physical violence. I wanted to drop out of school and had suicidal thoughts".

Although Viet Nam’s LGBT community has grown stronger over the years, many people still face significant stigma and discrimination in a broad range of areas such as education, employment, health care, media and family affairs.

“This report is important because members of the LGBT community themselves actively participated in the dialogues, voiced their concerns, and, at the same time, provided valuable inputs for the report" said Mr Tran Khac Tung, Director of the Information, Connecting and Sharing (ICS), one of the report’s co-authors.

“Being LGBT in Asia: Viet Nam country report”  provides the first comprehensive account of the legal and social challenges still being faced by the LGBT community as well as the civil society organizations that work for LGBT rights in Viet Nam. The report was launched on Saturday by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Importantly the report provides recommendations to key stakeholders on how to move forward in making Viet Nam a more inclusive country. "Just recently, the Government responded to the Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights at the UN by accepting the recommendation to enact anti-discrimination laws to guarantee equality of all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Mr Scott Ciment, UNDP Legal Advisor, who represented UNDP at the launch. “The UN and many of the member states are ready to help the government take these important steps"

Many members of the LGBT community and their friends and family spoke movingly at the event, calling for a lasting change in social attitudes.

“As parents, all we want is for our children to live in an equal society, to go to school and then to go to work after graduation” said Ms Dinh Thi Yen Ly, mother of a LGBT person.

For more details:
Read the testimonies: http://bit.ly/2Aug14
Read full report: http://bit.ly/LGBTreportVN;
Media release on the report launch