Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner, Amanda Jewell, has reiterated Australia’s support for equal human rights and long standing friendship with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (I.L.G.A.) Oceania.
She was speaking on a panel on day two of the I.L.G.A. Oceania Conference 2018 where she was joined by the United States Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Tony Greubel.
“Australia advocates strongly for equal human rights, and an end to violence and discrimination, for L.G.B.T.I. 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.”
“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.”
Ms. Jewell highlighted Australia as a proud member of the Equal Rights Coalition (E.R.C.), which fulfills an important role as an information sharing and consensus building mechanism on positive developments in the protection of L.G.B.T.I. human rights, and on concerning country situations.
“The 2018 Global L.G.B.T.I. Human Rights Conference hosted by the E.R.C. in Vancouver, Canada 5-7 August included a session co-hosted by Australia and Canada on the intersecting challenges faced by indigenous peoples who also identify as L.G.B.T.I.
“We are very pleased to co-host—with the U.S., A.P.C.O.M. and Samoa Fa’afafine Association—this follow-up event today, aimed at ensuring that Pacific regional N.G.Os 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 I.L.G.A. Oceania Regional Conference.
“There is an acknowledged need for capacity building amongst L.G.B.T.I. civil society organisations in the Pacific,” said Ms. Jewell.
“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 L.G.B.T.I. individuals both directly with bilateral partners and through the Universal Periodic Review process.”