Title : On International Transgender Day of Visibility, CSOs call for acceptance and inclusion of transgender Cambodians and legislation to recognize gender identity in official documents
Released Date : 31-Mar-2017
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English Khmer
Link (Khmer) : None
Link (English) : None
Information Source : Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR)
Today - 31 March 2017 - marks the eighth annual International Transgender Day of Visibility (“TDOV”). On this day, we, the undersigned civil society organizations (“CSOs”), urge the Royal Government of Cambodia (“RGC”) to take action to protect transgender rights, including the introduction of legislation giving effect to transgender people’s right to be legally recognized according to their self-defined gender. We further call upon the Cambodian public to accept, embrace and celebrate transgender Cambodians as full participants in Cambodian society and development.TDOV is a day of empowerment and celebration of the transgender community. This year’s theme is transgender resistance (#TransResistance); it encourages using visibility to counter transphobic sentiment, galvanize transgender people against persecution and promote transgender justice. Today is a day for discussion, education and action surrounding rights.In September 2016, a report entitled “Discrimination against Transgender Women in Cambodia’s Urban Centers”, exposed the alarming everyday harassment and discrimination that transgender women experience in Cambodia. It reported that nearly all respondents (92%) said they had experienced verbal harassment, 43% reported physical assault and 31% had been sexually assaulted while walking on the street. The research also found that traditional family values significantly impact the life of transgender people in Cambodia. Families of transgender Cambodians frequently fail to understand and accept them, with 49% reporting they felt they needed to leave home because of their trans identity. Over half of respondents said that a family member had tried to force them into a heterosexual marriage. Nearly six months since the damning report’s publication, little has been done to advance the rights of trans people. At the time of publication, government representatives rejected the report’s recommendation to introduce specific anti-discrimination legislation, claiming the existing legal framework is sufficient to protect transgender Cambodians. This report and government response reveal that there is a significant amount of work to be done to protect and promote the rights of transgender Cambodians.
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