ILGA Asia Annual Report 2017 - Executive Summary
ILGA Asia is pleased to present our Annual Report covering activities from 1 January 2017 – 31 December 2017.
In 2017, ILGA Asia started to execute its annual work plan based on the first strategic plan for 2017-2019. Early 2017 saw the adoption of the governance manual, the first step to strengthen capacity of the board and staff in governance of the organization. The governance manual helped to further clarify the decision-making processes within ILGA Asia to become more efficient, and the roles and responsibilities of the Executive board and the Thailand Foundation board in accordance with Thai law, among other issues.
ILGA Asia continued to raise fund for the annual work plan, with varying success. Some activities were delayed or moved to the following year because of the lack of funding. For instance, the first of a series of human rights training did not take place until December, while the second training was delayed to 2018. Development of the website and other communication channels did not happen.
ILGA Asia continued to work with the Thai government to register itself as a Non-for-profit Foundation. The process was supposed to complete within 2017, but the decease of the late king slowed down the operation of the government office, which delayed its completion to 2018.
In July 2017, ILGA Asia worked with ILGA to organize the training on digital security for 25 LGBTI human rights defenders with support from ProtectDefenders.eu and technical direction of Digital Rights Pakistan. The 3-day residential training provided participants with basic knowledge of the internet and equip them with tools to encrypt their message and prevent hacking. Participants found the content very helpful to the security threats they were facing, sometimes they were not even aware of.
In December 2017, ILGA Asia organized the 7th Asian conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia with the host Rainbow Community of Kampuchea. The Asian Executive Board met prior to the conference to meet with the host organization and prepare for the conference. This was the 3rd board meeting ever since they were elected in 2015.
The 5-day conference attracted 281 participants, 69 of whom were coming on a scholarship. With the theme “United for Love”, the conference wanted to symbolize the regional solidarity in a time when adversity against LGBTIQ community is taking place across Asia, including the murder of gay activists in Bangladesh, violence against trans people in Malaysia and the Philippines, police raids of community gathering in Iran and Indonesia, and government’s inaction or harmful policies towards community in Singapore. The conference brought up important and emerging issues in Asia, such as the marriage equality movement and the rising religious fundamentalism and state-sponsored homophobia and transphobia. The conference elected 10 members to the Asian Executive Board, 4 of whom are from the previous board. This was the first time the Asian board had the 2 West Asian representatives, trans representative and intersex representative. The Constitution was also amended to reflect the change of ILGA Asia office to Thailand among other things.