On August 2, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), released the first-ever comprehensive report on the legal and social circumstances faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons and the civil society organizations that work for LGBT rights in Vietnam. The release coincides with the third annual Viet Pride campaign being celebrated in Hanoi, August 1 -3, under the theme ‘Together.’
“This report recommends changes in attitudes, practices, and legal frameworks to ensure that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, are treated equally,” said Mr. Randolph Flay, Acting USAID Vietnam Mission Director at the release.
The ‘Being LGBT in Asia: The Vietnam Country Report’ shows that although Vietnam’s LGBT community has grown stronger over the years, LGBT persons still face significant stigma and discrimination in a broad range of areas such as education, employment, health care, media and family affairs. The report provides recommendations to various stakeholders on how to move forward to make Vietnam a more inclusive country.
In addition to reviewing recent developments and proposing key strategies for improving the rights of LGBT people, the report explores the need for organizational development and training for organizations that work to support LGBT persons and other key stakeholders. “Investments in technical skills and empowerment of the LGBT movement should continue and intensify in upcoming years to support and advocate effectively for the right to be free and equal,” said UNDP Country Director, Louise Chamberlain. “The amended Constitution last year established non-discrimination as a principle, which enables further progressive legal protection of the human rights of LGBT in the coming years. More advocacy is therefore essential to increase the public’s awareness of the LGBT community’s situation and appreciation of their equal rights in all areas of society, whether in the home, at work or in social services.”
The Vietnam Country Report, available in English at http://go.usa.gov/NgRQand in Vietnamese at http://go.usa.gov/NgRw, is part of the “Being LGBT in Asia” analysis undertaken by USAID and UNDP together with grassroots LGBT organizations and community leaders to understand the challenges faced by LGBT people in Asia.
Through its inclusive development efforts, USAID works so that all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are equally empowered to secure better lives for themselves, their families and their communities. The agency issued its LGBT Vision for Action in July, providing a set of core principles for engagement on LGBT inclusion, which include building partnerships, expanding dialogues, supporting communities, and addressing barriers to livelihoods and health care. More information can be found athttp://go.usa.gov/NgRe.