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2016-2017: APF-UNDP partnership to strengthen NHRIs

Graphic: NHRI and NGO participants from Malaysia at an APF workshop on LGBTI rights; Manila, 2017

United Nations Development Programme LogoUnited Nations Development Programme
Asia Pacific Forum LogoAsia Pacific Forum

National human rights institutions (NHRIs) have strong powers to promote and protect the human rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.

They are also very well placed to start conversations between different groups in their communities in order to address misconceptions and tackle the prejudice that can lead to violence and discrimination.

In April 2017, LGBTI activists and allies from different corners of the globe came together to develop a roadmap for equality.

Ten years on from the adoption of the Yogyakarta Principles, an international conference organised by the APF and UNDP considered a range of practical steps to better promote and protect the fundamental human rights of LGBTI people.

Recognising the vital role that NHRIs can play, the APF and UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Hub entered into an 18-month partnership agreement in 2016 to support NHRIs in the region to better work with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities and advocate for their human rights.

The partnership has resulted in a wide range of practical outcomes, including:

This partnership builds on previous collaboration involving the APF and UNDP, including a 2015 regional workshop that developed the APF-UNDP Programme of Action and Support for APF member institutions.

Representatives from NHRIs and civil society groups describe the challenges facing LGBTI people and the need to establish strong partnerships to better advocate for their rights.

One of the most valuable outcomes is the personal connections and joint projects that NHRIs have established with LGBTI partners in their respective countries.

Asia Pacific Forum Logo Pip Dargan, APF Deputy Director and Gender Focal Point

Graphic: Prof Vitit Muntarbhorn, UN Independent Expert, addresses the conference

Conference on the Yogyakarta Principles: What have we learnt and where to now?


APF-UNDP global conference brought together more than 100 experts to discuss the progress and challenges in securing equality for LGBTI people.

Image credits

  1. NHRI and NGO participants from Malaysia at an APF workshop on LGBTI rights; Manila, 2017 - APF/Fasoha Aishath