Inclusive and diverse ASEAN


Who is ASC?

The ASEAN SOGIE Caucus (ASC) is a network of human rights activists from Southeast Asia. The ASC works for the inclusion of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) in the mandate of human rights duty bearers in the ASEAN region. The ASC works for the promotion and protection of the human rights of all persons regardless of SOGIESC in the Southeast Asian region. 

ASC is legally registered as a non-stock and non-profit organization in the Philippine under the name Southeast Asia Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression Caucus (ASC), Inc.

The organization is in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) since 2021.

How was ASC Formed?

The ASC was formed when LGBTIQ activists from eight (8) ASEAN countries (Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) came together to attend a meeting organized by Arus Pelangi, Indonesia for Humans, and iSEE during the 2011 ASEAN Civil Society Conference of the ASEAN People’s Forum (ACSC/APF) in Jakarta, Indonesia. This gathering was prompted by the 2010 ACSC/APF conference statement in Vietnam that recommended highlighting issues pertaining to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression (SOGIE).

Aside from holding the first LGBTIQ workshop in its formal program, the 2011 ACSC/APF also provided an opportunity for the discussion on SOGIE issues to be opened up to a bigger and more diverse audience. As a result, SOGIE was included in the conference statement of the 2011 ASCS/APF in Indonesia. At the end of the conference, the group of LGBTIQ activists chose to call themselves the ASEAN SOGI Caucus and issued a public statement with three recommendations of LGBTIQ people to the ACSC/APF.

ASC obtained its legal registration in the Philippines on August 19, 2015.

What is ASC’s vision, mission and goals?

Our Vision: “A SOGIESC-inclusive ASEAN community.”

Our Mission: “The ASC advocates for the human rights of all persons regardless of SOGIESC to be respected, protected, promoted, and fulfilled in Southeast Asia.”

Our Goals:

  • Adoption and implementation of SOGIESC-inclusive regional frameworks and plans of action in all ASEAN human rights mechanisms.

  • Inclusion of SOGIESC in domestic laws, policies, and programs in Southeast Asian countries.

  • Empowerment of LGBTIQ civil society to engage state and non-state actors to adhere to human rights standards.

What does ASC do? 

The following objectives define the work of the organization, which members must realize and strive for: 

  • We raise awareness about the rights of persons of diverse SOGIESC.

  • We advocate for the integration of the rights of persons of diverse SOGIESC into national and regional governmental bodies and policies.

  • We expand spaces for leadership of Southeast Asian LGBTIQ human rights defenders within human rights networks and bodies.

  • We build and enhance capacity and knowledge of human rights defenders in promoting and protecting the rights of persons of diverse SOGIESC.

Who are the current donors of ASC?

ASC receives generous support from like minded organizations and institutions. These include:

Arcus Foundation

UNDP Being LGBTI in Asia Program

Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights

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