The 3rd ILGA-ASIA Regional Conference will be held on 24-27 January 2008 in Chiang Mai, Thailand

The 3rd ILGA-ASIA Regional Conference will be held on 24-27 January 2008 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The conference will bring together LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, & transgender) activists from all parts of Asia. This unique opportunity provides a significant forum to discuss issues facing sexual minorities in the region today.

In its 29-year history of providing a space for LGBT activists around the world to come together, the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) continues to provide a platform for building stronger networks of LGBT groups in Asia.

This third regional conference intends to build on the work that the two previous regional conferences had started on, “A to Z: The Other Asia”in Mumbai in 2002 and “Coming Out, Coming Home”in Cebu in 2005.

The theme for 2008 was carefully chosen to reflect the diversity of cultures LGBT persons live in, as they struggle against discrimination, and in some countries, criminalisation. It also recognises the diverse ways by which genders and sexualities are experienced and defined in Asia and appreciate the different areas of activism LGBT groups focus on in their respective countries. Amidst these differences, there is a common call – “Equality in Diversity Now!”

This conference will further advance the struggle for visibility, social acceptance, and de-criminalisation of LGBT persons in Asian societies. As such, the plenary presentations, workshops, and other related activities of the conference are framed as assertions and challenges to criminalisation, discrimination and violence, and social exclusion faced by Asian LGBT persons in everyday life.

A most significant part of this conference will be the creation of a clear organisational structure and action agenda through an ILGA-ASIA regional board and secretariat that can actively address the unique issues of LGBT persons in Asia.

Chiang Mai based LGBT groups, The Committee on Lesbigay Rights in Burma (CLRB) and M-Plus are in charge of organizing the conference on the ground. A number of other local LGBT groups are also involved in preparing this conference.

ILGA is seeking funds for this initiative in close collaboration with the organising committee. Sponsors now include HIVOS, Novib Oxfam and the Global Fund for Women.

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