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008.5 Our voices, our communities, our rights
  1. Ken Moala
  1. Technical Advisor, Consultant


Background It has been the desire of the Pacific Sexual Diversity Network (PSDN) since its inception that its network celebrate its identities and ideals in the form of a Human Rights Conference, designed to enhance understanding and transfer knowledge related to LGBTIQ Human Rights. In the Pacific, eight countries criminalise consensual same sex behaviour with many others having related discriminatory laws, and/or laws used with discriminatory and arbitrary application. Even where these laws do not exist, many states have other discriminatory laws that target people because of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Methods Connect people and LGBTIQ organised groups across the Pacific region to share ideas, to affirm the dignity, equality and security of LGBTIQ communities and individuals. Educate and advocate about international human rights law, recent international developments and agreed principles, to enhance respect for persons of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. Promote collaboration to build genuine and accountable partnerships and networks for advocacy and social action. Promote and enable access to sharing and dissemination of information, ideas, experiences and resources. Improve understanding and strengthen collaborations amongst key stakeholders about health and human rights issues.

Results In assisting local PIDSOGIE communities strengthen knowledge and skills in law and policy reform advocacy, networks such as PSDN have a role in major policy shifts such as the repeal of the Samoan Female Impersonation Law. The 2012 report of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law recognises that good laws fully resourced and rigorously enforced, can protect human rights and widen access to HIV prevention and health services.

Conclusion Community networks such as PSDN make a critical contribution to the development of appropriate and rights based policy and laws at the country level which have a positive impact on the accessibility of prevention and other services for PIDSOGIE communities.

Disclosure of interest statement Pacific Sexual Divesity Network is funded by HIVOS The Netherlands, and Wellsprings, Arcus, Arc International - USA. Pacific Sexual Divesity Network – PSDN. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer. – LGBTIQ. PIDSOGIE – Pacific Island Diverse Sexual Orientation Gender Indentities and Expressions.

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