Senator Penny Wong Warns Plebiscite Will Encourage Hate Speech
Penny Wong, Minister for Foreign Affairs

LGBTIQ+ groups from Australia, Asia and the Pacific say a commitment by the Federal Government to develop a strategy on LGBTIQ+ rights in the region is a historic and significant first step.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Monday announced $3.5 million for the first dedicated Australian fund to support LGBTIQ+ civil society organisations and human rights defenders in Asia and the Pacific.

DFAT will also embark on a consultation process before establishing an LGBTIQ+ human rights engagement strategy, including bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, development and humanitarian assistance.

“This groundbreaking announcement marks the first time Australia has committed to a long-term strategy and dedicated funding to help LGBTIQ+ people in our region address social stigma and legal discrimination,” said Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown.

“We wholeheartedly welcome the Inclusion and Equality Fund and a comprehensive strategy to support LGBTIQ+ civil society organisations and human rights defenders in Asia and the Pacific.”

The announcement follows the release of the international Partnering with Pride report last week, which was written in partnership with LGBTIQ+ groups from Asia and the Pacific, the Global Philanthropy Project and Equality Australia.

It recommended targeted funding of $15 million annually for LGBTIQ+ community groups and a strategy to guide Australia’s approach in Asia and the Pacific.

“This is a historic and significant first step demonstrating the Federal Government’s commitment going forward to LGBTIQ+ human rights in our region,” Ms Brown said.

“Further funding is needed to meet the urgent need in the region, and we look forward to seeing the detail of the Government’s plan for a new LGBTIQ+ human rights strategy which must be developed in close and open partnership with our community.”

The historic announcement comes ahead of Sydney WorldPride’s Human Rights Conference, when community leaders, politicians, human rights experts and advocates worldwide will discuss the key human rights issues affecting LGBTQIA+ people.