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UNDP, USAID launch first comprehensive report on the

state of LGBT rights in Indonesia
JAKARTA (June 17, 2014) The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in
partnership with The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Tuesday launched
the first ever-comprehensive report on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights
in Indonesia.
Entitled, Being LGBT in Asia: The Indonesia Country Report, the document calls on the
Government of Indonesia to recognize the existence of LGBT individuals as an integral part
of Indonesian society, and to respect and protect the rights of LGBT people through existing
national and international human rights mechanisms.
USAID Acting Mission Director Derrick Brown describes the report as ground-breaking
work and praises those Indonesians from all walks of life - who lent their voices and
expertise to the report.
The report is ground-breaking in that it reflects many Indonesian voices ranging from local
leaders to grassroots organizations, working to encourage dialogue and advance change in
their own communities, said Brown. We appreciate Indonesias national motto of Unity in
Diversity and hope that progress continues to encompass all Indonesians, including LGBT
UNDP Country Director, Beate Trankmann, said the reports reveals that LGBT individuals
are often prevented from living meaningful lives and are denied opportunities that others take
for granted.
"This takes a toll on the individual and the country as it prevents thousands of people from
both contributing fully to the development of their country and from enjoying the benefits of
development, said Trankmann.
She added the report aims to provide inputs and recommendations to guide the adjustment of
legal frameworks and practices to ensure that all people regardless of their sexual orientation
or gender identity are treated equally.
Below is a summary of findings from the report
Laws: National laws generally do not recognize or support the rights of LGBT people, even
though homosexuality is not criminalized. There are no specific anti-discrimination laws that
pertain to sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI). As Indonesian law only recognizes
male and female genders, transgender people who do not choose to undergo gender
reassignment surgery can have problems with identity documents and related issues.
Homosexuality is criminalized in local ordinances where it is portrayed as immoral behavior,
although four out of five relevant ordinances do not state an explicit punishment.

Discrimination: Discrimination against LGBT individuals in the workplace does not

receive significant attention, and there is an absence of anti-discrimination laws as well
as clear policies or statements which protect LGBT workers rights. Most
discrimination is directed at transgender women, who face challenges with stable
employment, prejudice, housing and identity cards, both in obtaining them and in that
they do not indicate their chosen gender.
Cultural and Social Attitudes: There is a contrast between those who are progressive
and accepting of LGBT people and a much larger population who are generally
ignorant of SOGI issues. Transgender persons have higher visibility. Most people do not
know openly LGBT people. Some tolerance rather than acceptance may be
demonstrated towards people with diverse sexual orientation or gender identity,
although this is unlikely to be true in family units.
Family: Acceptance by families is limited by strong traditionalist cultural pressures to enter a
heterosexual marriage and form a family, as well as conservative interpretations of religious
Health and Well-Being: Health related information and resources for LGBT people are
predominately related to HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections. Sexual and reproductive
services are aimed at heterosexual individuals. There is a need for counselling and attention
to psychosexual and sexual well-being issues for all LGBT people, information and support
for transgender people in relation to hormone therapy, and to expand and build on training for
health workers to increase their sensitivity on LGBT issues and people.
Education and Young People: A general lack of education on sex and sexuality in schools,
and on issues specifically related to LGBT sexuality, combined with a lack of information
and guidance from parents, is harmful to the self-esteem of young LGBT people. Bullying of
LGBT students is also of concern.
Capacity of Grassroots Organizations: There are a relatively large number of organizations in
Indonesia: two national networks and 119 organizations in 28 out of the 34 provinces in the
country, diverse in their composition, size and age. They are active in health issues,
publishing and organizing social and educational activities. The organizations surveyed view
their access to funding sources as generally weak, with challenges in human resources and
organizational management. Organizations face challenges in knowing how to legally
register, organize activities in the face of violent opposition, and lack official support and
Media: The quality of media coverage on LGBT issues in Indonesia varies, ranging from
supportive to hostile. Information communication technology is being used by LGBT
individuals and organizations to disseminate information, and develop and publish cultural