Cambodia, Asia

Cambodia's main industries are garments, tourism, and construction. In 2007, foreign visitors to Angkor Wat numbered more than 4 million. In 2005, oil and natural gas deposits were found beneath Cambodia's territorial water, and once commercial extraction begins in 2011, the oil revenues could profoundly affect Cambodia's economy. Some aspects of LGBT rights are supported by law in Cambodia, including that homosexuality is legal. King Norodom Sihanouk in 2004 showed support for gay marriage, although this has not resulted in new laws to accommodate it. Cambodia's first ever LGBT Pride celebration was held in 2003 in the capital city of Phnom Penh. It is now a yearly event that openly celebrates the diversity of Cambodia. Once a taboo subject, there is an increasing acceptance for homosexuality among Cambodians. In 2006, about 400 Cambodians in the Gay and Lesbian communities came to support and celebrate Gay Pride. 

 

News & Reports:

 

Cambodia’s LGBT Community Finds Its Voice With Q Magazine

Phnom Penh: Cambodia, a country known for its abysmal human rights record and gender inequality, is now home to a print magazine geared toward the LGBT community and its allies. Q Cambodia, the country’s first gay magazine, seeks to entertain, inform and bring more visibility to the community through interviews, stories and photos of both… Read more »

Report highlights extensive bullying of LGBT students in Cambodia

A report released by the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) reveals six out of ten students experience bullying at school due to their sexuality. In the report, “LGBT Bullying in Cambodian Schools,” 62% of the people surveyed said they had experienced bullying in school, nearly all of those who did (94%) said they felt… Read more »

For many LGBTs, a secret life

LGBT Cambodians face a formidable level of prejudice and discrimination, which for many means a life lived in secrecy and isolation, a major new study of attitudes has revealed. The survey of almost 1,600 people, straight and LGBT, across seven provinces, published yesterday, found that a third of the 478 LGBT people questioned had not… Read more »

Loans to fight LGBT poverty

LGBT Cambodians driven into poverty by discrimination, and sometimes forced to sell sex to survive, may soon enjoy the benefits of a new online campaign designed to raise money to help them rebuild their lives. Micro Rainbow International, a non-profit organisation aimed at lifting LGBT Cambodians out of poverty, unveiled a new crowd-sourcing platform on… Read more »

 Poverty among gay people in Cambodia common but often ignored

Phnom Penh, Cambodia Phally barely scrapes together enough money to survive by selling fried papayas on the streets of Phnom Penh. The 27-year-old gay man would like to expand his small business to sell chicken wings and desserts. But it has been impossible to get a loan, adding to a long list of problems he… Read more »

Poverty among gay people common but often ignored – campaigner

Phnom Penh – Phally barely scrapes together enough money to survive by selling fried papayas on the streets of Phnom Penh. The 27-year-old gay man would like to expand his small business to sell chicken wings and desserts. But it has been impossible to get a loan, adding to a long list of problems he… Read more »

Male Victims of Sexual Violence Struggle for Voice

A recent spate of cases of alleged sexual abuse of boys, several involving directors of child welfare NGOs, has drawn renewed attention to the prevalence of such crimes in Cambodia. Yet the male victims of such abuse remain shut out from support services due a perception that only women and girls can be victims of… Read more »

Cambodia commits to stopping new HIV infections by 2020

The Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, has committed to stopping new HIV infections by 2020 and ensuring the sustainability of its HIV response. This comes as Cambodia allocates US$ 3.7 million of national funding to HIV treatment from 2015 to 2017. This is the first time that the government has earmarked funds for its… Read more »

Cambodia gets its first gay men-only hotel

Cambodia: The first gay boutique hotel in the Cambodian capital exclusively designed for men has been opened the heart of the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. “Not only are we gay-friendly, but we are a men-only hotel,” says the hotel’s press release which appeared in arthurandpaul.com and which urged patrons to visit Cambodia’s first ever… Read more »

“Cure the problem not the people” – Landmark report on LGBT rights in Cambodia presents facts, experiences, and recommendations

Phnom Penh – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Cambodia continue to face abuse and discrimination at home, at school, in the workplace and in the media. LGBT rights advocates are calling protection from ill treatment and for equal opportunities, according to the first comprehensive report of its kind released today. According to… Read more »

Report: 4 lesbians arrested in Cameroon

Four lesbians have been arrested and jailed on homosexuality charges in Ebolowa in southern Cameroon, according to a radio report. The LGBT rights group Camfaids (the Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS) is seeking further information so it can provide assistance, if appropriate. Under Cameroonian law, prison sentences of up to five years are supposed to be… Read more »

Cambodian Transgender Activist Sou Sotheavy Wins 2014 David Kato Vision & Voice Award

Renowned Ugandan activist Frank Mugisha will present Sou Sotheavy with the award on stage at the prestigious Teddy Awards ceremony in Berlin this Friday The David Kato Vision & Voice Award is proud to announce that the 2014 award will go to Cambodian transgender activist Sou Sotheavy. Now 75 years old, she has spent the… Read more »

Lesbians legally married in Cambodia despite no law change

Some lesbian women who have lived together for over ten years in some provinces in Cambodia could be the first legally recognized gay couples in Asia A Cambodian LGBT rights activist said that some local authorities in the southeast Asian nation already recognize gay couples as married. ‘Some local authorities give marriage certificates to lesbian… Read more »

Thoamada by Vuth Lyno

A rising star in Cambodia’s contemporary art scene, Vuth Lyno creates photographic portraits of LGBTs in his country. Fridae talks to him about his work before his presentation in Singapore as part of TheatreWorks’s Superintense on Sat, 19 Jan. His exhibition Thoamada II will be open from 26 Jan to 2 Mar in Phnom Penh.… Read more »

Cambodia’s PM speaks out against anti-gay bias

Phnom Penh, Cambodia — Cambodia’s prime minister urged the Southeast Asian nation’s people on Tuesday not to discriminate against their gay countrymen. Prime Minister Hun Sen spoke at a ceremony to hand land titles to villagers in southern Cambodia. Gay rights is not a major issue in Cambodia, and Hun Sen seemed to have been… Read more »

68 LGBT groups and NGOs protest non-inclusion of LGBTs in ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) heads of government are set to formally adopt the first ever ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) at the ASEAN Summit in  Phnom Penh on Nov 18. To the grave disappointment of representatives of the LGBTIQ peoples throughout the region, the declaration did not include protections for this highly… Read more »

Norodom Sihanouk, Cambodian Leader Through Shifting Allegiances, Dies at 89

Norodom Sihanouk, the charismatic Cambodian leader whose remarkable skills of political adaptation personified for the world the tiny, troubled kingdom where he was a towering figure through six decades, died early Monday in Beijing. He was 89. The death was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nhiek Bunchhay, quoted by news services. The former king had… Read more »

HIV infection falls among men who have sex with men

Phnom Penh – HIV infection among men who have sex with men has fallen from an estimated 8.7 percent in 2007 to 2.2 percent, National AIDS Authority Secretary General Teng Kunthy said Thursday. Dr Kunthy said the latest estimate by Family Health International was still high and compared with 0.8 percent of the overall population… Read more »

Private viewing for male nudes

Part of a new art exhibition at Hotel 1961 featuring male nudes can only be viewed in a private room because the gallery owner is concerned the “almost very homoerotic” paintings may be too provocative. The exhibition, titled Embody, is by young Khmer artist Chhai Kakkada, and celebrates the Khmer male form, from buff young… Read more »

Love and survival through Khmer Rouge years

Alex Au and other LGBT activists from Cambodia’s Asean neighbours recently heard the stories of lesbian couples hailing from the deep provinces of Cambodia who survived the Khmer Rouge years about survival, staying together, and raising children and granchildren by adopting children – some from their own brothers and sisters, others anonymously. The above picture… Read more »

Double pride in Phnom Penh

Alex Au, who was part of a 3-member contingent from Singapore, reports on the Cambodia ASEAN Pride festival held last month that hosted activists from its neighbours in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which effectively made it the first ever ASEAN Pride event. It was an audacious idea, to say the least.… Read more »

No parade, but a Buddhist blessing: Cambodia Pride

Cambodia Pride starts on Saturday with support from other south east Asian nations Cambodia Pride starts on Saturday, and 2012 is a bumper year because the kingdom hosting ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations). So Pride organisers RoCK (Rainbow Community Kampuchea) are joining forces with LGBT groups in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand,… Read more »

Cambodia ASEAN Pride 2012

What is Cambodia ASEAN Pride Week 2012? Cambodia Pride Week has become a regular event in the Kingdom since 2009. Before that time, Pride was first celebrated in 2004 with a Pride party in Phnom Penh which highlighted safe sexual health issues. An annual Pride party continued until 2009 when a group of Cambodian and… Read more »

Sex work in Cambodia

Having the right to a career path like anyone else seems a small thing to ask. In Phnom Penh, however, transgender sex worker Sam Sela, from Women’s Network for Unity (WNU), the 6,400-member sex workers’ union in Cambodia, has been rejected for jobs even in low-wage restaurants and garment factories. Erotic massage sex worker Keo… Read more »

CCHR calls for Cambodia to show strong national and international leadership regarding the promotion of human rights for LGBT people

CCHR recently called on the Cambodian government to use its position as chair of ASEAN to lobby for the inclusion of provisions protecting the human rights of LGBT people in the draft ASEAN human rights declaration please see attached CCHR’s press release dated 16 January 2012 We unreservedly welcome the fact that Thailand has lobbied… Read more »

Woman in Cambodia sentenced to 4.5 years jail for lesbian sex with ‘minor’

Rights workers and members of Cambodia’s nascent gay community say the case is an example of homophobia as a 20-year-old woman was sentenced to jail based on falsified documents submitted to the court identifying the “victim” as 14 years old. A 20-year-old woman has been sentenced to four and a half years behind bars for… Read more »

Cambodian Police Force 2 MSMs to Cut Hair

Men who have sex with men (MSM) are still under degrading treat- ment. Arrest, detention and inhuman or degrading treatments against MSM and other most-at-risk population have been reportedly committed by Cambodian law enforcement officials. Nokorwat newspaper (Temple News) which is a Cambodian local newspaper in its article issued on 28 November 2011 said two… Read more »

Gay Cambodia News & Reports 2009-11

1 Brothels, Sex Workers and Torture 1/09 (background story) 2 Cambodia to ban foreign gays from adopting children 2/09 3 Celebrate at Phnom Penh Pride 2009! 2/09 4 A gay-friendlier Kingdom 3/09 5 HIV/AIDS crisis looming among gay men: report 8/09 6 Cambodia: Bloggers discuss LGBT issues 1/10 7 About GK 2/10 8 By Ancient… Read more »

Gay Cambodia News & Reports 2004-08

 1 Cambodian King Comments on Gay Marriages 2/04 2 A Search for Sexual Identities in the Shadows of Angkor Wat 6/04 3 Compassion in Cambodia (from the gay-friendly King) 11/04 4 By Siem Reap’s Ruins, a New Night Scene (including a gay/mixed bar) 5/05 5 There’s a growing gay scene in Phnom Penh and Siem… Read more »