FEATURE3 April 2018

From opponents to allies

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Asia Pacific Features Impact Trends Youth

Research on attitudes towards the LGBT community in Cambodia is guiding strategies to shift attitudes and behaviour in a deeply conservative society. By Dany Vinh and Layhour Sao, Kantar TNS Cambodia

Cambodia is one of many Southeast Asian countries where sexual orientation and gender identity is still an issue. Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) in Cambodia can be a depressing and frustrating experience because of persistent discrimination.

Kantar TNS Cambodia put together a report on people’s opinions of – and attitudes and behaviour towards – the LGBT population, and found that almost half of respondents ( 49%) were opposed to that community. They asserted that homosexual people are acting against their nature, and behave against Cambodian culture and traditions.

Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK) – the only LGBT, non-profit organisation in Cambodia – has used the research findings for its strategic planning and programme implementations, to help change perceptions of LGBT people. RoCK has two main aims: to organise its members across Cambodia and empower the LGBT community to advocate for their rights, as well as support from local authorities and the public. 

To help achieve these objectives, RoCK offers ...